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


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* Latest additions... welcome!

[?]= Seems to be down or on hiatus.
Please report broken links for my blog audit.

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

{ Friday, 31 December, 2004 }

This is a moblog* post:


It's all arbitrary time!

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

jaybird found this for you @ 23:57 in Live from the road... | | permalink

This is a moblog* post:


Festivities begin

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

jaybird found this for you @ 22:04 in Live from the road... | | permalink

The year in cats...

  • Ursula announces her candidacy for President: Let Freedom Roar. Ursula is due to be on the campaign trail after she awakens from her nap. The planned route is around the backyard, on top of a car, and through the hole in the fence. Bush and Kerry were unavailable for comment.
  • Avatar is to be Ursula's vice-presidential running mate: Not to be overshadowed by the Democrats, Ursula the Cat announced her running-mate for the US presidency while attempting to eat a fallen leaf on the sunny deck of her home. Attending the rally were a gnat, a few startled houseplants, and the ghost of "Lambchop."
  • My cats accept their party's nomination: The delegates, which consisted of a beheaded grasshopper, a previously chewed stick of gum, an ambitious flea and a very liberal grass clipping, expressed their desire for candidates worthy of bringing radical change to American politics.

  • The would-be feline President and Vice-President comment on the final debate.
  • U and A sign up for official Friday cat blogging duties, but promptly fall asleep.
  • The duo on their respective thrones: it's reigning cats...

  • Their extremely silly Cat-mas post: Let's just say for the sake of fun that Avatar does indeed, want to be a spaceship. How do we do this? My first thought was to utilize the ecstatic shamanic techniques of brujos and ayahuasceros, designing an elaborate ritual to shapeshift my little Persian cat into a mid-size interstellar vessel...
  • U and A show the world which of them is top cat and which of them could care less about hierarchical political systems. Or, perhaps the human is projecting too much.

    Happy New Year, cat bloggers!

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:08 in cat blogging | | permalink

    this year's ten best...

    A tiny list of staggering memories and life-altering recollections from my own dizzyingly bedazzled brain cells, listed in the random order that randomness deserves:

  • Fulfilling a childhood dream and lending my voice to a Japanese cartoon series.
  • Taking a cosmic vacation with friends Gustav and Casey to Folly Beach, SC.
  • Performing for the first time in a professional theatre.
  • Two bittersweet goodbyes: JenWo moved to Chapel Hill, and Gustav to from whence he came in California. This a 'best' because the memory of their leaving is full of the laughter and joy that make those friendships continue to be so important.
  • Finally getting the second book published. Er, that is, after I fix a few things.
  • Two weeks of training (and after hours partying) with good friend Ms. Sarah in Greensboro.
  • The deep joy in the continuing joy of knowing there is an amazingly cool little girl in the world named Luca, who is evolving and growing, full of curiosity and inner glow.
  • Delivering two fiery public oratories: the Gay Rights Rally and the Rolling Thunder Democracy Rally.
  • Meeting and spending a bit of quality time with two real-life spiritual gurus: Tom Robbins and Andrew Harvey.
  • The ever-powerful high of having two of the best people on Earth to call my dearest peeps: Joshua and Robin. Thanks for a great 2004, guys.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink


    "The heavy curtain of time is falling across the stage of our drama; the desires, the derelictions, and the dreams both birthed and abandoned all bow in unison in a chorus of goodbye. In the fiery eddies of nebula and the churning black seas, no event will be marked; but tonight, amid splendor and champagne, one human theatre will shutter its doors and another will open, glittering and virginal. We do not know what shall transpire upon that new stage, and in our fascination, there are as many choices to ponder as there are irrevocable fates to bear witness. How gloriously remarkable it is to be present at a death and birth simultaneously, how terrifying, how trite, how ecstatic, how utterly singular to the utterly singular predicament called life on Earth."

    ~Isadore M. Upinsky, "The End of Time and the Beginning of Something Else."

    The Friday on the other side of my windows is warm, bustling with activity, and not at all indicative that it's the end of a human time cycle, albeit an arbitrary and cosmically inconsequential one. Though, there seems to me to be a thin blanket of melancholy draped across the preparations for festivities as the cataclysmic aftershocks of Southeast Asia's devastation ripple though our collective beings. While the American media's short attention span is already about to twitter off into mid-broadcast forgetfulness, the people of the planet cannot. Our interconnection binds us all to every horror, every joy of every moment. A good friend is presently sick and weak, she says in likely sympathy to the culture and people she loves in India. We are all a little sick, and choiceless to be so, as our experience is plumbed to new depths of tragedy. Yet, doubtless, in the calamity little miracles will surely spring up as tiny flowers in the rubble. Children will be born, enemies will drop their guns in exchange for tools and duty, and perhaps the frailty of life will finally be examined in a way that inspires wonder, grace, and thankfulness.

    No doubt, this year has been a harvest of bitter fruit; another election has further divided America, Iraq has been a blood bath whose effects will be felt for at least decades, Haiti was crushed by wide-spread flooding, and the Darfur region of Sudan persisted as killing fields. Yet there is no true line between light and dark, and so much of our human involvement was painted in gray. And in the light? More love as San Francisco and Massachussets confront the lunacy of taboo and allows same-sex marriages, more people than ever before became politically active in the attempt to own their democracy, and we have seen images from distant worlds which up the mystery and wonder of this solar system dance. For me personally, the year is a mix of all sweet and bitter, another milestone toward the eternal.

    Perhaps, in the spirit of those songs sung at the stroke of midnight, these are verses well worth singing, written in mystical appreciation by John Denver:

    All this joy, all this sorrow All this promise, all this pain Such is life, such is being Such is spirit, such is love

    City of joy, city of sorrow
    City of promise, city of pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love

    World of joy, world of sorrow
    World of promise, a world of pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love

    All this joy, all this sorrow
    All this promise, all this pain
    Such is life, such is being
    Such is spirit, such is love
    Such is spirit, such is love

    Ring your bell, drink your wine, good people, and revel in the joy of another arbitrary chance to make things right. And after you're through dancing, start giving, start working, and start loving your way to overcome all that was lost in the withering year, and let your sweat and determination show for a better 2005.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:17 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Veddas (or Wanniya-laeto): the ancient and presently endangered forest-people of Sri Lanka. (more: 1, 2, 3, 4)

    "...the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival."

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:10 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink

    { Thursday, 30 December, 2004 }

    No brainer, er... Did animals' 'sixth sense' save them from tsunami?

    Wild animals seem to have escaped the Indian Ocean tsunami, adding weight to notions they possess a "sixth sense" for disasters, experts said on Thursday. Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found. "No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka's Wildlife Department, said on Wednesday

    Hardly a case, I think, of a 'sixth sense,' but rather the application of the existing ones in tune with the natural environment, something we humans have long since abandoned at-large. If animals can navigate by detecting differing magnetic fields, subtleties of light and the stars, and simply by sensing changes in the earth, than biologically speaking 'higher order' creatures must have the same talents. It's thinking too damn much, and intellectual over-analysis (versus sensual intuitiveness) of our surroundings that's made that a latent talent.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:06 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Mapping Miracles into the Machine

    The fact is that as I type this document the things that I am thinking at this time at this place are affected by things in the room, by my past and present(and future?), by things outside the room, etc. In this way this document is connected to everything in the universe in its creation and existence. In its own way, this document, or any form of data for that matter, provides a glimpse into the underlying pattern that created it. In its own way this document is a "miracle" because if one figures out the probability of my creating this exact document at this time in this place the probability is almost zero, yet I AM CREATING IT. It is not like creating objects out of thin air or moving objects with your mind, or raising the dead, but just as miraculous in its own way. This document is miraculous in its uniqueness, which is connected to everything involved in its creation.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:34 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Rudy Rucker: God without God

    We could simply say that asking God for help has an organic effect upon a person’s brain. In other words, expressing a desire to have a spiritual life might activate, let us say, certain brain centers which release endorphins that in turn affect the threshold levels of one’s neurons. And these changes nudge the brain activities to a new strange attractor. A deterministic chaotic bifurcation occurs.

    Do I really think it works like that? Well, to be truthful, I’ve always felt comfortable about reaching out for contact with the divine. The world is big and strange, and we have only the barest inkling about what lies beneath the surface.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:30 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    The Loneliest Mystery of the Deep

    For the last 12 years, a single solitary whale whose vocalizations match no known living species has been tracked across the Northeast Pacific. Its wanderings match no known migratory patterns of any living whale species. Its vocalizations have also subtly deepened over the years, indicating that the whale is maturing and ageing. And, during the entire 12 year span that it has been tracked, it has been calling out for contact from others of its own kind.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:25 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 29 December, 2004 }

    Does God Make Monsters?

    Because no-one knows for certain what cryptozoological / mysterious creatures are and where they come from, myriad debates rage about their actual origins and their purpose here on Earth.

    Sasquatch, or "Big Foot", is something of a beloved cryptid, because it is typically gentle, and it reminds us of ourselves. Some people believe it is the "missing link", and if we can capture a Sasquatch for testing, we may find just how humans evolved from apes. But is Sasquatch a natural creature, or an abomination? What about ghosts, dragons, aliens, and other inhuman entities?

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:56 in Conjecture & Speculation | | permalink

    Hey, Jesus, tell us about your buddies...

    Noted Methodist theologian Rev. Theodore Jennings Jr. and Dr Morton Smith, a world renowned Bible scholar, say there is irrefutable evidence that Jesus was at least bisexual. Dr Rollan McCleary of the University of Queensland, in Australia, says he has discovered through his research that three of the disciples were gay.

    Prof. Smith points to a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958 which he says alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead. The fragment shows that the full text of St. Mark, Chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) includes the following passage:

    "And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God".

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:30 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink

    Stunning before/after satellite images of tsunami

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:32 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink

    The Monadology of Wilhelm Leibniz

    ...there is no way of explaining how a Monad can be altered in quality or internally changed by any other created thing; since it is impossible to change the place of anything in it or to conceive in it any internal motion which could be produced, directed, increased or diminished therein, although all this is possible in the case of compounds, in which there are changes among the parts. The Monads have no windows, through which anything could come in or go out. Accidents cannot separate themselves from substances nor go about outside of them, as the 'sensible species' of the Scholastics used to do. Thus neither substance nor accident can come into a Monad from outside.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:27 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 28 December, 2004 }

    Build an Atomic Rocket to Outer Space! (via blort)

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:12 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink

    More detail of how the Sumatran quake affected Earth's rotation

    By some estimates, it was equal to detonating a million atomic bombs... it probably jolted the planet's rotation. "It causes the planet to wobble a little bit, but it's not going to turn Earth upside down..."

