i’ve been playing around with illustrator (mac), photoshop (mac), frax (tablet), procreate (tablet), inkscape (mac/linux), and the GIMP (linux), for a few days, and this is the result. i’m thinking of making stickers out of it. i wanted to play around with making the QR code an integral part of the artwork, so that you don’t have to go to the QR link to appreciate the art, but if you do hit the link, you’ll get even more information.
okay, this is discounting the fact that gods only exist in the minds of those who worship them… this is a purely practical examination of the aspects of hindu gods, in particular… and to be precise, an examination of their clothing.
most depictions of deities are clothed. there are deities which are naked, and part of the devotion to these deities is dressing, undressing, and bathing them, but i’m talking about the deities that are depicted as clothed.
how is Kali Maa supposed to put on that shirt?
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.
the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬
seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.
my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.
on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.
and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…
i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒
anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.
when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.
but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:
i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth:
ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool!
Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas.
ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit.
Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it.
ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”.
Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them.
ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again!
Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊
allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.
some back-story: a sheriff’s department in tenesee was arrogantly posting on farcebook about how they’ve gotten new stickers for their (publically owned) vehicles that say “IN GOD WE TRUST”. i wrote the following response to their boastful bragging.
my comment received several likes, and a number of supportive comments, despite the sheriff’s complaints, but, eventually, he deleted the entire thread, along with several other comments from other people.
i was somewhat taken aback, as it was my understanding that deletion of comments on a page that is intended to represent a governmental entity such as a sheriff was, at the very least, discouraged, and could potentially be taken as a blatant violation of the laws concerning such things.
so, i upped the ante, and left a review on their page:
after i left the review, i was promptly banned from leaving any comments on the henderson county sheriff’s department farcebook page… which means that i am immortalised on their page, and can’t do anything to change the settings, or respond to any comments.
at the same time, i left the review yesterday, and despite everything, i’ve still got four likes, which i consider to be pretty good, considering everything.
however, when people like Nathan N Angela Reeves posts an absolutely ignorant, idiotic comment, i can’t respond to how stupid they are… so i’m posting it here, because WTF?!?!?!? seriously…
We love God here and we also love Trump. Once he is elected, your voice will truly be less effective.
so… you think that, once #drumpf is elected, people like me will just vanish? you think that we’re going to just let drumpf and his ignorant, ass-backwards policies just run roughshod over the country without making any attempts to stop him. you think BLM is annoying now, just you wait… people like me are going to be making your life orders of magnitude more difficult, and that will just be the beginning.
You are a secular
where did you get that idea? certainly not from me, or anything i wrote… i disagree with you 100%, but the idea that my life is not governed by “anything other than what i want to do” is way out of line.
The bible “which you will not believe I’m sure”
what do you want to bet i know more about the bible than you do?
the bible also says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
I hope you’re right about “no God”
again, i wonder where you got the idea that i’m saying there’s no God… if you do your research, you’ll discover that i say BOTH that there is no God, and that God exists, at the same time, without contradiction, but i certainly never said that there is no God in any place where you have looked… did you actually read my comments, or did you just knee-jerk respond without even looking up?
I’m a preacher
i’ll just bet you are… i am too, and i guarantee you, i can preach circles around you, buddy… 😉
I’ve been called to the bed of 5-6 dying Atheist
oh, so now you know everything there is to know about every single atheist on the planet… do you realise how mind-bogglingly STUPID that sounds?
obviously, you don’t. 😕
and, once again, i never said anything about being an atheist. in fact, i said, very clearly, at the beginning of my post, that i am a hindu, which leads me to suspect that you don’t know the difference between hindus and atheists. i’m not sure how you got the impression that i am an atheist, but you’re entirely, 100% wrong.
You to sir, will call on the Name of Jesus as you slip into eternity.
fat chance. 😛
स्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात । स्वधर्मे निधनं स्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: ।।
This is better, that one do his own task as he may, even though he fail, than to take tasks not his own, though they seem good. To die performing duty is no ill, but who seeks other roads shall wander still.
— Bhagavad Gita, 3.35
i think i may have found a way to market these online so that people will be able to get what they want without having it be a random selection chosen by me. it’s difficult, because no two buttons are exactly the same, but i discovered, quite by accident, that there are five different general categories that they fall into. i suppose, if i wanted to get really technical, i could separate them even further into a predominant colour, but i think that may be a bit more complex, because then it would be possible, theoretically, for someone to come up with a colour and category that doesn’t exist, and that would be embarrassing.
they are all swastikas: category 1 buttons have more of an abstract swastika, because you can’t actually see it, but if you can look beyond the borders of the button, you might be able to imagine where it would be. category 2 buttons are a little less abstract, but it’s still not a visible swastika, although it might be easier for some people to figure out where it is. category 3 buttons have at least one definite swastika. category 4 buttons have at least three definite swastikas, and category 5 buttons have EITHER no less than 6 swastikas, OR at least one swastika, and a significant area where there are no swastikas.
