Indian gentleman makes ass of Professor P.Z. Meyers

some of this story suffers from being written by a person (or people) whose native language is not english, but still, there’s enough scientific and journalistic integrity to make me severely wonder what ol’ P.Z. would make of it:

ETA: apparently he would do it differently… oh well, i guess i couldn’t have expected a lot more.

Miracle man survives without food for 70 years

Ahmedabad, Apr 26: Survival of a Hindu ascetic, claimed to be not taking food or water and not passing stool or urine for over 70 years, has baffled the medical fraternity and now defence experts are studying about the miracle man to emulate the practice for soldiers1.

Experts of Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), in collaboration with the doctors of the city-based Sterling Hospital, have launched an observational study of the 81-year-old Prahladbhai Jani alias ‘Mataji’2, who is living in a cave in the temple town of Ambaji in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.

The round the clock study from April 22 to May 7 will cover all aspects of physiology and biochemistry. The saint is kept in isolation at a special ward in the hospital and even mediapersons were kept out of bounds.

Talking to mediapersons at the hospital, Dr Sudhir Shah, a neurologist, and Dr Ila Wazgan of DIPAS said the main aim of the project is to study how a human being can survive without consuming food or water and not passing stool or urine for so long.

Dr Shah, who had conducted a similar study on the saint in 2003, said ‘There are incidents of prolonged fastings in our country. But they have been taking some water. In the case of Jani, he is not taking any food or water. What is medically more important and baffling is the fact that he is not passing stool or urine’.

The saint has informed the doctors that he has rare ‘Kundalini’ power (serpentine energy), a Yogic feat.3

Explaining the rationale behind the study, Dr Wazgan said ”If we can find out the reason or unveil the mystery behind Mr Jani’s survival without food and water, the study may help in working out strategies in managing calamaty-struck people, soldiers deployed at extremely hostile terrains like high altitude mountains and places with the scarcity of water and food”.

Considering the interest taken by DIPAS, some new parameters have been added to the study, Dr Shah said.

An interesting fact ascertained by doctors is that Mr Jani’s brain is as efficient as that of a 25-year old young man though he is aged 81. There are no signs of aging. Even today he can climb a seven storey building without any exhaustion, said Dr Shah.

The saint has shown evidences of formation of urine, which seems to be reabsorbed from his bladder wall. However, at present the medicos do not have any scientific explanation for the same but help of senior scientists and medical personnel of the country is being taken for the same.

A series of investigations are being carried out on Mr Jani according to a pre-determined protocol and additional tests are carried out as per suggestions of the team.

”If everything is ok with Jani, the study on his condition will continue for ten or 15 days. The defence wing wants to understand what is the structure of Mr Jani’s body, what is special about it, because of which he can survive normally. Whether the same can be replicated in other’s body, is the main question. If the answer is yes, it could be useful for soldiers and astrologers’4, added Dr Wazgan.

As per the details provided by Mr Jani’s followers, at the age of seven years, he left home in search of spiritual unfoldment. At the age of eleven years he was blessed by a goddess. He claims that since that blessing, he has gained his sustenance from nectar that filters down through a hole in his palate5, and has not passed urine or stools since then.

Mr Jani had explained to his followers, ”I get the elixir of life from the hole in my palate, which enables me to go without food and water”. Almost daily Mr Jani enters a state of Samadhi characterised by extreme bliss and enormous light and strength. He says that he has never experienced medical problems. He says that he did not speak for a period of forty-five years.

A Video of Prahladbhai Jani is also available, for those of you who might be skeptical.


1: the problem is that for soldiers to actually achieve the state that Mr. Jani has achieved, they would have to give up being soldiers.

2: the name “mataji” means “respected mother”… ?

3: Obsolete A specialised skill or profession. trust Indian journalists to use obsolete English…

4: “and astrologers“… ??

5: i learned about this while i was going through the preparation for my 2nd Kriya initiation, but i didn’t give it much thought at the time…

aparajita

so apparently i can get no less than 20 dozen boxes of aparajita(!!) for a ridiculously cheap price, and get it shipped directly to my door in less than 10 days for $200, or i can get it shipped “the long way” and it would take around a month, and i would have to clear the product at customs, and it will cost about $180.

you can guess which direction i am leaning… 😉

apparently i can also get 50 or 60 dozen boxes, and get the same carton shipped for the same $200 to my door, or $180 with hassles at customs.

quite apart from anything else, i don’t know what i’d do with 60 dozen boxes (720 boxes) of incense. i don’t know where i’d store them. i have just barely enough money to pay for 60 dozen boxes without shipping (i can do 20 dozen, but it will set me back a little). with shipping, however, it puts me well over what i can afford…

on the other hand, i’ve been looking for a reliable supplier of aparajita for 10 years, and have given up hope of finding one more than twice.