    Please notice the link above to the Earthquake/Tsunami relief blog, and donate to the wide variety of available charities.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:01 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Nguzo Saba: the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

    Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:58 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink

    New Comet Now Visible to Naked Eye

    A comet discovered earlier this year has now moved close enough to be visible without binoculars or telescopes by experienced observers under dark skies. It is expected to put on a modest show this month and into January. Comet Machholz will be at its closest to Earth Jan. 5-6, 2005, when it will be 32 million miles (51 million kilometers) away. People with dark rural skies and a good map should be able to find it on Moon-free nights now into January.

    ...and, it's got a green coma. That's rather unusual.

    jaybird found this for you @ 06:54 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    { Monday, 27 December, 2004 }

    The little people of the far north: A bit about the culturally accepted presence of elves in Iceland.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:34 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink

    "Living Rock:" absolutely bizarre plant species.

    Living stone plants (Lithops species) are members of the mesembryanthemum family. They are natives of South Africa and Namibia, where they grow among stones in the dry upland regions or along the edges of river courses that are dry for most of the year. They are succulents, which store water in their fleshy leaves, but are not related to cacti.

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

    Mixed views on UN indigenous decade

    In 1994, hopes were high that the agency could fight their cause and secure a declaration on the rights of indigenous people, to stand alongside the universal declaration on human rights. But the declaration lies unsigned, and the UN's own test - a measurable improvement in the lives of some 250m indigenous people in around 70 countries - seems unlikely to have been met. Many indigenous campaigners say they are frustrated at the failure of diplomatic moves to improve life for some of the world's most disadvantaged people. But most have welcomed stronger links between their indigenous groups and interested organisations, and a sense of growing political power.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:15 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink

    The Birds Are Falling: Avian losses could hit ecosystems hard

    If many bird populations dip toward extinction in the coming century, as scientists predict, widespread harm could come to ecosystems that depend on these birds to pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carrion, and control insects...

    Consideration of the recognized threats to avian survival—including alien predators, chemical contaminants, and fishing gear—led the scientists to forecast that 500 to 1,300 species will vanish by the end of this century, and that up to 1,050 others will become so depleted that they'll serve no significant ecological function. In contrast, only 129 bird species are known to have gone extinct in the past 500 years.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:33 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    { Sunday, 26 December, 2004 }

    Discovery: Natural selection acts on the quantum world

    If, as quantum mechanics says, observing the world tends to change it, how is it that we can agree on anything at all? Why doesn't each person leave a slightly different version of the world for the next person to find?

    Because, say the researchers, certain special states of a system are promoted above others by a quantum form of natural selection, which they call quantum darwinism. Information about these states proliferates and gets imprinted on the environment. So observers coming along and looking at the environment in order to get a picture of the world tend to see the same 'preferred' states.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:39 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    earthquake/tsunami cataclysm

    More on the crisis is South Asia:

  • first hand reports and slideshow from the Amritapuri Ashram in southern India.
  • A WaPo reporter is swept out to sea, and fortunate to be alive.
  • A Flikr photostream from Chennai.
  • Creepy: “All the planet is vibrating” from the quake, said Enzo Boschi, the head of Italy’s National Geophysics Institute... Boschi said the quake even disturbed the Earth’s rotation. He likened its power to a million atomic bombs the size of those dropped on Japan in the Second World War, and said the shaking was so powerful it even disturbed the Earth's rotation. Alessandro Amato, director of Italy's national earthquake centre, said an effect on the rotation was possible but he did not know whether it had yet been established by the most sensitive instruments. WTF? Not enough info, but enough to scare the beejeezus out of anyone.
  • The Red Cross needs your help.
  • Blog entries: Suman Kumar, Extra Extra, Ceneus, and Lady Kiadri.
  • Compendium of Live Journal reports.

    Eerily, the Bam earthquake in Iran occured exactly one year ago today.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:23 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink


    Stop. Breathe. Feel exactly what it is your hand is resting on. Notice the light that somehow illuminates your view. This is, suddenly, your world. Somehow, someway, you have arrived at this point to do just this... taking a second to be aware of your place in the Universe, to be enveloped by it, and it within you.

    And yet, you may as well be afloat on the wind, a seed wandering and tumbling above the massive Earth. You can see only this right now; from your chair, do you really hear the temple bells of Kathmandu? From your eye, do you see that squalid slums of Rio? Is your hand sifting through the rubble of Iraq? The map of human life is incomprehensibly dense, and yet that itself is so much dust among the silent galactic roar and froth of timeless abyss.

    This minute gone by is alive, a singular feat of sorcery in the unknown repertoire of a chancy magician. What will you do next? Where are you planning to go today? Such slight questions, such mangificently tricky answers. These words here are nothing, really; you are turning them, transforming them into your next thought, you make the moment alive. Feel the repercussions of your being. Breathe. Go.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:38 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Eyewitness to the Sri Lankan tsunami

    We made our way out of the hotel, through the incredible rushing water. First of all we climbed up into a tree for a couple of minutes but then that began to fall down because of the water. We were swept along for a few hundred metres, trying to dodge the motorcycles and the refrigerators and the cars that were coming with us.

    UPDATE: More here.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:24 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink

    { Saturday, 25 December, 2004 }

    After the shin-digs

    Just checking in; had a wonderful dinner at Ramya and Jennifer's, and right now I'm trying in vain to rid my little ecumenical shelter of the bits of wax that are everywhere after the candlelight services. I noticed that the dance club is open tonight, and that could be a fun way to top off this overly symbolic day.

    I sincerely wish all those that celebrate Christmas that it was absolutely wonderful, and to those who don't, I hope your day was absolutely wonderful.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    this week's welcome wagon

    The sidebar is open, the barkeep is knowledgable, and the service... top notch. Visit these fine new additions:

  • Qubikuity: Ruminations on the ultimate and trivial
  • Vortex Egg: Cybernetics and magick.
  • Points of Departure: Take a left at yogurt, and then straight on 'til salsa!
  • We make money not art: Technology, art, culture and the evolving world.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:30 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink

    Santa Claus and Mushroom Shamanism

    Santa Claus and Christmas have a hidden secret: namely the powerful entheogenic mushroom, Amanita muscaria. Though perhaps challenging and difficult to accept, a close examination of this strange relationship offers deep insight into the nature of the human soul. This long forgotten key to the hidden meaning of Christmas helps to explain the very nature of the classic religious experience. And as we probe deeper into this mystery, it may even shed light on the widespread religious and political oppression that still dominates much of the world.

    The most obvious connection between Santa and the fly agaric mushroom is their appearance; both are rather portly, bright and jolly looking. Moreover, both are red, white and black, three colors that resound throughout time with symbolic meaning. Santa, as we all know, wears a bright red suit with white trim and sports a long white beard. He is all covered in "ashes and soot" from sliding down the chimney to deliver his gifts on Christmas Eve, hence the black or dark color in the trio. Likewise, the fly agaric is bright red and white. The famous polka dots are actually the remainder of what is called the universal veil, a white shell-like membrane that protects the mushroom as it breaks through the ground. This fierce and sudden eruption through the earth also accounts for the additional black color, in this case bits of soil that cling to the mushroom as it emerges.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:02 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    will god listen to the drunks?

    A thousand fingers held aloft hundreds of candles
    Hoisting as high as the arm can reach
    Glory, glory, this strata of light, these symbolic flames
    Reaching high toward the view of a godhead,
    With golden hope, praying for more than this.

    This is a stunning ritual;
    We encircled humans placing our hope to flame
    And ascending the fire, as a beacon,
    As a play at the wonder of starlight,
    Here, haloed around us,
    Hallowed by thy name.

    They say a child is born,
    But what of the world, promised as dominion of the meek,
    For the strong have torn it in their haste
    To simulate heaven
    And the world is dying for it
    And the arguments raise the child's name in defense
    Of turning paradise into a scrap-heap of by-gone fancies.

    Where is the truth promised from those ancient birth-pangs
    And those scrolls writ of wisdom and desert dust?
    Lost, for in the rush to understand the words
    The meaning is obscured beyond hope of comprehension,
    Resolved back into the black water of mystery and sacred river,
    To be found again one day in surprise at the trawling of a net.
    I stand with all you holy people to pray for the lost
    And I stand in the desire of letting go, and creating anew.

    In the deep sink of time's rushing flow
    New forms will arise from the nurturing brine
    Of the dissolution of this fevered idea gone astray.
    Who can negate the cycle of creation and destruction?
    No thing I know.
    Perhaps, in the ardor of our ceremony
    We will chase of yesterday's ghosts, and prepare the midwife for tomorrow's child.

    Let us on this silent night
    Clamor to understand the simplicity and relative ease
    At which the holy permeates the cracks in our lives
    In our thinking,
    And in the impossible conjunction of forces
    That somehow make life to exist.

    Those candles, that luminous wave of souls
    In clasped hands and whispered spells of the word
    Their intent is love; to make it, to be drunk on it,
    To uphold light to find their way, and this is good,
    And guide too from the froth that new being; usurper of paradigms, fool of the gods.

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:42 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Friday, 24 December, 2004 }


    For today's cat blogging, the cats have gone on a bit of a strike to protest the bawdy and silly entry for last week. No holiday cheer, no chasing down of jingle-elves, but instead, a presentation of their collective might and power shall be today's subject.

    This simple picture explains in great detail the complex power sharing arrangements Ursula and Avatar have made. A brief summation: Ursula has all the power, Avatar is too spaced out to care. She surveys the entire universe from her all knowing eyes, he dreams of cheese. Avatar has long since submitted to Ursula's dominion, and is content to exist powerlessly, as an artisitic statement I suppose. Ursula's drive to conquer all doesn't faze Avatar's puffy-whiteness; perhaps, in his buddha-mind, he understands that all power is illusion, and is content to let Ursula exist in the charade of might.