they’re all $1.00 or more a piece… i say “or more” because if people want to pay more for them, i won’t complain. 😉
i went to the vedanta society this morning, for the first time in a very long time indeed. swamiji’s talk was on the utility of being a fool, which is a talk that i am sure i have heard before, but it was probably before my injury, because i don’t remember exactly when. it is full of relevant quotes from everyone from socrates, who, after his wife poured a bucket of water on him during an argument, said “it is very common that after a blustering wind, you get rain” to swamiji, himself, who said “politicians are like toilets in your home: it’s impossible to get on without them, but they are difficult to keep clean and require frequent flushing”.
what i took away from it is that it is far easier, and far more fun to say that you know nothing than it is to claim to know it all, even if you do know it all… which nobody does, because knowledge is infinite.
ramakrishna said “i am the worst of the fools (nirakshara = unlettered), but i know akshara (the infinite)”.
the chapel is exactly as i remember it from years ago, down to the pattern in the brocade cover on the lectern… i suspect that even the fake flowers in the sconces on the walls are the same as they were 40 years ago. the guy who was greeting people at the front door chuckled and said that he hadn’t seen me in a while…
my recollection is that the last time i went to the vedanta society was shortly after my injury, when we were still living in renton… and before that was probably while we were living on beacon hill.
but as familiar as it was, and as nice as it was to be there, i wasn’t overwhelmed with a desire to be a part of that community, as i was 40 years ago. it was really good to hear swamiji speak — he hasn’t changed a bit, which is somewhat surprising considering how long it has been — but, after the talk he said “haven’t i seen you before?”… yeah, you’ve seen me before: i was a student of yours for 15 years, i asked you to officiate my wedding, and i’ve been coming here since the mid-’70s… i was just thinking about it this morning: i have been coming to the vedanta society since shortly after someone planted a bomb near the front door and tried to burn the place down. i started coming while they were still in the process of rebuilding. i’m not particularly surprised that he didn’t remember me, though, because he sees thousands of people in a month, and he interacts with them far more than he has with me for the past 20 years or so… and it is a 45 minute drive to get there now…
the way i feel now is that if i’m going to drive 45 minutes to go somewhere, i’m going to choose places that challenge me to learn new things, and, to be honest, i’ve heard all of swamiji’s talks several times over. it is nothing against swamiji, or the vedanta society, but if i’m gonna drive 45 minutes, that early in the morning, i would get a lot more out of it if i were going busking. 😎
photo by Mark Berry
Last news about Manwoman
Sorry to say that my dad, ManWoman, is not faring well. He has a kind of cancer that causes his bone marrow to cease making blood. The technical name is Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts. In short, without new blood, it is impossible to breath, fight infections, or clot and stop bleeding.
He had been receiving transfusions of blood and platelets, but there is no cure for this kind of cancer. Not chemo therapy. Not bone marrow transplant, because he is old and weak. In any case, ManWoman does not wish to endure weeks of traumatic medical treatment, when the potential time gained is so very small.
ManWoman has made the decision to pass peacefully — and with Dignity — in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by family and friends. No further transfusions or treatments will be made — except medication for the rather intense pain. When the blood cells from his last transfusion are gone, well… The clock is ticking. There is no exact prediction how much time is left. One day or a few days — probably. A week or two — maybe. Months — not very likely.
I wish there was better news, but there isn’t. It will be a sad day when he passes, but he has left the world an enormous and inspired body of work. He will not be forgotten by those who love him. We will always carry a piece of him in our hearts.
~ Ivan Cat
Raelians have invited Buddhists, Hindus and the numerous spiritual groups who use the swastika as their spiritual symbol to stand up and show their support for the third annual Swastika Rehabilitation Day, to be held June 23 in cities around the world.
The swastika has been a symbol of peace and good luck in many Eastern religions and can be found on religious monuments and scriptures on every continent. It is also part of the spiritual symbol of the Raelian Movement.
Rael, the Movement’s spiritual leader, has explained the recurrent presence of the swastika as the symbol of the advanced scientists who created all forms of life on Earth and guided humanity with the teachings of peace and love that are at the origin of all religions.
“The swastika is one of the best traces left by those who created us, and the attempt to bury it as a symbol of violence and hatred only gives credit to the horrible Nazi ideology,” said Thomas Kaenzig, coordinator of World Swastika Rehabilitation Day. “Demystifying the original meaning of this beautiful symbol is the only solution,” he explained. “We can’t accept the fact that the swastika is still being hijacked, just as Christians wouldn’t accept that the Christian cross was used to represent the ideology of the Ku Klux Klan. Images of swastikas within synagogues and various other ancient sites in Israel have also helped people of Jewish origin to recognize the importance of this rehabilitation day.”
Kaenzig said it’s time to educate the public and rehabilitate what Raelians consider to be the most important symbol for humanity. He added that this year’s world demonstration will include flying large swastika banners in the skies of several U.S. cities and presenting street swastika animations in Karlsruhe, Germany, and in Tel Aviv, Israel.