ETA: i’ve also got a call into another big time incense geek who may want to split it with me… hope! 8)

ketchup

it’s raining and blustery today, so i can’t work on my car, which gives me some time to catch up on some other things.

moe and i are getting an african grey parrot named stanley this evening, and i’ve been fixing up a corner of the living room to accommodate him. it’s exciting, but it’s also as though we were getting a 3-year-old child, in terms of intelligence and need for taking proper precautions. moe has been wondering how long it’s going to be until stanley learns how to bark like magick, and conversely, wondering how long it will be until he learns to yell at magick for barking… which, i suppose, is just as valid as me wondering how long it’s going to be before stanley learns to make the jews-harp noise, or the tuba noise, or the flex-a-tone noise, or the glass-marble-in-a-bottle noise, or any one of a number of other noises which usually results in one or more of us yelling at magick to quit barking and be quiet. moe says that parrots are kind of like kids, in that they’ll quiz you to find out what they shouldn’t do, and then focus all their time and ability to doing that very thing. exciting is one way of putting it.

i got a phone call(!) from india(!!) this morning, from a guy who wants me to consider becoming a customer of his enterprise, which is the manufacture and export (from india) of incense, murtis and other hindu/hippie stuff. i’ve gotten a number of email inquiries like this in the past, and while i generally delete them without responding, i perked up when this guy said that he could get aparajita. i still don’t know in what quantities or for what price, but this is a lot closer than i’ve ever gotten before, and if i play my cards right, it could mean a lot more than just aparajita, as he apparently also has lines on narmada shivalingams and rudrakhsha beads. 8)

3D printer could build moon bases – somebody’s finally taken this concept to a logical conclusion, and wouldn’t you know, it had to be an artist.

Briton ‘gets Chinese accent after bad migraine’ – more people having problems with their brain and ending up with problems with their language. i’m beginning to wonder if this is a new problem, or if things like this have been going on all along.

Burials in Tibet – the original headline included the words "not for sensitive souls"… it shows how a different culture chooses to honor those who have died. what’s wrong with that?

yee haw!!

yee haw!
it’s going to work even better than it did on the mockup! 😀

there’s a minor problem, though, which is that the original paint is cracking when i lean on the hood. and it’s practically impossible not to lean on the hood when i’m working that close to the windshield… but i’m going to have to come up with something, because leaning over on one arm isn’t going to do it: i get too tired, and i have to use too much concentration to be reliable leaning on my arm…

yeah, i know… i’m asking for it…

Ganesha the Car planthe design that i blotted out yesterday was definitely wrong, and i’m really glad i listened to my gut and did it, because it was the right thing to do. the picture to the right is the new plan – although it’s going to be sanskrit writing, and not a blue background (which was put there with a computer, to gauge dimensions) – and i’m already more than aware of the fact that people are going to ask me, and harrass me, and that sort of thing, about the swastika on my car, perhaps even more than with the previous car.

but, see, the problem is that when i look at that plan, i get this gooey feeling right here <taps chest>, that i get when i look at my wife, which is an indication that i have created ART and not just art… and this is just the hood of the car! i can hardly wait to see what the rest of it is going to look like. 🙂

i just noticed this…

look at this image:error

that is an image that i created a number of years ago: it’s a screen shot of an error message that i was given by internet explorer exploder immediately prior to rebooting my computer, because IE had crashed so spectactularly that it brought down the entire machine. i don’t remember when it happened, but it was a number of years ago, because it is number two in my set of computer errors that i started putting together before my injury and after i started testing software.

now have a look at this collection of pictures. from what i can tell, this is a list of other places that my screen shot ended up, usually with headlines like “Why IE is Better: Can Firefox do THIS?”…

i’m not sure whether to be honoured or irritated…

happy international cannabis appreciation day

Stoner Voice & Data Systems truck

i was walking home from the post office this morning, and i saw this truck, so i took a few pictures. as i was walking away, i noticed this guy staring at me from across the parking lot, and, as it happens, my path pretty much intersected where he was standing, so i figured that he was responsible for the truck and wanted to ask me why i was acting suspiciously around it. as i walked over, he said “can i help you with something?” i replied, “well, i was taking pictures of the truck because it says ‘Stoner Voice & Data’ on it, and today’s 420…” he said “So?” so i said “well, 420 and ‘Stoner’ sort of go together”, and wandered off.

does he really have no clue what the word “stoner” means these days? was he deliberately trying to get me to “incriminate” myself by drawing the comparison between his truck and cannabis?

oh well… happy 420.