    Or, perhaps I'm projecting a bit much. At any rate, Happy Subversive, Imaginative and Feline Hoidays to all.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:53 in cat blogging | | permalink


    Finally, it's here, by way of the downstairs neighbor who found it lying on the ground by the mailboxes and brought it up with a smile... the proof copy of my new book. It's heavy, bright, and hard to believe I've written 320 pages of hooey in a little over a year. There are a few errors that need correcting, including a doozie of my own making. But it exists, it's one tenth of a percent away from being truly 'done,' and this feels much better than way back when when the first book arrived (don't laugh, old greymatter archive). In about a month, it goes retail. Now, I truly suck at promotion, so don't expect the site to be resplendent with cheesy BUY NOW buttons. I will carry on being me, doing as I do, hoping ever so slightly that a few random humans will find something useful out of a weird collection of wood-pulp and ink.


    jaybird found this for you @ 12:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Bucky Fuller: Accelerating Acceleration

    The year I was born, Marconi invented the wireless, but it did not get into any practical use until I was twelve years of age, when the first steamship sent an SOS, when it was in distress, by wireless. Think of it. Great many miles–and the world began to know the ship was in distress, and a ship then rushed to its aid. Absolutely unexpected. My father and mother were saying, "Wireless? Nonsense!" And, when I was three the electron was discovered and nobody talked about that; it wasn’t in any of the newspapers. Nobody was interested in the electron, they didn’t know what was the electron or whether it was discovered. I was brought up that humanity would never get to the North Pole. Absolutely impossible. They’d never get to the South Pole. On Mercator maps, it didn’t even show anything up–the northernmost points were a very rugged kind of a line, if you see it, with nothing beyond that. When I was fourteen, man did get to the North Pole. When I was sixteen, he got to the South Pole. The "impossibles" were happening.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:22 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    { Thursday, 23 December, 2004 }

    Russell Targ: Our Limitless Mind; Living in a Nonlocal Universe

    We live in a "nonlocal" reality, which is to say that we can be affected by events that are distant from our ordinary awareness. This is an alarming idea for an experimental physicist, because it means that laboratory experiments are subject to outside influences that may be beyond the scientist's control or knowledge. In fact, the data from precognition research strongly suggest that an experiment could, in principle, be affected by a signal sent from the future! So a short answer to the question, "How is it that I can psychically describe a distant object?" is that the object is not as distant as it appears. To me, these data suggest that all of space-time is available to your consciousness, right where you are. You are always on the edge.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:07 in Cosmic Randomness Grab Bag | | permalink

    Why I became a Panexperientialist (via FutureHi)

    I did not feel that I was a machine entirely, because I had feelings and machines didn't seem to have feelings. Very early on I was troubled by how consciousness fitted into a mechanistic universe. When I raised this with my materialistic scientific colleagues, they invariably said this was a bit of a problem, philosophers had been arguing that one for ages, they always disagreed and never came to any agreed conclusion. I remember, as a graduate student, my supervisor saying that what the world needed was more science and more scientists, allowing perhaps for one of two philosophers but no more. The chance of philosophers explaining the world was so small that it was a waste of resources to have many of them around. That was one response I got to my dilemma.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:57 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Brilliant: Academic turns city into a social experiment

    The fact that he was seen as an unusual leader gave the new mayor the opportunity to try extraordinary things, such as hiring 420 mimes to control traffic in Bogotá's chaotic and dangerous streets. He launched a "Night for Women" and asked the city's men to stay home in the evening and care for the children; 700,000 women went out on the first of three nights that Mockus dedicated to them. When there was a water shortage, Mockus appeared on TV programs taking a shower and turning off the water as he soaped, asking his fellow citizens to do the same.

    "The distribution of knowledge is the key contemporary task," Mockus said. "Knowledge empowers people. If people know the rules, and are sensitized by art, humor, and creativity, they are much more likely to accept change."

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:01 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink

    Top Ten Intelligent Designs (or Creation Myths): a list of those Creation Myths that helped define civilizations both past and present.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:02 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 22 December, 2004 }

    Buddhism on the brain (via FutureHi)

    One of the first things people discover when they meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama is that the head of Tibetan Buddhism likes a good laugh. "He jokes all the time," says Fred Gage, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, who met the spiritual leader for the first time in October. "He has a great sense of humour."

    This is probably a good thing. The occasion for this meeting — a research conference held at the Dalai Lama's headquarters in Dharamsala, India — included a presentation of evidence that people in good spirits are better able to control their blood sugar levels. Other talks suggested that meditation can transform emotions and that daily experiences can alter the expression of genes. Gage presented his research into how the brain can remake itself throughout life.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:33 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    The Circadian Zodiac... did you know there was a 13th sign (Ophiuchus)? Did you know that our current zodiac has been radically sanitized through the ages due to lax math? While not adamant about astrology, I found this to be very interesting...

    Only a knowledge of precession can accurately pinpoint a moment in time, no matter how evenly you divide the skies with arbitrary measure. In other words, the zodiac itself is not precessional, but time can only be measured accurately with the sun's precession through it. Where and when each sign is -- something the ancient Egyptians and Druids, among others, appear to have fully understood and venerated -- thus becomes of paramount importance.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:47 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    The President's Grand Elusion

    Qualifications for a director of national intelligence? "I'm going to find somebody who knows something about intelligence," Bush disclosed. Timeline for Iraq? "We'd like to achieve our objective as quickly as possible." Vladimir Putin's turn toward autocracy? "If we disagree with decisions, we can do so in a friendly and positive way."

    When the subject turned to Social Security, the president made clear that questions about his views on the subject were strictly out of bounds

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:42 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink

    Fooey to the World: Festivus Is Come

    Gather around the Festivus pole and listen to a tale about a real holiday made fictional and then real again, a tale that touches on philosophy, King Lear, the pool at the Chateau Marmont hotel, a paper bag with a clock inside and, oh yes, a television show about nothing.

    The first surprise is that from Tampa Bay, Fla., to Washington, from Austin, Tex., to Oxford, Ohio, many real people are holding parties celebrating Festivus, a holiday most believe was invented on an episode of "Seinfeld" first broadcast the week before Christmas in 1997.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:40 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 21 December, 2004 }


    Come on down the mountain
    For the solstice fires are burning
    And I want you to dance with me...
    I welcome you, love,
    Into the longest night
    Can't you hear the ballads racing up the peaks
    To meet the shadow you left behind?
    O Ancestors, O root-tenders, O scribes that struggle with verse,
    Join this procession around the burning year
    And cast your aspersions to the flames
    And do as this sensuous music commands!
    Let the ashes reconcile those broken histories
    That keep you from feeling as holy as you are.
    Let the beats that boom the sky
    Be your guide as all the rules are scorched in the thrust of time.
    Come on down the mountain,
    Come twirl your luck as the moon sings solstice
    Come and find the light you've been missing;
    It's in the fire,
    In the eyes,
    In the reach
    Of a reborn season,
    One wrought of wrestled hope
    And the annihilating flames of winter's hidden love.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico

    Archaeologists have traced the development of religion in one location over a 7,000-year period, reporting that as an early society changed from foraging to settlement to the formation of an archaic state, religion also evolved to match the changing social structure.

    This archaeological record, because of its length and completeness, sheds an unusually clear light on the origins of religion, a universal human behavior but one whose evolutionary and social roots are still not well understood.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:57 in History, Civilization & Anthropology | | permalink

    "The charismatic teacher and miracle worker Apollonius lived in the first century AD. He was born in Tyana... and may have belonged to a branch of ancient philosophy called neo-Pythagoreanism. He received divine honors in the third century."

    Meet Apollonius of Tyana. The coincidences surrounding his history with that of a certain Yeshua are a bit more than uncanny. More here, via MeFi.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:16 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    Master violin maker still practising his craft at 95 - finishes 95th violin

    "This is my best yet," he says, running his hand over the amber wood and pronouncing it as fine as his favourite, the esteemed No. 4, which he completed in 1937. Rashid has been a boxer, a carpenter and an engineer, and since he retired to Nevada City in the early 1980s, he has devoted his time to creating violins that have been played by such world-renowned musicians as Yehudi Menuhin, Glenn Dicterow and members of the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.

    Rashid has already surpassed the icon of the craft, Antonio Stradivari, in longevity, at least.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:21 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    { Monday, 20 December, 2004 }


    Even as tonight's world is ice
    And it's too dangerous to go anywhere
    And the sky is darker than you remembered it
    For this time of day...

    There is yet more fortune, there is yet more glory, there is yet more
    Simplistic, childlike joy nestled within your nerves.

    Even as you awoke to a scattering of god-shattered glass
    And the house is resting in a disordered shadow of sleep
    And your bones ache from a memory your mind has long since shaken,
    You're breathing nice and slow...

    There is a thought sinking in, there is an omen dissolved in your tea,
    There is a good chance you'll be alright.

    It's just words, lexicographical tap-dancing across the frozen lake of life,
    You are a mirror, looking into yourself in surprise at what you're reflecting,
    You are someone else's truth, even if you discount your own
    There's no rock-bottom price for a soul.

    There is music in these walls, there is a something wonderful
    Stirring ion the corner of your eye, there is a myth tied together with gossamer
    Ambling on the wind.

    It's an attempt to convince, a trick conceived to catch you looking,
    You are trying to avert your gaze from the whirling eddy of your time on Earth,
    You are trying to live it wholly, all the while, can't you hear the knock at the door,
    Delivering the news that it's safe to finally peek out, and know thyself.

    There is a change coming and I cannot say what it will resolve into,
    There is a beautiful ruddy glow where heaven meets this cold world,
    There is an end to every poem, but if you care to,
    This little prayer will stick to you, keep getting caught in your hair,
    Eventually convincing you to breathe even deeper,
    Despite the crazy conversations going on around you,
    Convincing you that there is yet a reason to slide across the ice, laughing all the way.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:19 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Physics and Consciousness: Shamanism (via FutureHi)

    "By invoking modern physics, we can say, together with many a shaman, that all reality is only a continuum of the same spectrum. Put otherwise, reality is always in a state of Being or Existing."

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:28 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    welcome wagon

    Please honor these fine new kindred spirits on the sidebar with a clicky:

  • yellowstone wolf: a wonderful series of photographs and poetic observations about the
    ecology of the divine.
  • vernacular body: a compelling short fiction blog
  • saucy intruder: old school blog from one of MeFi's wittiest.
  • modulator: current events, hipness, and weekly animal roundups.
  • get religion: common sense critiques of trends in religion, politics and culture.
  • etherealgirl: the blog of a proud mom, "liberal, feminist, pagan, dreamer, frustrated writer, amateur astrologer."
  • esoteric science: weird science, obscureana, the known and the unknown.
  • ditch the raft: zen talk and discussion of deep Buddhism.
  • corpus mmothra: consciousness, quantum cha-cha and the spirit with a queer bent.
  • cathcoll: liberal, catholic cat lover reflects on labor, current events and... cats!
  • big hominid's hairy chasms: "Vapid cultural commentary, pungent reviews, sundry Korea-related musings, fartological/scatological humor, and nondualistic Zen excretions in prose or poetry form."

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:18 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink

    Finding the holy in an unlikely place: Baba, Baba, Everywhere!