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ॥
sarve bhavantu sukhinaH, sarve santu nirAmayAH |
sarve bhadrANi pashyantu, mA kashchid_duHkha-bhAg-bhavet ||
All are ordered to be happy, be healthy, see good;
may no one have a share in sorrow.
after the panto ended for 2011 (it starts again on saturday, and runs for two weeks. get yer tickets now ’cause they’re selling out fast!) i got started making some hobo nickels. they’re not classic hobo nickels, of course, but they’re in a similar vein… and, hey… they’re only a nickel… and, as long as you don’t try to use the result as “currency”, they’re perfectly legal. 8) i broke most of my jewelers’ saw blades on the first couple of them, getting the technique right and re-adjusting my fingers. i went out to tacoma screw, to get more jewelers’ saw blades, and they didn’t know what i was talking about. i went to rockler, and they had them, but i’m not sure they’re the right ones, because they say they’re only for wood… and they’re 28 teeth per inch, and i’m pretty sure that the ones i need are more like 35 to 50 teeth per inch… i’m pretty sure that if i made the trip to hardwick’s, in seattle, that i’d be able to walk in and say i needed extra-fine jewelers’ saw-blades and they’d point me towards a bin of ’em… i went in there one time, and i said i was looking for a vice, and the guy asked me if i had considered smoking… 😉 i made nickels like this A LOT, between 1986 (when i got out of the tech school, and realised that i could make them) until 1994, when i started having to limit my workshop space because of where i was living. they just kind of faded into past memory, and were only re-realised a few weeks ago.
i put in the order for another 20 dozen aparajita on the 15th. i still haven’t heard anything, but they are making the incense to order (SQUEEEEE!!!) so i’m not being as paranoid about it… i’m still being paranoid (after all, it’s sort of a natural state of existence for me), just not as much. i’m probably going to email again on friday if i still haven’t heard anything by then.
i got this good-luck token in the mail the other day. it’s a little bit bigger than a US quarter, or a little smaller than a US half-dollar. i didn’t remember where it came from, at first, and because of the fact that i bid on it at ebay, it didn’t come from anybody i knew, or from an address with which i was familiar, which was pretty exciting, until i remembered where it came from.
after having gone to meet her, i figured out where the lady who knew who i am knows me from: she knows me because i am associated with Howlin’ Hobbit… although she was really disappointed when i didn’t drive up in my elaborately-painted art-car she was just as happy to take a picture of me wearing my hippy-hat
we spent christmas eve driving: we got up around 5:00 or so, and drove to salem, oregon, then we drove north and stopped just south of portland, then we drove into portland and visited a couple of different places before heading back, around 7:30 pm… by the time we got home, i had had about as much driving as i could stand for a while, so i spent most of the rest of xmas at home, being a hermit-crab. we took our annual trip to double-bluff off-leash dog-park on new-years’ day, and got there just as a polar-bear swim was getting over, which was kind of odd, because normally we are the only ones there on new years, and this year there were huge crowds of people, and music blaring… and an ambulance…
i’m causing trouble again…
people generally (in this area, at least) don’t seem to mind me wearing or displaying swastikas as long as they’re not obviously “hakenkreuz” related (i.e. they’re “different” colours than were used by the not-zees), but my new shirt will challenge those preconceived notions about colour somehow being related to meaning…
maybe i ought to make some flash cards that say things like BLUE and YELLOW
to illustrate my point even further for those who still don’t get it (and i’m positive that there will be a few of them)…
asato maa sadgamaya
tamaso maa jyotirgamaya
mṛtyormaa amṛtam gamaya
Lead me from ignorance to enlightenment.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.
— Bṛhadaranyakaupanishad, 1.3.28
i bought some 1shot clear coat for the hood of my car. it works okay on the black – it does cause it to bleed this interesting brownish red colour, but i can clean that up pretty quickly. on the other hand, when i apply the clear coat to the gold ink, it smears – even totally dry ink – and it takes long enough to clean up that i won’t be able to clear coat the car, at least not before tomorrow, when i have a show in everett for which i’m being paid $100.
i’ve been playing around with a stencil design based on Śrītattvanidhi, but the stencils i have designed so far are too big for the media i have, and while i know that larger media exists, i still haven’t found a source for it. it’s coming really close to the end of the “create an art car in the open with no garage” season really quickly, and i haven’t got more than the hood finished on the car, which is a perennial source of frustration for me. hopefully the newly expanded workshop space will facilitate my attempts to make this a reality.