Gajaanana and Eyjafjallajökull

Ganesha the Car, v.2 creationso i got started on the actual artwork for Ganesha the Car, version 2, in spite of the fact that it was spitting rain all afternoon. there wasn’t enough moisture to affect the process, and i really wanted to get started on it, because i’ve got an art-car show in a little more than 2 weeks. i’m still not completely sure of the layout, because sanskrit has some weird length issues, especially since i am essentially transcribing a printed document in calligraphy, but if everything goes according to plan, i should have just about as many names on the hood of Ganesha v.2 as i had on the entire Ganesha v.1… although i still wonder whether i’m really going to have enough room or not. i figured that, since there’s no guarantee that Ganesha the Car v.2 is actually going to be a functioning car for very long, i would put some considerably less “permanent” artwork on it. to that end, i bought a bunch of uni paint pens, thanks to an art-cartist i talked to at SACBO last year. while i am impressed with how well they work in general, i still think that i’m going to get a clear-coat put on after i’m finished, because the paint pens are a good deal less permanent than the 1Shot that i used on v.1

in other news, apparently “Eyjafjallajökull” is sort of like Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in that unless you’re from there, you’d be better off not trying to pronounce it. case in point:

snep

Regarding "christianity" and the Virginia Governor’s reason for declaring Confederate History Month

7,500 Online Shoppers Unknowingly Sold Their Souls – this is what happens when users fail to read the TOC. i find it interesting and educational to realise that in the commercial world there are two significant industries that refer to their customers as “users”: computer software manufacturers, and drug dealers. perhaps this is one of the reasons why.

Dead man elected mayor of Tennessee town – why is it that all i can think of is that line from the Tom Waits song What’s he Building?, “I heard he has an ex-wife in someplace called ‘Mayor’s Income, Tennessee’.”

finally, i have read in two different blogs about the croatian girl who fell into a coma, and when she awoke, she could no longer speak croatian, her native language, but she could speak fluent german, a language that she was just beginning to learn when she fell into a coma. i find this an interesting paralell to my opera, which sprung to life in all of its complex glory when i lost what passes for normal consciousness as a result of my injury. stories like this have far reaching implications that involve just about every part of my life, and is one of the primary reasons why, in spite of the fact that i agree with him more often than not, i still think that p.z. meyers and his ilk are sadly mistaken when they conclusively state that “god” doesn’t exist. it may not be the old man with the beard that oversees all from his abode in the clouds, but Something that doesn’t exist wouldn’t be able to cause miracles like that.

Continue reading snep

bleep

the past three days have been spent going through just my inventory of incense with the price gun labeler, individually pricing all of my incense. i plan on doing the same thing for the murtis as well, but they will only take a couple of hours. now i won’t have to fumble with a huge sheaf of papers when someone asks me how much something is, and i will charge the correct price for the things for which i can’t find the prices.

i got the flyers that i had printed for Edgewood Tire & Complete Auto Repair today. that’s another easy $200. i also got the paint pens that i’ve been waiting on, so either tomorrow or sunday i’m going to start working on Ganesha The Car Version 2.

moe and i are going to start the “cook once a month” thing again… tomorrow, i think. i was really happy with cooking once a month for the few months we tried it last year, but about october or so we didn’t do it, and are only just resuming the practice. for those of you who don’t know, it involves planning ahead to have a dozen or so recipes that you’ll make, buying a whole bunch of groceries, and spending an entire day doing nothing but cooking, packaging and freezing individual meal-sized portions for the entire month. it is a massively cheap way to do it, because you can buy a lot of the groceries at costco (we ended up spending about $300 a month, and that was with a couple of times going out to fancy restaurants), and it has the added benefit of freeing up time every other day of the following month that would have been used cooking for that day. quiche is among my favourites. and lentil soup. and now that we’ve got a medium sized freezer with new hinges (!!), we’ve even got a place to keep it all instead of having to limit how much we make because we only had a tiny freezer. 8)

Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – enough said. Cory Doctorow is God!

Continue reading bleep

spammers

okay, this is getting ridiculous, but at the same time, i’m really glad i got myself far away from 1&1 internet services, and now i’m going to recommend that my associates distance themselves from 1&1 as well… and you spammers have succeeded in irritating me enough that i’m ranting about it in public. 😯

it started out with a spam message that “made it through” the spamcop defense, but didn’t make it through my local instance of spam assassin that i run on my local mail host. one of the reasons why i’m satisfied with doing so is that if i use a web-based service like yahoo, hotmail or gmail is that, none of my mail, contacts, calenders and that sort of thing “live” on a computer over which i have direct, physical control… and my information is my information, thank you. it also makes it a hell of a lot easier to parse headers and report the spam messages that do manage to sneak through my defenses (which are around 5 or so a week, these days). spam assassin puts the messages that it detects into my wastebasket, without any prompting from me, but if i’m feeling obstreperous, i’ll pull it out and report it anyway, which is what i did with a message that looked like it had come from me: it had someone else’s name, and my email address in the To: line – which is notoriously easy to spoof. it also had a URI that tracks directly back to oneandone.com.