    “Is there a Wiccan community around here?”


    “You’re it?”


    A few minutes later a red-bearded, red-eyed giant appeared behind us. He sized us up, looking us over with eyes as big as our heads.

    “You the guys asking folks about religion?” he demanded.

    We both nodded, starting to rise and puff out our chests -- it’s an instinct, you know -- even as we eyed the door.

    “My name’s Barry and I live on up near Bolivia, North Carolina. We got some Buddhist fellers up there now and they’re just the nicest bunch a guys you’ll ever meet. They got a crew that go out weekends, clean up litter and road kill on the roadsides.”

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:34 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    { Sunday, 19 December, 2004 }

    freak accident

    In a total freak event, my car slipped out of the parking brake and slid backwards 200 feet and rammed into a SUV, shattering my back window and bumper. I was doing lights and sound for a concert at the time, and for no reason that I can tell it just lost its grip. No other cars were nicked along the way, it was a perfectly straight line. I'm stunned, feeling a bit better, but a little spooked and out of sorts. The folks my car hit were very nice and non-abrasive, which I'm thankful for.

    One of the things I'm struggling with was a very strong omen NOT to work the sound board tonight. It was our first winter storm and the roads were hell. It made no sense to me that we tried to have the show. I really listen to my gut, and try to act upon those feelings and trust the messages. I, therefore, am doing a lot of self-ass-kicking and denial. The bright side, as pointed out to me by a 14 year old, is that I could have a broken skull instead of a broken windshield. No one was hurt, but anyone could have been. It's hard to count blessings when a major mess has been counted against you, but I am choiceless to accept that strange blessings I'm offered.

    UPDATE: The Monkeys are sleuthing this one.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    A Winding Path: Why a microbiologist turned to the New Age art of building labyrinths -- by hand, out of dirt. (via homunculus)

    Champion, 62, was once a microbiologist, and is now one of the most recognized names on the shortlist of modern labyrinth builders in the world. He dug this structure himself, with just a shovel, two decades ago, but the design -- a seven-ring-style labyrinth named after the Greek island of Crete -- is ancient. These patterns have appeared through the ages in art, architecture, literature, myth, and religion; this particular one represents the labyrinth at its most primitive. The spiraling form appears in etchings and artifacts of cultures around the globe -- from native North Americans to the indigenous peoples of Scandinavia. The shape appears everywhere to Champion -- in knotted wood grains and constellations, in cloud formations and DNA. And it appears here, a few hundred yards from the front steps of his home in the hills above the Anderson Valley near Philo, its waist-high walls made from a few hundred thousand pounds of dirt, the whole structure a few hundred feet wide.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:00 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink

    Japanese Fairy Tales (via MeFi)

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:18 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink

    The Mandelbrot Monk

    Until recently, Udo of Aachen occupied a sideline in the history books as a minor poet, copyist and theological essayist. Even his birth and death dates of this mediaeval Benedictine monk are unknown, though he probably lived from around 1200-1270 AD. A new study of his work, however, has led to his recognition as an outstandingly original and talented mathematician.

    While Udo himself is little-known, one of his works is far more familiar. This 13th century German monk was the author of a poem called Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Luck, Empress of the World) in the collection of mediaeval underground verses now known as the Carmina Burana. Orchestrated by composer Carl Orff in 1937, Udo's poem is now widespread as the choral work, O Fortuna, which has been used by the media many times, from incidental music to the film Excalibur to the backing for after-shave lotion advertisements.

    The first clue to Udo's undiscovered skills was found by mathematician Bob Schipke, a retired professor of combinatorics. On a holiday visit to Aachen cathedral, the burial place of Charlemagne, Schipke saw something that amazed him. In a tiny nativity scene illuminating the manuscript of a 13th century carol, O froehliche Weihnacht, he noticed that the Star of Bethlehem looked odd. On examining it in detail, he saw that the gilded image seemed to be a representation of the Mandelbrot set, one of the icons of the computer age.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:31 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink

    { Saturday, 18 December, 2004 }

    Wasabi Peanuts, et al.

    Just had an absolutely marvelous party, replete with strangers, a solstice ritual, and newly invented warm beverages. Tonight was my first attempt at fondue, with a Double Gloustershire and organic Bleu. I think it went over well; the stranger to friend ratio was about 1:4, fairly nice for a convocation of this size. The cats were well behaved and so was I, a statistical miracle. The groovy part was that "warm and cozy" was the theme, so I got away with staying in my pajamas the whole evening. The ratio to hot toddie to cold beverages consumed was about .5:2. The ratio of sexual innuendo to messianic parable was approximately 3:1.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:48 in Posting Under the Influence | | permalink

    Psycho-Spiritual Transformer

    The Hindu mystic Aurobindo prophesied the coming of the “supermental state,” which would have direct effects on our physical reality. He also suggested that a lot of the powers that we have now projected out into our technologies might be reintegrated by human consciousness when we had stabilized our new condition. Kurzweil sees the “New Jerusalem” as one of endlessly more subtle technological advances and modifications to the brain and the body. I suspect that one aspect of the shift is the supercession of all sorts of dualisms (for instance, technological versus natural), yet I still side a bit with Aurobindo. I think that we will gain more from exploring the depth-dimensions of the human psyche than from technological modifications, and in fact may end up dismantling the greater portion of the technosphere once we realize our true condition.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:04 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Top Cryptozoology Stories of 2004

    Famed cryptosleuth Loren Coleman reviews "the top stories of the year, which garnered the most media attention, and mention others that should have perhaps received more notice for other cryptids."

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:20 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink

    { Friday, 17 December, 2004 }

    'Tis the high holy season

    'Tis the high holy season for doing sound and lights at concerts. Tonight is my third year doing AV for this particular concert/performance, and it always kicks off the delerious march toward that day when all this odd merriment is finally over. Thank goddess for beer before soundchecks. These folks are wonderful, and truly it warms my soul, even if my attitude toward the anachronistic-minded marking of an apocryphal birth of a would-be savior-bot is lacking.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:13 in Misc. Babble | | permalink

    Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House

    Cultures do not spring forth fully formed. The process is arduous and slow, often arising from the ashes and remnants of various predecessor cultures.
    The original knights were like Hell’s Angels.
    Yet ... just how antecedent cultures are spawned and formed remains unclear. This is especially true of radical cultures, those that depart from the mainstream, and run counter to it.

    How these countercultures are born … how they develop …why they succeed … why they fail … why certain tenets survive … and why others whither and disappear: these are burning questions, civilization’s existence may very well depend upon the answers.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:41 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    do they know it's cat-mas time at all?

    The cats have somehow learned that this is the time of year that beings offer gifts and tributes to other beings for some odd reason. And this year, they want in. In fact, they have produced a list, and delivered it to me by way of their spokesthing Twinkleface, an imaginary ball of light from another dimension. I tried to explain to the cats that this custom is no longer quaint, but rather a multi-billion dollar commercially driven industry no longer rooted in spiritual origin. The unreal sphere of luminescence, while sympathetic, explained that their wishes were quite realistic and feasible.

    I asked the fantastical illuminated orb in what holiday context they intend to receive their presents. "Dude," said the illusory emissary, "they're cats. They have no lord or savior, no battle nor exodus to commemorate. They just want stuff. They have no faith other than a perfect path to bliss," whereupon it suddenly vanished, trailing off to another reality to play opposite the late Sir Laurence Olivier and a block of Camembert in an adaptation of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Elysium."

    Ursula's list was actually easy enough to conjure up (mostly):

  • Continued dominion and sovereignty over all Creation, and zealous loyalty from my subjects.
  • A crown Photoshopped upon my head.
  • A moratorium on any nickname that involves the suffix "-bucket."
  • I would like you to blast Avatar into outer space.

    One through three, done!

    Number four, blasting her co-cat into space, would prove a bit more problematic. You see, I love Avatar, as I suspect she does beneath her food-bowl rivalry and occasional bath-mat spats. I dismissed her wish, thinking she would just be pleased to rule over the Universe with my full support. Which she did; once I pasted the bejeweled crown upon her glorious head, she pretty much forgot about blasting Avatar into outer space. Well, he didn't.

    Avatar's list consisted of two requests:

  • I (Avatar the Cat) don't want to be called "Mr. Tits." That is a bad name.
  • I (Avatar the Cat) want to be a spaceship.

    That's right, my little fluffy white cat wants to be a spaceship, or at least, that's the humor angle he wants me to follow on this Friday Cat Blogging post. Let's just say for the sake of fun that Avatar does indeed, want to be a spaceship. How do we do this? My first thought was to utilize the ecstatic shamanic techniques of brujos and ayahuasceros, designing an elaborate ritual to shapeshift my little Persian cat into a mid-size interstellar vessel. However, it's late and I have to do a talk at a Kiwanis Club tomorrow for work, and such rituals run the risk of altering reality to such a point that participating in mass-hallucination and transubstantiation of matter might impair my job duties... slightly.

    The next go was to take him to a quantum physicist and to zap him into his new identity but alas, it was late and the only skilled professional of any type was my downstairs neighbor who repairs toilets at Chucky Cheese. Twinkleface, who lives entirely in a realm of make-believe, simply couldn't be bothered to perform this magic when it was really needed. I had only two remaining options in order to secure this one simple gift; to Photoshop him onto an existing spaceship and hope he'll forget, or to throw him into the air at a high velocity, thus satisfying Ursula and at least giving him a moment's acceleration toward the stars.

    I asked Avatar if he wouldn't mind going with the Photoshop option, and he looked back at me absentmindedly because he is rather absent of mind. That's it, I thought, I'll go with Photoshopping him and I'll hold him really close to the screen. Besides, these lists the cats have given to me by way of Twinkleface may just be a farce, a way for that artificial entity to push an agenda of its own, pretending that the cats wanted these things. That must be it; I've been played by antimatter. Avatar protested at being manhandled off the bathmat (imagine a blast-off) and taken over to the computer to approve his present. He squirmed and fussed. He didn't care about the damn spaceship; he wanted to be Avatar, a cat, free and able to give and receive love.

    And that, my friends, is the true spirit of Cat-mas (I think); letting our loved ones be what they want to be... maybe a spaceship, maybe a cat, it all depends on the whims of the unreal and your own damn gullibility.


    jaybird found this for you @ 11:37 in cat blogging | | permalink

    Being Naked

    Being naked is recognizing that the personality that you have arrived in this moment with, to a greater or lesser degree (depending on your inner work thus far) is not what you are, but who you are. The who that we are is based on reactions and expectations to our surroundings. The what we are is what is at the heart of the onion. The spiritual journey is the peeling away of the layers of fiction, lies, misunderstandings, lack of communication, inability to touch, or be touched by someone, deeply, limitations and separations (unconsciously created mind you). If we know that this rough stone contains a gem at it's center, or that our life has been a lie, then why fear exposing the lie to an audience of equally false existing dreamers?