Incoming BP CEO: Time for ‘scaleback’ in cleanup – maybe in his dreams… 😐
Swastika no longer viewed as Nazi symbol – reading just the headline, one would be inclined to think that the movement to Save the Swastika might be having some effect in enlightening people who think that (卐 ≡ nazi), but when one actually reads the article, it would seem that the Anti-Defamation League is probably more aptly named the “Anti-Swastika League” because, while they’ve admitted that the swastika isn’t just a nazi symbol, they’re still of the mistaken opinion that it’s a “more generalised symbol of hate”, which is also incorrect, as any hindu will tell you. hindus and buddhists, and, for that matter, jews, should express their outrage about this (here is the letter i wrote them, if you need some encouragement or an example): it’s racist and against the very principles they stand for, for the ADL to say that the holy symbols of another religion are a “generalised symbol of hate” without qualification!
and while i’m on the subject, i feel really sorry for the lack of intelectual development displayed in Culture Served Raw – A Universal Symbol of Hate – remember, we’re talking about TEN THOUSAND years of history as a symbol of good, compared to 90 years as a symbol of evil. not only that, but the blogger in question won’t even approve any comments that don’t agree with his preconcieved notion of how evil the swastika has been, and is completely ignoring the fact that it’s only been a relatively short time that it has been anything but a symbol of good. one thing i learned very early, is that the only way to change history is to remember it differently. it’s clear that this blogger is doing exactly that, and i feel sorry for them. Swastika, a “Universal” symbol of hate? – “I understand the aversion toward the swastika in the West but to say it is universally a symbol of hate could create more intolerance, not less.”
Researcher demonstrates ATM “jackpotting” at Black Hat Conference – a number of years ago, when i was working as a software tester, one of the projects i worked on was for Triton Systems, testing a little gadget that supposedly was able to do standard ATM functions from your desktop, with the aid of your computer. they actually gave me one of their little desktop gadgets to fool around with (unfortunately, they didn’t give me any actual money to go with it… cheapskates…), and i found a number of ways to crack their proposed software and make the gadget do all sorts of things that it wasn’t supposed to do. my understanding at the time was that they used essentially the same software for their stand-alone ATMs that they used for the desktop gadgets, and ever since then i’ve wondered whether or not it was possible to do the same things on their stand-alone ATMs. apparently it is.
Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water – it’s illegal to collect rainwater in washington? i’ll have to look into that… and if it is, get a rain barrel or two… 8)
President Wyclef? – gawd help the haitians… they’ve already suffered enough…
A priest in eastern Europe has been accused of drowning a baby boy as he baptised him. – death by superstition? i thought that had been eliminated from our society years ago… 😐
jeez, first it’s uganda wanting to kill gays, and now a Kenyan gets 14 years for sex with donkey; blames devil – something must be wrong with that whole region of the world…
U.S. Copyright Group ‘Steal’ Competitor’s Website – another blatant case of the pot calling the kettle black…
Seattle’s Aerial Transport Lifestyle System – it’s the future… right?
and, last, but certainly not least, The Blue God of Judaism – a blog by Rabbi Robert dos Santos Teixeira, LCSW, that will examine the similarities between YHWH and Siva. maybe he’ll address my question concerning the ancient biblical patriarch worshipping a sivalingam…
the jewish anti-defemation league has declared that the swastika is a generalised symbol of hate. okay, that’s all well and good, the swastika not only represents naziism and so-called “white supremacy”, but it also represents Ganesha, the Lord of Removing Obstacles, and less than 100 years ago, and for 10,000 years prior to that, the swastika was a symbol of love, peace, good luck and auspiciousness for EVERY CULTURE, AND EVERY PEOPLE ON THE PLANET INCLUDING THE HEBREW PEOPLE!
let’s put that in perspective, okay? if we use this image to represent 100 years – – this is how long the swastika has been a symbol of love, peace, good luck and auspiciousness:
and this is how long the swastika has been a symbol of nazi and so called “white supremacy”:
is that something that a normal person should consider reasonable: that a symbol with 10,000 years of history as a symbol of love, peace, good luck and auspiciousness should “magically” be transformed into a symbol of hate, because of less than 100 years of recent history?
the cross, originally a symbol of death, has been “magically” transformed into the symbol that represents the religion with the largest number of adherents in the world, and that took less than two thousand years. the swastika is FIVE TIMES older than that, with a history to match, and yet it has taken less than one hundred years to “magically” transform it into a symbol of hatred. no matter how hard i try, i can’t seem to figure out exactly how that works.
not only that, but according to Adherents dot com, hindus and buddhists, for whom the swastika is still a holy symbol, in spite of the nazi-obsessed west, account for 20% of the world’s population, whereas judaism accounts for less than ¼%…
something is definitely wrong here. i don’t discount the fact that the jews have had a rough time of it in the past, but when a fraction of a percent of the population can state, with authority, that the swastika is a “generalised symbol of hate” and the 20% of the population who hold the swastika as a symbol of holiness can’t do anything about it, something is definitely wrong…
so there has been a great deal of kerfuffle over the past few years concerning this building, the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base, and the navy’s $600,000 waste of taxpayer’s money to “disguise” the shape of the building so that nobody will notice that it’s shaped like a swastika.
the fact that this artificial body of water has, apparently, been missed, even though it is bigger, and probably more deliberately shaped like a swastika, is astounding to me…
although the fact that it is in china probably helps matters a little bit…
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.