yes, a host provider that i used, and then discarded a year ago when they tried to scam me, hosts spammers.

and spammers dumb enough to think that i might respond in any way other than the way i did, to a message that looks like it came from myself!

that’s all the justification i need to avoid them. 😐

this is not a title

Extraordinary Rendition Bandthe world needs more girl sousaphone players…

my performances at Honk! Fest went off without a hitch, more or less. i got up at an ungodly hour (7:30) and made it to the first performance, at Casa Latina, by 9:00, where they didn’t know what was going on, and my ability to understand spanish is only because of my vague knowledge of french and latin, so i wandered around in the international district for 45 minutes or so until other honk fest/band related people showed up. we played for an hour, and then we had a break until 3:00, so i went and got breakfast and took a nap for an hour or so. the second performance was after the Extraordinary Rendition Band performed. the latino guy that’s standing in the background is someone from my band, and i suppose that i should probably know what his name is, because i’ve known him for a few years now, but i don’t… (is it yeba ignacio? i’m not sure…) i don’t suppose that it’s partially because he only speaks limited english, and i would only make myself look foolish if i tried to speak spanish…

DJ RX – White Lines is an interesting treatment of the song… in a lot of ways, it’s better than the original.

miscellaneous honk blat wak wak wak ungow

one doesn’t tend to notice annoyances that have disappeared, but i just realised that the guy who has been sending me spam with great regularity, at least once a month, for five-plus years hasn’t sent me a spam message since november of last year. i won’t claim sole responsibility for ridding the net of this annoyance, but i would be willing to bet that the multiple reports of his spam i made to the washington state attorney general’s office couldn’t have slowed down his departure too much.

the new Ganesha The Car is probably not going to be a car very much longer. there’s nothing wrong with it currently, but the transmission is on its last legs, and from what the people at the repair shop (not the repair shop from which i got the car, a different one) told me, the ’93 Mercury Tracer (which is also called a “Ford Fiesta Escort” for some unknown reason) is notorious for transmission and engine problems, and pretty much anything that goes substantially wrong with it will very likely cost more to fix than the car is worth. at the same time, i didn’t actually pay for the car to begin with, and the repair shop that i got it from will very likely do things like replace the transmission for far less than other places would, because we fall under the “friends and family” category with the owner of the shop – which is also part of the reason why i didn’t pay for the car to begin with.

in the short term, this means that i have even more impetus to create “temporary” artwork on the car, using paint pens instead of a brush and one-shot. daniel smith’s has a piss-poor selection of paint pens, but i picked up some black, and some gold pens. i’m hoping that i can find a wider assorement of colours somewhere else.

frustration is finding a bittorrent of something that you really want, and downloading 99.3% of it – with 8 “leeches” and a “seeder” who only logs in after midnight – before getting stuck and spending weeks repeatedly opening up your network to a DOS attack while you wait for the remainder to appear… all i need is 1.16 MB of information and then i’ll have the whole thing… is that too much to ask?

a guy advertised “Goldblatt drywall stilts. Rubber is good, but the straps are shot and some minor hardware needs replacing.” on freecycle, earlier in the week, and i responded, because i can probably fix the things that they have wrong with them, and then i’ll have a set of drywall stilts… unfortunately, i didn’t notice that the guy’s email host is christian.net, and the quote that automatically appended to the signature of my message was “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world. — Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), 1694-1778″…

he didn’t reply, so i sent him another message this afternoon. the quote that automatically appended to the signature of that message was “The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.” i still have recieved no response from him, but i get the impression that the probability of my recieving a response from him is miniscule at this point. oh well… if nothing else, i can post a wanted to freecycle for drywall stilts. if i’m really lucky, the same guy will respond… 😉

i’ve got to get up and go to a gig that banda gozona is playing for part of Honk! Fest West at 9:00 tomorrow morning. there’s another gig that banda gozona is playing at 3:00 pm as well, which means that i can’t even go home and get some rest between the shows. the music that we’re playing is all stuff that i know the tuba parts for quite well. unfortunately, i’m playing trombone for tomorrow’s gigs, and the trombone parts are really fast, with a lot of notes that range from E an octave below middle C to A an octave above middle C within a measure. i’m reasonably certain that i can play most of the notes, and i’m sure i can play all of the notes at a reduced speed, but the fact that there’s going to be at least one other trombone-range instrument (most likely euphonium, but another trombone isn’t out of the question) makes me a lot more at ease with this performance than i would be otherwise.