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:18 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    { Thursday, 16 December, 2004 }

    'tis the season to make folly

    Just got back from a local adaptation of David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries." It was absolutely hysterical, and about as close as I can get to being full of mirth and gladness regarding this orgiastic celebration of consumerism and the miracle of alleged parthenogenesis.

    I really am trying, but this Xmas spirit I'm supposed to have caught is unable to gestate because I have a fairly strong immune system. Not that I'm not generous, in fact, I'm a pushover, but why be a pushover once a year when you can get sentimental and suckered all year long? Peace, love and good tidings year round would be a wonderful tribute to the birthday being that is now a bit far removed from all this hoo-hah.

    Anyway, um, be kind to elves and don't exploit 'em, okay?

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    The 'Ley' of the Land and Sea? Sharks respond to magnetic lines

    This ability has long been suspected by researchers who have observed the fish migrating huge distances in the ocean along straight lines... "This significant advance in demonstrating the existence of a 'compass' sense should now make it possible to investigate exactly how this sense works and how sensitive sharks are to the Earth's magnetic field..."

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:10 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    Ants use geometry, odour to find way (via joshua)

    Ants use angled signposts, using tiny scent markers, to find their way home or follow the path into the wilderness... Scout ants would set the trail from the nest using pheromone scents as indicators for those coming behind. Wherever the trail forked to let the ants explore potential sources of food, one of the angles between the forks was always around 60 degrees, the researchers found. This means an ant which has gone off the trail can find its way by detecting this narrow angle.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:38 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    New species of monkey found in India

    Named after Arunachal Pradesh, where it was found, the Arunachal macaque -- a relatively large, brown primate with a comparatively short tail... The last species of macaque discovered in the wild, the Indonesian Pagai, was described in 1903.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:25 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    Buckminster Fuller: Big Picture Thinking

    So, we are a little planet of a rather inferior star which is one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy and we know of billions* of galaxies. So you get an idea of our little planet, and you and I are utterly invisible on it. We take pictures of our planet coming in from the moon, when you can see through the cloud cover, you can see the blue of the waters and brown of the land, but you can’t make out a human being. You can’t even make out a mountain, let alone a human being...

    We are absolutely invisible on a really negligible little tiny planet of a rather negligible star, which is one member of a hundred billion of known million billion such stars. So you multiply the billion times a hundred billion and you’ll get an idea.

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

    { Wednesday, 15 December, 2004 }

    The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions... Don't cling to appearances, and you'll break through all barriers...


    jaybird found this for you @ 22:21 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    a rainbow connected

    Today the pentultimate hurdle was crossed for the publication of my second book by acquiring the rights to distribution channels. I'm proud to say that a preview, advance edition is on sale NOW through my publisher. Once I approve of my proof, everything should be a go for retail release in mid-January. I'm uttlerly thrilled, and far more confident about this work than I was the previous book.

    Things are really looking up and getting this all together has been quite exciting. Not that I expect wild success and acclaim, the joy is in the process of doing it. It would be nice if things took off, but I'm content to trudge along thankfully, writing for the love of it, with a few books under my belt as I go...

    I've got two more kettles on the fire: "The World was Born in Loafer's Glory," a short story collection that will hopefully go live sometime late next year, and "One Hundred Reasons Why," a series of interviews with genuine human beings about why they think they're here. I have no idea when that will be on paper. I'm grateful for every word.

    (Thanks to all of those whose support made this blog post possible)

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    How the World Represents Itself to the Mind

    Our concepts of fields have arisen out of the intimate relationship between mind and matter and the ability of matter to represent its actual structure and dynamics in symbolic form within the psyche. Indeed, the psyche itself possesses structures and effects that have direct analogies to physical fields. The relationship between these psychic and symbolic representations and the creation of physical theories can lead to a confusion of myth and folklore with objective science and can even lead to psychological disturbances.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:07 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Chronobiology: A Science in tune with the Rhythms of Life

    Rhythms we can see in nature range from the night-hunting habits of owls to the day-hunting efforts of hawks. Bees use the sun's position to find their way between food and hive. In doing so, they use a built-in sense of time to compare the sun's changing place in the sky with their own whereabouts. And so precisely do some flowers time their opening and closing that the 18th-century botanist Carl Linnaeus was convinced that a knowledgeable botanist without a watch could tell time by noting which flowers were open or closed.

    Inside the body are other rhythms. Brain waves oscillate with periods of milliseconds; the heart pulses rhythm-ically some 70 times each minute. Body temperature and blood pressure both rise and fall with a 24-hour rhythm. Hormone levels fluctuate monthly and seasonally. In the skin, cell division peaks by night and drops markedly by day... Chrono-biologists look for patterns or rhythms that repeat themselves cyclically.

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

    Algorithmic Mathematical Art

    With the inception of computers, there began a movement of mathematical computer art. In the beginning, they were merely visualization aids in the study of matehmatics. Gradually, the complexity and artistry of the images become a end itself.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:03 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 14 December, 2004 }

    The You Are Beautiful Project

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:36 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    New Comet Now Visible to Naked Eye

    A comet discovered earlier this year has now moved close enough to be visible without binoculars or telescopes by experienced observers under dark skies. It is expected to put on a modest show this month and into January.

    Comet Machholz will be at its closest to Earth Jan. 5-6, 2005, when it will be 32 million miles (51 million kilometers) away. People with dark rural skies and a good map should be able to find it on Moon-free nights now into January.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:12 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Blind man uses 'sixth sense' to detect emotion.

    A completely blind British man has been shown to possess an apparent "sixth sense" which lets him recognise emotions on people's faces, according to British scientists. The researchers say the 52-year-old was able to react to pictures of human faces showing emotions such as anger, happiness or fear. The man, identified only as 'patient X', has suffered two strokes which damaged the brain areas that process visual signals, leaving him completely blind.

    I think this is another step in verifying that consciousness exists outside the body, as studies at Rutgers have been edging toward suggesting. Further, based on observed neural activity, it appears that we are constantly processing information bits, even in our most relaxed state. That need not necessarily be reflected, internal stimuli.

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:08 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    The Wisdom of Super Sadhu (blogged revelations from an Indian sadhu, via MeFi)

    There is nothing so perfect in the world as to be quite above objection and criticism. The very sun which gives us light and warmth is not free from spots, yet notwithstanding these defects it does not desist from its regular duty. It behooves us in like manner to carry on to the best of our ability what has been entrusted to us, and strive constantly to make our lives fruitful.

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

    { Monday, 13 December, 2004 }

    Deoxy: God as Consciousness without an Object

    The culmination of the series is that Consciousness-without-an-object is SPACE. This is probably the most abstract and yet the most satifying way of looking at the universe which I have come across anywhere. If one pursues this type of thinking and feeling and gets into the introceptive spaces, the universe originates on a ground, a substrate of Consciousness-Without-an-Object: the basic fabric of the universe beyond space, beyond time, beyond topology, beyond matter, beyond energy, is Consciousness. Consciousness without any form, without any reification, without any realization.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:57 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    How Quantum Entanglement Works

    To date, researchers have only observed the effects of quantum entanglement over a distance of several miles ... since we don't have the technology to observe the effect first-hand at distances spanning much more than that of the Earth and Moon.

    However, a cosmological experiment was done using quasar 0957+561A,B... that showed how a photon can simultaneously travel two paths across great distances. A galaxy splits the space between Earth and the quasar, acting as a gravitational lens, thus creating two light rays separated by 50,000 light years. When we observe the arrival of a photon we can, by using half-silvered mirrors, determine which ray the photon travelled or whether it travelled both rays. What makes this experiment interesting is that when we put in the silvered mirror (or not), the photon has already passed the galaxy! In effect, we wind up changing history.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:55 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    cult of the holy winkie

    Aw yeah. Gimme that ol' time phallus worship.

    The ancient concept of the sacred phallus in spirituality, art, and culture (that is, before moralistic taboos attempted to mute phallic representations with fig leaves for the geniality of civilization). Obviously NSFW.

    Since earliest human prehistory, the image of the phallus has been considered a symbol of the means by which the Supreme Being procreates the Universe. Some consider the worship of the phallus to be at the origin of every religion, based upon belief that the phallus is the image of the creator in mankind. Contempt, degradation, or debasement of this sacred symbol is thought to provoke the anger of the gods, for the one who scorns the very symbol of life is abandoning the human race to extinction.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:31 in Carnality, Naughtiness & Fun | | permalink

    An annual tradition we could all do without: Top Censored Stories of 2004

    An excerpt from #15:

    "Homeland security" has become the new mantra since September 11, 2001, and has been the justification for increasing U.S. military expansion around the world. Part of this campaign has been the varied and persistent appeals by the Pentagon to Congress for exemptions from a range of environmental regulations and wildlife treaties. The world's largest polluter, the U.S. military, generates 750,000 tons of toxic waste material annually, more than the five largest chemical companies in the U.S. combined. This pollution occurs globally as the U.S. maintains bases in dozens countries. In the U.S. there are 27,000 toxic hot spots on 8,500 military properties inside Washington's Fairchild Air Force Base is the number one producer of hazardous waste, generating over 13 million pounds of waste in 1997. Not only is the military emitting toxic material directly into the air and water, it's poisoning the land of nearby communities resulting in increased rates of cancer, kidney disease, increasing birth defects, low birth weight, and miscarriage.

    The military currently manages 25 million acres of land providing habitat for some 300 threatened or endangered species. Groups such as Defenders of Wildlife have sued the military for damage done to endangered animal populations by bomb tests. The testing of Low-Frequency Sonar technology is accused of having played a role in the stranding death of whales around the world. Rather than working to remedy these problems, the pentagon claims that the burden of regulations is undercutting troop readiness.

    Which is to say, "environmentalism is peace building, y'all."

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:43 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink

    { Sunday, 12 December, 2004 }


    Do you Wonder for The gleam of Starlight you while The time away, for all the World's frosting and hardening? The restive flocks make their transit Over this buckled and storied roof, and While I huddle in the electric glow of heater I am Wanting for more of this mammal disguise For flight, for easy breath, for thoughtless migration For standardlessness, lawlessness, freedom of the simple. What a sweet envy, this fantasy, to be released from the cares Of body and home, and out into the world, united again With the raw elements that animate life from the Base substance of the myths encoded in blood. It's not even winter yet but the cold makes An inward gazing mirror, which will melt With the ice on the other side of time; Use it now for study while the chill is Prohibitive, your mountain paths Closed for the year will speak Again later, for now, you Must reckon with the Puzzle of the body, Wind within to Where form Reflects Truth.