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…
the 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 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’ve been having a difficult time the past few days: the process of switching host providers again has gone pretty normally, with the normal SNAFUs which have been more or less worked out over the past four days. there is still the matter of getting my clients to update their nameservers to my nameservers(!!) (i finally figured out how to create ns1 and ns2.hybridelephant.com, which means that now, when i sell host services myself, i don’t have to give my clients the nameservers that belong to my host provider) which should happen soon, but it’s a little difficult to get other people to do something, even when it is important.
also, as an extra added bonus, as a part of switching host providers, my email has been down for a week, and i’m going to have to enter the 50 addresses on the mailing list by hand (once liz has reset her nameservers) so that it will work, because the new host service provider had “never restored a mailing list before” and didn’t know how to do it.
as i posted previously, somebody grafittied Ganesha The Car. i wrote about it in I, Anonymous, and, after an encouraging start, the conversation turned into the “why are you trying to reclaim the nazi symbol?” rant from people who are much more adept at pushing the buttons of a newbie than i am, and it went downhill from there. the day after it was grafittied, i took it in for a check-up, because the “check engine” idiot-light had gone from its normal “on all the time” to flashing, and i wanted to find out what changed. yesterday, i got the call from the repair shop. they said they had found out what was wrong – burned valves on the 3rd cylinder – and they said that it would probably need a new engine before it will pass emissions inspection the next time. 🙁
on the other hand, there have been some good things as well. i have been watching craigslist recently, and bought some swastika jewelry that i found there, which was decidedly not nazi jewelry. one is an american-made gold swastika hatpin with a diamond in the center. it came along with a whole bunch of other hatpins, and the lady wanted $25 for the lot, which i happily paid. the other is a silver native american swastika pin with a card that dates it to around 1907. the guy that was selling it wanted $25 for it and a nazi flag. i told him i was interested in the native american swastika, but i didn’t want anything to do with nazi stuff and he agreed. i took both pieces for an “appraisal” today (the guy said, and i agreed, that what i had didn’t warrant a “real” appraisal, which would have cost $50 per piece) and found out that the silver pin has a “niche market” collectible value of around $100, and the gold and diamond pin – 18 to 20 carat gold, and a 3-point diamond, by itself – is probably worth $150.
also, i bought a number of buddhist swastikas from a place in singapore, out of which i’m going to make jewelry.
and the fact that Ganesha The Car is dying isn’t as bad as it seems. it runs the same as it has been for the past few years, and there’s nothing really wrong with it other than it only runs on 3 cylinders. i’ve been thinking for some time about taking the class they offer at south seattle community college, where if you provide your own car they waive the $400 class fee and you get to participate in converting your car to an entirely electric vehicle. also, tom at the repair shop said that he could probably round up a rebuilt engine that has a 1 or 2 year warranty that would give Ganesha another 5 years or so. and if none of those turn out to be an option, jack (the guy i bought Ganesha from, who is moe’s employer’s father-in-law) has been turned on to watch auto auctions for another cheap car that will be turned into another art car.
and, on top of everything else, they took off the grafitti while they had it at the shop, and didn’t charge me for it. 🙂
i was accosted at the coffee stand down the hill from my house today. as i was conversing with the barista (who burned my mocha, again) this incredibly fat woman (really, she was wider than she was tall. i don’t know how she was walking) came up and said “you have a swastika on your car!”
Incredibly Fat Woman: you have a swastika on your car!
me: yes, i have a swastika on my car.
IFW: that’s offensive, my husband is black.
me: i’m sorry you feel that way, but the swastika and the shatkona, the six pointed star design you see on the roof, is a symbol of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, and has been for ten thousand years! the nazi symbol you’re thinking of hasn’t even been around for 100 years…
IFW: i don’t know where you think you are, but this is the state of ermerika, not iran…
me: yes, and in America we have the freedom to worship the way we want, and display symbols that may be offensive to others. this is my way of getting back at the nazis who abused the swastika, by blatantly using it as a symbol of peace and goodwill.
IFW: … 😡
me: (as i’m driving away) how can a symbol be guilty for the acts of a madman?
i suppose i shouldn’t be surprised by things like this any longer, but this really affects me on a very deep level. what she said, "this is the state of ermerika, not iran", as though America is not "The Land of The Free", but instead the land of the intolerant bigots who refuse to accept the chance that there might be someone who thinks differently than they do… i’m tempted to go back and see if i can make friends with this woman and her husband, just to show them that the swastika is not to be feared… but i fear that if i show my face (or my car) around that particular coffee stand again, that i’ll probably be killed…
merry xmas… 😐
this is another "advantage" to having a google alert for the term "swastika": i got up this morning and discovered a whole bunch of new articles, which included the following honeys.