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:49 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    The Religion of the Samurai, A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan, circa 1913. (via plep)

    According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less real than evil, and evil is no more unreal than good. Therefore man must be double-natured-that is, partly good and partly bad. This is the reason why the history of man is full of fiendish crimes, and, at the same time, it abounds with godly deeds. This is the reason why mankind comprises, on the one hand, a Socrates, a Confucius, a Jesus, and, on the other, a Nero and a Kieh. This is the reason why we find to-day a honest fellow in him whom we find a betrayer to-morrow. This view of man's nature might explain our present moral state, yet it calls forth many questions bard to answer. If this assertion be true, is it not a useless task to educate man with the purpose of making him better and nobler? How could one extirpate man's bad nature implanted within him at his origin?

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:38 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    Dr. Susan Blackmore: A window on the mind

    Take the common experience of losing our separate self, or becoming one with the universe. This may seem, to some, like mystical nonsense, but in fact it fits far better with a scientific understanding of the world than our normal dualist view. Most of us feel, most of the time, that we are some kind of separate self who inhabits our body like a driver in a car or a pilot in a plane. We speak about “my body” and even “my brain” as though “I” were something separate from them both. Throughout history many people have believed in a soul or spirit that can leave the body and even survive after death. Yet science has long known that this cannot be so. There is no observer inside the brain who has our experiences, and no space in the brain from where an inner self can control it. There is just a brain that is made of exactly the same kind of stuff as the world around it. In other words, we really are one with the universe.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:44 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    congrats, lauren and frank


    jaybird found this for you @ 02:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Saturday, 11 December, 2004 }

    I've got a bucket full of flowers, a wrinkled suit, a few few hours to pass arranging decorations for my friends' Frank and Lauren's wedding. I'll moblog the arrangements, hopefully.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:18 in Misc. Babble | | permalink

    Nobel Winner Urges Tree Plantings

    Kenya's Wangari Maathai urged a fight against deforestation on Wednesday on her arrival in Oslo to collect the Nobel Peace Prize amid controversy about whether the award has lost its way by embracing environmentalism. The movement she leads has planted about 30 million trees across Africa to combat deforestation and fights for women's rights, justice and democracy in Kenya.

    I don't get the 'controversy.' A sane environment breeds peace; a nation on te brink environmentally cannot sustain it's dependants nor can the resources be distributed equally, which leads to unrest, et cetera. Mrs. Maathai could not be a more deserving deserving recipient of the Nobel.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:38 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    { Friday, 10 December, 2004 }

    Oil artist Duane Keiser brings us a Painting a Day.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:07 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    intermission blogging

    It's intermission and I'm doing sound a lights for a concert; one of these folks is a Grammy nominee this year and is so mellow and humble. This is an annual event and I've worked with these fine folks for three years and each time it gets easier, and I learn a little bit more about music. Ed Gearhart and Bill Mize, if you should need to know.

    Tomorrow, I'm doing flowers for the wedding of my friends Lauren and Frank. It will be a busy day with little posting; I may moblog the arrangements.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:07 in Misc. Babble | | permalink

    One of the world's leading atheists now believes in God, more or less

    A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God -- more or less -- based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday. At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature... Flew said he's best labeled a deist like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people's lives.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:23 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    Repeat after me: Lion. Lion. Eat. Eat.

    Home English Home

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

    it's reigning cats

    Friday Cat Blogging:
    fricat121004u.jpg fricat121004a.jpg

    Ursula, on her kitchen throne, surveying creation, and Avatar, on his regal stump, doing his best Joe Peschi impersonation. Really. On last week's Carnival of the Cats, Jack from the People's Republic of Seabrook noted a lack of evidence of feet on these felines. Alas, this week, the mystery shall continue.

    Join in the fun at Carnival of the Cats.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:03 in cat blogging | | permalink

    I think this would cause serious problems over at MeFi: Telecom tests online aromatherapy service (via wp)

    People play games, go shopping and meet dates on the Internet. So why not use the Web to download the perfect mood-enhancing fragrance?
    A new service being tested by Tokyo-based NTT Communications Corp. sends out smells according to data received over the Internet. Users attach a device to their laptops that resembles a crystal ball with a nozzle. The device receives aroma data from the central server and exudes fumes from the nozzle in accordance with that reading.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:08 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink

    { Thursday, 09 December, 2004 }

    Robin has photo-blogged the making of my birthday dinner, and too bad we can't blog taste and smell yet; this was the best Greek Lemon Soup evAr!

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:30 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink

    This is beautiful: Wake

    No road, no trace of a path, nothing more than the briefest of wakes: only the anonymous authors of the Daodejing thought this sufficient to base a coherent philosophy upon. But it's not as if no one else ever took notice of such things. There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four things which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid (Proverbs 30:18-19). I am not sure in what manner Agur ben Yakeh committed his words to writing - quill and papyrus? But of course this may have been a popular saying for generations before this otherwise unknown sheik captured and preserved it - just the shell, no soft vowels - on whatever scroll.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:50 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    The last punch I threw was in 5th grade, I swear: vLeft-handers flourish in violent society

    Left-handed people thrive best in the most murderous societies, according to a study of tribes across the world. The discovery may help to answer the riddle of why a minority of left-handers persist in human populations. Being a southpaw is an advantage in a host of confrontational situations. Lefties are far more common at the top of sports such as boxing and fencing than in normal society. The benefit comes from the element of surprise: most opponents will be less used to facing a left-handed adversary.

    But left-handedness comes at a cost. Developmental experts think that stress during development or birth may divert the nervous system from its default, right-handed path. And developmental stress is also linked to reduced lifespan, low birthweight and increased incidence of immune and nervous disorders, meaning that natural selection might be expected to weed out lefties altogether.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:27 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    beeb overdrive

    Four great articles from the BBC today:

  • Gill theory of human glands
  • Hubble Spots 'Youngest Galaxy'
  • Poachers Leave Bonobo at Risk
  • Brainwave Cap Controls Computer

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:21 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Hobbits? We've got a cave full

    Chief Epiradus Dhoi Lewa has a strange tale to tell. Sitting in his bamboo and wooden home at the foot of an active volcano on the remote Indonesian island of Flores, he recalls how people from his village were able to capture a tiny woman with long, pendulous breasts three weeks ago.... The villagers of Boawae believe the strange woman came down from a cave on the steaming mountain where short, hairy people they call Ebu Gogo lived long ago. "Maybe some Ebu Gogo are still there," the 70-year-old chief told the Herald through an interpreter in Boawae last week. The locals' descriptions of Ebu Gogo as about a metre tall, with pot bellies and long arms match the features of a new species of human "hobbits" whose bones were recently unearthed by Australian and Indonesian researchers in a different part of Flores in a cave known as Liang Bua.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:15 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 08 December, 2004 }

    Zen koan:

    Who is the magician who makes the grass green?

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:07 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink


  • 1983: Lots of beach time this year. I started drinking wine coolers (under adult supervision) on a casual basis as I got the sense that this was a 'party year.' On the other side of the family, my mother was dating a mystic who taught me all about ESP, out of body travel, and the nature of infinity. Weird kid on the loose.
  • 1984: Vive le film noir! Mom took this fledgling film snob to see '1984' with John Hurt and thus began an obsession with classy, dark metaphorical films. It wouldn't be long before Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman began to meddle with my subconscious. In training for eccentrism, I ran around the townhouse development in my underwear with a dangerously flaming torch one morning to celebrate the Olympics. I cried when Mondale lost.
  • 1985: Moved from New Castle to Newark, a big cultural shift. I began to seriously contemplate writing as a career, and was inspired by a slew of free rentals from the high-brow art video store. The neighborhood was tougher; instead of difficulties joining tree-fort building gangs due to using 'big words,' in this place the kids threw rocks. I also discovered, ironically enough, that 'Jay" rhyming with 'gay' was not really a good thing. I did meet the greatest human in my life in the form of fifth grader Joshua, who shared a seat with me on the rowdy bus 33.
  • 1986: The oppression thing wasn't working out, so I abandoned all that free thinkin' jazz for a while and started to love the Reagan. I prayed that God would destroy the 'dirty secret' inside me, and joined the very Young Republicans. I got into fights at school with the only outspoken liberal, an Albanian immigrant. I stopped taking the yellow bus to school and rode public transit. One day, while running for the bus, I tripped and broke my pinkie. I had to be gassed before I'd let them set it.
  • 1987: My reputation as a junior conservative gadfly was so well established that a glitzy run for student council failed miserably. Nonetheless, I won the coveted title of "Junior State Journalist of the Year." I was assigned a therapist that I debated into the ground regarding the 'process,' and he basically ran away from me. I enjoyed a high level of internal conflict and experimentations with moral darkness, including smoking, moving up from wine coolers to stale lite beer, sleepover with underlying motivations, and the CB radio. I took the handle "Scarfoot" (another long tirade) and chilled on channel 23 with the rest of the good old boys.
  • 1988: I got my first CD that year, and it was, you guessed it, "Born in the USA," to go along with my brazen pseudo-patriotism. I was tearing through Stephen King with a passion (despite the 'fact' that I was somehow diagnosed as learning disabled in reading) and attracted much concern by reading an 800 page tome on the construction of the atomic bomb. My neighbor Mike and I invented games to play with walnuts and parts of couches, and I earned my ham radio license. That's KA3PVI to you.
  • 1989: Unleashed! Driver's Ed with Mr. Yannis paired with a 1977 Chevy Chevette began to set the tortured soul free, and into a confrontation with my holly jolly hypocracies! I attended an "Operation Rescue" rally wherein I suddenly realized that all of the right-wing jargon I spewed wasn't my inner reality. Within a day, the Reagan pictures came down, within a week, The American Flag, and within a month, the punkers adopted me and I had a shaved head, and learned to love the Dead Kennedy. This somehow brought me girls; which I was supposed to "like" and "do things" with. This presented my hormones with more fun conflicts, since I was "doing things" with the freshman track star.
  • 1990: My friend Spike smuggled a needle-thin joint out of military academy in the lining of his uniform, and we all gathered at a storm drain to smoke it. He, my friend Eric "Toast" and I formed an odd sort of power trio. I began to realize that these rules in society were absolutely bendable, if not truly breakable. I moshed at punk shows and realized that if you drink too much, you throw up. Oh, those were the days. The Chevy died and I acquired a '71 Nova, which was a fury to drive and monstrously intimidating. I lost my "female" virginity and townhouse complex's community room was destroyed after my 18th birthday party.
  • 1991: Was it fate, or destiny, that lead a blue haired stranger to my lunch table? He needed money for food, and I sent him up to the line with a twenty. He returned with lunch and life-changing lessons that re-wired my consciousness and revealed true miracles. That wiry frame belonged to the now-disappeared trickster Jason McCollum, a true and genuine human being. It wasn't long before this first mentor and his girlfriend Michelle were living with my mother and I, and the woods replaced classrooms as the place of true learning and adventure. LSD was one of the first lessons, and I began to struggle academically because I stopped caring, despite the responsibility of being editor of the school paper. Jason's lesson-plan, often taught though daredevil antics and high tomfoolery, was actually equipping my much confused soul with the first inklings of mutable truth. I began to hang with a different crowd; artists and genius slackers. They advised me to run for mayor in the "Iron Ham Party," which Jason helped me organize by having a publicized bowling ball toss event in front of the university library, our own Grail Temple.
  • 1992: For having lead a walkout at school protesting the first Iraq war, my graduation hung in the balance (I was about 1 1/2 years behind everyone else due to a gradeless private school I attended until 6th grade). I had started an underground newspaper, "The Pung Zoo," to which a shy little rebel with whom I'd lost touch submitted a poem called 'Purple Broccoli." That submission changed my life forever...