College prof: Christian crosses like swastikas – Student: ‘I felt humiliated and that my spirituality was being demeaned’ – oh, boo hoo, you’re “not allowed” to make your religious emblem in a class where my religious emblem is banned as a matter of course, regardless of what you believe it means. now, maybe, you get the idea of what it must be like to have a religious symbol discriminated against because of stupidity!!
along the same lines, there is STILL IN PURSUIT OF THE DREAM, which is the story of writer who was originally scheduled to read from her book at a public library, and was then un-invited, because some person – not associated with the library – discovered that her book contained the images of “werewolves, vampires, and the swastika”. she invokes ray bradbury’s Farenheit 451, and i would tend to agree with her. this is definitely censorship based on an image in a book, and nothing less.
especially when you consider that high school students are being taught this stuff. there really should be no reason, apart from america’s bizarre aversion to the swastika, why people should raise anywhere near as much of a fuss about it.
but the one that really got to me, the one that makes me believe that we may actually have hope for a saner, less swastika-obsessed future, is the letter to the editor regarding an incident in which "I 卍 OBAMA" was carved into a massachusetts golf course last weekend, which was written by A SIXTH GRADER entitled Swastika predates use by Nazis. if a sixth grader has the requisite knowledge to correct a newspaper article, what does that say about the person who wrote that article? i’ll answer that, so that there will be no doubt in your mind what i am striving for here: it says that the person who wrote the article is either uneducated, or deliberately trying to pull the wool over our eyes. either way, it doesn’t say much about their integrity. we deserve better than that from our public news sources, and if it takes a sixth grader to set the record straight, then it’s time we took a closer look at who we are allowing to report our news.
the more you obsess about nazis and swastikas, the longer it will be until we disassociate nazis and swastikas! the way to get over the nazi thing is to have it be okay for people to use the 卍 symbol, and the 卐 symbol in ways that are not connected with nazis! it’s exactly the same thing your mother tells you after you skin your knee as a kid: the more you think about it, the longer it will be until it goes away. if the general world consensus is that we sould continue to think about nazis every time someone says 卐, then there are a lot of hindus, buddhists, native americans – and jews – who are going to be out a significant amount of their cultural history.
for more swastika pleasure, i invite you to peruse Sun Wheel – The Ancient Swastika and start thinking about something other than nazis for a change…
Buy swastika online in India – this is what i get for having a google alert for the term “swastika”… why are people on this side of the globe so convinced that the swastika is anything other than a symbol of peace? i know that there was this whole thing with the nazis, but that was almost a hundred years ago, and i think it’s high time we should start thinking of other things.
the closer we get to xmas, the more i am feeling like a jew at a nazi rally, and i am aware of the irony of such a statement a lot more accutely than those of you who may be shocked at the reference.
what i would really like, is to magically transport myself to somewhere where they don’t celebrate xmas for the month of december – and possibly the months of november and january as well – just to get away from the hype that is going on. the commercialism and the politics of the holiday are really starting to get to me, and i still have 10 days until it’s over for another year.
it’s not that i don’t celebrate xmas, and it’s not even that i don’t believe in the “christ” and “god” that are behind the current incarnation of the holiday so much (although that’s another part of the story). what is really disturbing to me is the combination of not being able to turn on the television or the radio without hearing either commercials for products that i know won’t work (like Windows 7), or seeing news reports of people complaining because the greeter at walmart said something, or didn’t say something that was offensive to them… or not… 😐
i was brought up in a family that celebrated the commercial aspects of xmas. we didn’t even have a regular church service that we went to that was on a day other than sunday, and the church services that we went to all the time were pretty ecuminical and inclusive of traditions and cultures that were not specifically “christian”, so when i grew up and learned that some people believed that xmas was for stuff other than getting loads of toys and candy, i didn’t quite understand, but i didn’t really notice that much when the checker at the grocery store wished me a “merry xmas”. as i developed more of a relationship with sanatanadharma (which is what “hinduism” is really called) i started noticing the discontinuity a lot more: the “peace on earth and good will toward men” compared to the war, hunger and poverty that exist in the world, the constant fighting between catholics and protestants, the constant fighting between the christians and the non-christians, and the growing furor over “the war on xmas” came much more to the forefront, and i find it quite distressing.
things like the reference to a woman who compared santa to a swastika take on a meaning that is not immediately obvious to people who believe the swastika is an evil symbol, for example. i can see how santa is a lot like a swastika, and i wouldn’t mind seeing both of them in more common usage, but if there’s going to be an uproar over whether or not to have a swastika in a public display, then there certainly should be just as much uproar over whether or not to have a public holiday that celebrates santa – even if santa is not the "reason for the season".
and, for that matter, if you think about it a little more than most "christians" have, jeezis himself is not the “reason for the season” either. people celebrated the winter solstice for a long time before jeezis showed up, and it’s really only been within the past 200 to 500 years that we’ve had anything at all like what is currently celebrated as xmas, so all of those "war on xmas" fanatics really don’t have a leg to stand on in the first place. but in general, i think that the hindus and jews and buddhists and muslims and animists and even athiests have gone out of their way to accommodate all of the fanatics who insist that they are to be greeted with the phrase "merry xmas" instead of the more ecuminical "happy holidays" in fact, the only reason we have been as accommodating as we have been is because the "christians" are a majority of our population and if we weren’t so willing to give up what we believe in order to make peace, most "christians" wouldn’t have the slightest problem killing us!
what would jesus do, indeed?