    More later...

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:57 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Gorillas hold 'wake' for group's leader

    After Babs the gorilla died at age 30, keepers at Brookfield Zoo decided to allow surviving gorillas to mourn the most influential female in their social family... Babs' 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs' mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs' hand and stroked her mother's stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs' arm.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:39 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    Two-thirds of school-age children have an imaginary companion by age 7

    Having an imaginary companion appears to be an ongoing and changing process because a child doesn't necessarily play with the same imaginary companion throughout childhood. Carlson said some children reported having multiple and serial imaginary companions. The number of imaginary companions described by children ranged from one to 13 different entities...

    The researchers also looked at childhood impersonation -- pretending to be an imaginary character -- and found it to be almost universal. Virtually all preschoolers pretended to be an animal or another person and 95 percent of the school-age children engaged in impersonation. The researchers did not look at impersonation in the same detail as they did imaginary companions, and were surprised that so many school-age children continued to engage in the activity. One tantalizing finding was that school-age children who did little or no impersonation scored low on emotional understanding of other people...

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:03 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    Prairie Dogs Have Own Language

    Prairie dogs, those little pups popping in and out of holes on vacant lots and rural rangeland, are talking up a storm. They have different "words" for tall human in yellow shirt, short human in green shirt, coyote, deer, red-tailed hawk and many other creatures. They can even coin new terms for things they've never seen before, independently coming up with the same calls or words...

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:46 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink

    { Tuesday, 07 December, 2004 }

    Just got back from a long soak at out local mineral hot springs; the celebration of beingness continues with dinner at Robin and Joshua's and an evening of good friends gathering. Officially 32 at 7:23pm EST, and yes, I'm sucking it up!

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:51 in Misc. Babble | | permalink

    The Human Clock, A Photo for Every Minute of the Day.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:32 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    looking back on 32 Years... part 1

  • 1972: I spent most of the year gestating, so I missed out on a lot, especially all of the Nixonian dramas. I decided it was time to get going when the last Apollo mission lifted off in the morning of December 7th, 1972, and was born in the primetime.
  • 1973: I reckon the best memory of 1973 would be getting the hang of the whole food thing. I started off a vegetarian, interestingly enough. I recall my red high chair, my great-grandmother Nana Bailey, and a few random simulacra of wild beasts.
  • 1974: Oh, it was a good year. My room had yellow walls, and I suppose I was merely a tool for Freud when I decided it was a good idea to smear shit all over them. I'm walking, squawking, and receiving a majority of my neuro--imprinting at this time, in preparation for a lifetime of therapy.
  • 1975: The first haircut I remember from Vinnie the barber, who was later snuffed out in a mafia hit. Big tantrum. I think this was the year of the first dental appointment; they used straps back in those days, doncha know?
  • 1976: Entry into politics! I was on my father's shoulders when we was in the voting booth, with his intention to support that little hottie Gerald Ford. I thought not, and reached out to snap the lever for Jimmy Carter. That's the last time I went to vote with him. Other memorable events: the ghost that lived in my little yellow sailor boy figurine who brought me crackers, climbing a tree with my mother, and acquiring my first dog and cat, Sparky and Tex respectively. I remember watching a truck crashing into the overhang of my daycare.
  • 1977: Star Wars! I couldn't stay in my seat for wanting to meet the robots. Same goes with the Phillies games, trying to get up and run to the strange green mascot. First gay early warning: Village People! For my parent's final anniversary, we three went to the disco. I requested "In the Navy." The strange men in leather vests found it amusing that the woman with the blond perm was spinning her son all over the dance floor while the father went to the bar for drinks. In first grade, Mrs. Johnson spanked the hell out of me with a ruler for singing in class. I was segregated off to the side, which I enjoyed very much. I made pals with the guidance counselor and sang an impromptu song about going to Heaven during First Grade Talent Night.
  • 1978: Le divorce. I woke up in a new apartment. One night the humidifier was on full blast for hours and it started to rain, I mean pour, in my room. Of course, certain plumbing issues may have contributed. The kids in my new neighborhood taught me all kinds of wonderful things: what a water moccasin is, what retarded people are, and what big boys do behind the dumpsters. I was in a new school learning cursive, arguing over my favorite carpet square, and trying desperately to prove that I wasn't one of those retarded people.
  • 1979: Who cares about the Muppet Movie when there's Kramer vs. Kramer? I've got this three-day on, three-day off visitation plan. Severe tantruming, and Dr. Who is my only hope. In my new apartment complex, I discover paradise in a storm sewer, replete with a mystery marsh and guaranteed monsters just below the murky water's surface. I meet my childhood friend, Rocky, and together we become the Space Pirates from Addis Abbaba.
  • 1980: I am encouraged to boycott the Olympics, but I don't really get it. I am getting the hang of school and therapy. My mother has begun to date an economics professor, and my memories of Norman are scant, with the exception of him flushing my hermit crabs down the toilet. In October, a nearby chemical plant exploded while I was watching Joker's Wild (Joker! Joker! Joker! Boom!). The mushroom cloud fanned out to black out the sky. I thought it was cool as hell, but most others were a bit worried about the bomb.
  • 1981: I was in a little Deli, whose smell I fondly recall, when we were told that Reagan had been shot. They were making me a free lunch for some odd reason. We moved in with Norman for a short time; I discovered the joys of staying up all night with my would-be step brothers Brian and Peter, learning the first "dirty" words and singing the praises of Shake-n-Bake.
  • 1982: Oooh oooh, my first R movie, Conan the Barbarian! What's all the fuss about breasts anyway? What's with the sudden hair growth? Why am I so suddenly interested in "dirty" things? At about this time I make my stage debut as the Tinman in an Xmas version of Oz. Reviews were mixed; perhaps I overdid the crying thing? Also, why must I like ET? What I really want to see is Blade Runner. I'm living with my mom in yet another new neighborhood, this time with lots of woods and a ragtag gang of kids who call me "The Professor." It's hard to gain admission to the gang due to the regulations against "big words."

    More later...

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    32nd annual birthday retrospective extravaganza


    Today is that weird day, that 1/365th of the year where I imagine X-many years ago emerging into the world by crawling though loving guts, ready to be imprinted by all kinds of American-made mania and wonder. Pretty colors, pretty lights, pretty sounds, than school happens and drop kicks imagination right in the tukhas.

    That's happened to all of us on some level, so I'm not complaining, just extraordinarily happy to be alive and utterly pleased to have two days off to "reel in the years, stow away the time." Today's posts will inevitably deal with the past 32 years, shameless introspection, and celebratory revels. If this kind of thing sickens you, don't fret, it will all get packed away tomorrow for the sake of humility and decency.

    I had a dream last night that we humans will never understand pure silence because the mind does a freak when there's no input, and will find something to put there anyway. I think that's a metaphor that makes sense all-around: if there ain't nothin' goin' on, make it. That is my intention for this lightly scheduled day: a trip out to buy some shoes, an hour and a half at the natural mineral baths, and the time required to fill in the gaps with self-appraisal and folly. And I'll do my best to lay down some silence as well.

    And yes, that's me in the picture, about 10 years old and quite obvious. I mean, come on, that's looking pretty gay. It's perfectly alright to say it. Flaming even. Actually at about that point, I'd identified certain feelings that my young brain was unable to account for, but soon became apparent as the dragon of puberty breathed fire into previously innocent places. Oh innocence, how deeply you are missed.

    I suppose that everyday may as well be a birthday, or a re-birthday (no evangelical implications, please), as each morning our consciousness settles into a new order, slight as it may be, the difference as fine as gossamer. Each stellar alignment, each gust of wind, each ink blot of daily events from the inkwell of randomness does something to us deeper than understanding. As with the holidays, no one day should be the only time to reflect...

    But I'm gonna live this one up anyway.

    (Birthday greetin's are also in order for Noam Chomsky, and for two great musicians, Tom Waits and Harry Chapin. Give a tip of your hat in their direction)

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    { Monday, 06 December, 2004 }

    I'm entitled to be silly: Your legs look extra strong on this barf-textured couch print.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:21 in Silly People, Satire & Strange Behaviors | | permalink

    The occult: Jupiter to Hide Behind the Moon
    A rare and spectacular event will occur in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Dec. 7 when the brilliant planet Jupiter and three of its largest satellites pass behind Earth's Moon.

    Astronomers refer to this phenomenon as an "occultation," taken from the Latin occultare, which means to conceal. This eye-catching sight will be visible in complete darkness across all of eastern and much of central North America.

    Nice. The is first significant interstellar hullaballoo to occur on some random blogger's (ahem... subtle, yes?) birthday. Nicer yet as Jupiter is the ruling planet for we Sagittarians. Not that that means anything per se, but we'll take whatever we get.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:23 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Spectacular images of Venus from the Soviet probe Venera 1; digitally remastered and colorized via an intricate algorithm. It's amazing to think that only one lonely probe has made it to the surface.