i keep feeling like i am totally alone in a society of people who would have no problem killing me if they happened to find out that i don’t believe the way they do, but at the same time, i feel compelled to inform these ignoramuses that they aren’t the only ones on the planet, and that other people – people who believe differently than they do – have just as much right to exist as they do, and what jesus would really do is get along with everyone… which is supposed to be "The Christmas Message" anyway.
i did something to my back within the past three days that is causing me enormous pain when i stand or sit… currently i am under the influence of ibuprophen, which diminishes it from enormous pain to a nagging reminder, but at the same time, i think that loading, unloading and re-loading hybrid elephant at the FSM yesterday, and then unloading it again at home this afternoon was no help at all. at this point, i can hope that it goes away or fixes itself soon, because any further medical intervention is more than i can afford.
i made $70 at the FSM. not my best day, but not my worst, either. the next time i know i can go will be in three weeks, because i have a banda gozona gig (in mt. vernon?) in two weeks. also, since i redesigned the site, hybrid elephant has shot to the #1 position when you search for swastika button, which is especially cool since the #2 position is currently occupied by a white supremacist… 8) furthermore, i now occupy position #2 when you search for finest incense in the world, which is exactly what i was hoping would happen!
ned had to cancel, because he’s sick, and his son goes to one of the schools shut down by
swine flu H1N1 (pronounced “heiney”). he says that he and his wife and kid have been sick for about a week, and while he doesn’t think he’s got H1N1, the fact that his kid goes to stevenson means that he doesn’t want to take any chances. another school that was shut down due to the overblown H1N1 scare is woodmont, where i went to first through third grade.
FSM today. it was actually a pretty good day. it started out at 5:30 with dog breakfasts in the car, but i discovered that the FSM offers a $5 discount for early membership renewal, and they were offering 2-for-1-for-$30 spaces – to encourage vendors to brave the cold, damp, limited-daylight early-january freeze – even though i could only use one space anyway, instead of making -$5, i actually came out ahead $10 today (which means that i made $75, if my convoluted math is confusing you). not only that but i had the priveledge of explaining the real meaning of the swastika to three different people, i had one guy from tibet express utter amazement when i told him that despite the fact that i know an awful lot about it, i have never actually been to india, i learned teegan’s name (finally), and i gave her some incense, and i brought tears of joy to a person’s eyes when i said that, in my opinion, Jesus and Ganesha are the same thing. i took the doggies with me, and they went for a walk up and down the canal after the market was over, and they’re asleep(!) at this point. i’m probably going to feed the cats, grab a bite (and not much more than that) and go to bed myself… i forgot how dreadfully early 5:30 in the morning is. 8P
all in all, i would say that it was an entirely positive and uplifting day. i need more days like this.
if i needed more, here is yet more confirmation that hinduism is correct path for me, regardless of what the “christians” have to say about it: i emailed Rev. Evan Cockshaw, who is the genius behind "There Probably Is" and asked him why he hasn’t posted my "testimony” yet", and guess what?
he ignored me. of course…
it seems pretty typical for “christians” to ignore someone if they’re not immediately willing to accept the dreck they’re swimming in. on the other hand, as i’ve said before, the hindu teachers i have met – even the bogus ones – have taken delight in answering questions that would appear to be blasphemous to the normal “christian” mind. and even the bogus hindu teachers i’ve experienced are more entertaining than about 99% of the “christians” i have experienced.
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.
i bought a swastika at the FSM yesterday, and despite my feelings about nazis’ stealing the swastika away from what it truly means, i find it kind of amusing that i can now make jokes about how i am an “incense nazi”… but, at the same time, i also appreciate that if i am able to make jokes about being an incense nazi, the important part is that it’s not about other people, and it’s obviously a joke, whereas most commentary surrounding nazis and swastikas definitely is not considered to be very funny.
also i made $99 at the FSM yesterday, which is one sixth of the repairs that i had to make on ganesha the car over the weekend. only five more days like that to go…
i’ve got a tenor sax to work on. pictures as soon as they’re taken.
i’ve also got 600MB of And More music to work on, but that’s probably going to happen after i get a good start on the tenor sax, and i’ll have to clear off my keyboard, which is probably going to take an hour or so, since i just cleared off my workbench and most of the stuff has gone into the place where, if i cleared off my keyboard i’d put stuff, so there’s bound to be a certain amount of shuffling stuff, and finding new places to put stuff, and even a certain amount of throwing stuff away (gasp) before any of that happens.
so, what you get until there’s more artwork to look at and listen to is a link dump.
Page2RSS – i get the impression that this is sort of like FeedBurner, except that it works with any web page.