    Meanwhile, I'm all atwitter about the Huygens probe's January descent to the surface of Titan.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:15 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Hey, do you swing? Planet Swapping

    Computer simulations show a close encounter with a passing star about 4 billion years ago may have given our solar system its abrupt edge and put small, alien worlds into distant orbits around our sun. [The researchers] simulated what would have happened if our sun and another star in our Milky Way galaxy had passed a relatively close 14 billion to 19 billion miles from each other a few hundred million years after our solar system formed. At that time, our solar system was a swirling "planetary disk" of gas, dust and rocks, with planets newly formed from the smaller materials.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:03 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    { Sunday, 05 December, 2004 }

    the new do

    I love a good haircut. I love the anxiety as the hair sloughs off the head... what's especially nerve wracking is doing the whole thing yourself. I've cut my own hair since I was 16. Half my life! Anyway, tonight's cut was a bit of an experiment. It looks alright, even though the first thing that popped into my newly cut head was "Thompson Twins."

    It will mellow.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:23 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Dharma Talk: Subject Object Projections

    I remember that the teaching which had made the most impression on me in years gone by was that experience was a continuity, rather like a rubber band, and that due to delusion, we put a twist in the rubber band, and that therefore one side of the twist is viewed as subject, and the other viewed as object. It made perfect sense of what this delusory way of seeing was, but it wasn't a seen reality.

    It's interesting reflecting on this metaphor now, a number of years later. When I look at experience, what do I see? I see all manner of arisings, seemingly there ... appearances of different flavours - thoughts, sights, feelings, concepts etc etc. And looking at those appearances, I see nothing substantial there at all. Whichever the appearance, whether of a thought, a feeling, a moment of peacefulness or mindfulness, whatever it is, it evaporates in awareness.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:46 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink

    A lovely translation of one of the workd's finest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke. (via wood's lot)

    Yes, the springtimes needed you.
    Stars now and then craved your attention.
    A wave rose in the remembered past;
    or as you came by the open window
    a violin was singing its soul out.
    All this was a given task.
    But were you capacious
    enough to receive it?
    Weren’t you always
    distracted with expectation, imagining
    these hints the heralds of a human love?

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:44 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink

    { Saturday, 04 December, 2004 }


    I'll laugh 'til out of breath,
    Then what will fill the lungs after
    Be pure, godly, sacred airs,
    Only to lead to more guffaws,
    Long into the valleys of night.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:29 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    One man, lots of helium, and tons of chutzpah: Ballooning into the Sky

    There's a sense of anticipation as the balloons are attached to you, and you grow lighter and lighter. The balloons are so big, it's like being a child again, and small. You're paying attention to the details, making sure everything is being rigged correctly. But even after you've done it many times before, there's still something a bit unreal to it. You wonder: am I really doing this?

    (related: Cloudhopping)

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:43 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink

    Afterlife: The four seasons of Steatham Cemetery. Stunning blend of flash and traditional photography.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:49 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink

    You're a peace bomb...

    Thai military drops "peace bombs"

    Hundreds of Thai school children and air force recruits have loaded an estimated 100 million origami birds onto military transport planes in preparation for a "peace bombing" of the violent Muslim south of the country.

    The little pieces of folded paper, to be dropped from the air on Sunday to mark the birthday of Thailand's revered king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, are meant to sow peace, harmony and goodwill in the three southernmost provinces, where an 11-month insurgency has claimed nearly 500 lives.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:36 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink

    { Friday, 03 December, 2004 }

    scuttling easy

    A noise; It must be Another wanderer, Squirrels on the roof- Scampering and scurrying In the pitch of near-midnight While inside, insulated from the frost, A man bends to ponder maps, plotting cities like stars, With the hum of a heater and the first real sense that change must happen. The squirrel does not deliberate, it simply goes from the eaves to the arch, And the cat in the man's lap jumps down for a stretch, And the man wonders why he can't take A clue from the free will of those not Removed from nature, but Living as nature, Unplanned, Timeless, Scuttling Easy.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:03 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    inaugural laziness

    fricat120304a.jpg fricat120304u.jpg

    Avatar and Ursula;

    both having productive days, lunging foreward with the first post for this wacky, yet calm and uniting meme... be sure to catch all the little beasites at Carnival of the Cats.

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:11 in cat blogging | | permalink

    David Sedaris: Old Faithful

    One time in France we were lucky enough to catch an identical stomach virus. It was a twenty-four-hour bug, the kind that completely empties you out and takes away your will to live. You’d get a glass of water, but that would involve standing, and so instead you just sort of stare toward the kitchen, hoping that maybe one of the pipes will burst, and the water will come to you. We had the exact same symptoms, yet he insisted that his virus was much more powerful than mine. I suspected the same thing, so there we were, competing over who was the sickest.

    “You can at least move your hands,” he said.

    “No,” I told him, “it was the wind that moved them. I have no muscle control whatsoever.”


    “Well, that’s a nice thing to say to someone who’ll probably die during the night. Thanks a lot, pal.”

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:14 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink

    What it's all about, according to scores of respondants to the "Real Meaning of Life Project."

    Love those who mean the most. Every life you touch will touch you back. Treasure every sunrise, every raindrop that hits your nose, every slobber of your dog, the feeling of sand between your toes. Be moved by the tears of a child, and try to fix the cause. Be grease, not glue. Breathe deep, exhale slowly and never miss a chance to help another fellow while on
    your journey here.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:08 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink

    Nature's Canvas

    In a splendid portrait created by light and gravity, Saturn's lonely moon Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn's night side. (link goes to article with full-size hi-res)

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:02 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    { Thursday, 02 December, 2004 }

    HyperSonic Sound: the new (but long wished for) tool for directing sound in a 'beam' at a very small area or a single individual- creating the inevitable military and marketing buzz (two demos: .wmv trade film, simple flash).

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:49 in | | permalink

    Choices in The Quantum Universe

    Asking questions about the quantum universe is a fool's game: one cannot get a single answer, only a probability. A committee of particle physicists bounced this concept around a table to pose the top nine questions, and a probable path to answering them.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:10 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink

    Nature's Mind: the Quantum Hologram

    The missing concepts that prevented the earliest investigators of consciousness from succeeding in their quest were 1) a generalized theory of information, and 2) quantum science itself, with the associated phenomena of nonlocality, the zero point energy field and the quantum hologram. These associated phenomena are still not well understood but are sufficiently validated today by both theory and experiment to provide a basis for postulating a necessary condition for the existence of consciousness phenomena, as experienced in the observable four dimensional space/time universe. A third concept, chaos theory, is also necessary to understand the nonlinear evolutionary processes that caused consciousness to evolve toward the anthropic consciousness experienced by humans. In particular, chaos theory maps far from equilibrium systems and demonstrates the irreversibility of nonlinear processes and thus the irreversibility of time in the macro-scale universe.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:08 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    This is Not the Title

    This is Not the Title of This Essay: A Playful Look at Attempts to Solve the Problems of Paradox and Self-Reference

    This essay is full of mistakes. Idea after idea and sentence after sentence is simply wrong. This sentence, for example, is false. Worse yet, this not even complete sentence! A long time ago (so the legend goes) a Cretan prophet by the name of Epimenides declared that "All Cretans are liars." This paradoxical statement has come to be known as the Epimenides paradox or the Liar paradox This Adam (or atom) of paradoxes has been reformulated into countless variants, yielding such gems as "I am lying," and "this sentence is false." It has been split, ("The following sentence is true. The preceding sentence is false.") boxed, translated and quoted in the Bible. In short, one would assume that the Liar Paradox had been beaten to death. In 1931, a German mathematician named Kurt Gödel breathed new life into the Liar paradox in a paper poetically entitled "On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I": Gödel's work demonstrated that paradox forms an implicit part of every axiomatic system of logical reasoning. In this essay, I will be examining the problems which self reference and paradox pose to systems of reasoning especially formalized mathematical and logical reasoning. These two areas, in their quest for objective truth become very interesting in the light of Gödel's revelations. In the end, it may turn out that their quests for a formalized objective truth may have been in vain. In addition, I will sometimes be referring to myself (with good reason).

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:05 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink

    { Wednesday, 01 December, 2004 }

    Get tested. Get tested. Get tested.

    (via boingboing)

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:40 in Health, Medicine & Bio-Happiness | | permalink

    The latest on cure research: AIDS Treatment News ...the world's first treatment newsletter for people with HIV, reports on mainstream and alternative treatment, access to care, Web resources, public policy, and political action.

    Meanwhile, a ban has been lifted on two generic antiretroviral treatments.

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:23 in Health, Medicine & Bio-Happiness | | permalink


    Christmas.JPG Christmas2.JPG

    I just got back into the office from errands on the road... I suppose I've earned a little reputation around the office of being rather dogmatically secular about the upcoming Winter Holiday. I've instructed office mates that as a human services agency, we must be sure not only to celebrate the Christian festival, but all over concurrent holidays: Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus, etc..

    Well, they got me. Christmas lights, garland, ribbons everywhere, spontaneous carrolling, my office radio set to loud Christmas music, and the following warning taped to my monitor:

    "You have been visited by the ghost of Christmas past... (if I were you I'd be wondering what the ghosts of Christmas Furute and Present have in store for you...)

    Well, fa la la la. Revenge Claus is coming to town.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:14 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink

    Stories of People Living with AIDS

    I am a Zambian lady aged 23 years old and am HIV Positive. I live in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia and currently working as a volunteer in an organization which deals with the control of HIV/AIDS by way of giving care, support and Antiretroviral therapy to people infected with HIV. Having lost both parents at an early age, as well as a sister and two elder brothers due to HIV/AIDS. I have a great love for people and am more than ready to help HIV Positive persons like myself who are struggling to accept this great change in their lives and promote safe sex among young people so that the spread of HIV is put to an end.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:17 in Health, Medicine & Bio-Happiness | | permalink

    Stories of Real People Raising Awareness about HIV/AIDS

    My Mum works with children who live with HIV and she told me about it. She told me that some people can be horrible to people who have HIV and I get upset about that. I don't think you should be horrible to people who have HIV, they're just like everyone else.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:05 in Health, Medicine & Bio-Happiness | | permalink

    Web bird on the moon




    All material contained within this website, excluding external links and items listed otherwise,
     are registered with Creative Commons. All photographic works, logos, and creative writing

    are Copyright 2005 by theodore "jay" joslin and joyous jostling studios. Thank you, Wanderer, for All. 


  • i am jay joslin: a spirit-fed mountain hopping lover of everything, an ordained lefty-veggie-homo, and bon-vivant go-go dancing with all the messenger mockingbirds of morning. 



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    "Rainbow Over Crossroads; Pleasantly Stranded in the Infinite" is available worldwide now. More information plus ordering options here.

    Digging the Immaterial;
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    pondering the Universe
    and what it means to be
    alive and well within It.


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    Letter Excerpt:


    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.