The Bongo Project – a project to see if it is possible to communicate with TCP/IP using bongo drums… it is… at 2 bps. remember the 14K modem days? remember 2400 baud modems? this makes even a 2400 bps modem look blindingly fast.
ever hear of Fusarium oxysporum, otherwise known as panama disease? there’s a good chance that you’re going to hear about it eventually, because the CIA has been using it as a way to control (which is to say, eliminate) the coca plants in south america… unfortunately, what they’ve succeeded in doing is wiping out bananas, instead. and this isn’t the first time! the banana that i grew up with, apparently, is banana 2.0, based on the vietnamese cavendish banana, which took over from the “Gros Michel” (“Fat Mike”) banana, a bigger and more creamy version, which was the world’s most popular fruit until the 1950s, when it, too, became extinct due to Fusarium oxysporum infestation. the whole sordid story is over at metafilter.
The Drug Test Consultant dot com – drug tests are a violation of our constitutional right to privacy and protection from self-incrimination (first and fourth ammendments to the U.S. constitution), they are no more than 75% accurate most of the time, and we’re currently in a war against drugs, while at the same time many states (like washington) have legalised medical cannabis. but this company has a franchise to sell people (for $10,000!!!) who are interested in getting started in the business of providing drug testing services to employers. if there was a more apt occasion for me to use the very big stupid category, i don’t know what it would be… 8/
A Kinder, Gentler Torture and America’s Democratic Collapse are reasons why, in spite of the fact that american society is founded on the idea that all men are created equal, it’s definitely not the case any longer… which sort of explains why the drug test consultant dot com folks aren’t so worried about whether or not their products are a violation of our constitutional rights. at the same time, they’re both very good reasons to flee the country while you still can.
Ganesha The Car has been kicked out of another parade – only this time it was early enough that i didn’t actually drive to the parade. it still irritates me that people can be so outrageously ignorant.
i sent the following description to the 4th of july parade coordinator in everett
a 1996 mazda protege with a prayer consisting of the first 100 names of the
1008 names of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, written in
sanskrit all over the outside, and a Ganesha Yantra on the roof. in sanskrit,
the name of the prayer is “Sri Ganapatisahasranaamavalih” which means
the “1008 names of Ganesha”
photos and a more complete description can be seen at
NOTE: PLEASE LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AND DESCRIPTION ON THE WEB SITE CAREFULLY.
the car has two swastikas on the back corner panels, and a swastika on the roof.
IN CONTEXT, THESE SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS SYMBOLS OF NAZI HATRED!
the swastika and the six-pointed star (commonly called by its jewish
name, “magen dawid” or the “star of david”) in combination, are ancient
symbols of Ganesha, and represent good luck, peace and love. the combination
bears a similar meaning to the “taijitu” or “tao symbol” from china.
the swastika and the six-pointed star have meant good luck, peace and love for
at least 5000 years, and they still mean it to this day, despite the people
that claim the swastika means nazis. IT DOESN’T, THEY’RE WRONG!
it is because of ignorant people less than 90 years ago that the swastika has
come to mean anything other than good luck, peace and love.
this car is, among other things, my way to reclaim the swastika from those
ignorant few who have turned it into a symbol of hatred, and return it to its
original, beneficial meaning. IT WORKS!
i have postcards, the back of which contain an explanation of why the swastika
is not what most american people erroneously think it is, which i am willing
to hand out to people at the parade, but i have also been kicked out of
parades in the past, because of people who refused to understand, and i would
like to avoid that if possible.
this is the response that i got from them:
Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate your detailed
description and respect your views. However, we are unable to fund your
participation in our parade due to the sensitive and controversial
nature of some of the symbols on your car. I am very sorry and wish you
the best of luck in the future.
Laura Baird – [email protected]
the response came back quickly enough that i get the impression they didn’t even look at the web site, and they certainly didn’t have time to look at the photos… 8/
the 5th annual moisture festival is into it’s second week of performances, most of which feature the fremont philharmonic. we’re getting more into playing “other peoples'” music more, which is a good idea, i think. we’re also becoming “the” band for a number of performers like godfrey daniels, which is amusing since apart from the moisture festival, we’ve never performed with him as godfrey daniels. it’s much more mellow and laid-back backstage this year, but i think that part of that is because i am not responsible for the programs this year.
these are some of the links i’ve been perusing in the mean time:
Archbishop of Canterbury attacks Creationism – it’s getting pretty obvious that something is wrong with intelligent design when someone like the archbishop of canturbury comes down on the side of the evolutionists…
Hybrid embryos created in Britain – speaking of “intelligent” design…
Two-headed baby hailed as divine – and here’s how india deals with it. (NOTE: i am discounting the fact that this was published on 1 april by knowing that they don’t have april fools day in india. i may be wrong.)
Faeces hint at first Americans – new evidence further negates any “young earth” intelligent design explanations that i have heard…
Pregnant man tells Oprah: It’s a miracle – now this is something i’ve been reading about for a couple of weeks, and it is one of those rare instances when my wife and i disagree. i think it’s perfectly natural for a transgender man to want to have children, but my wife thinks… i’m not sure what she thinks. it’s “unnatural” or something is my guess. maybe she thinks the kid will grow up confused or something. but my point is that kids already grow up confused with “normal” parents, and both my wife and i are fine examples of that. if a kid has even an outside chance of having a relatively normal life, parents should be able to be parents without regard to what their genitals look like, and if, as in this case, the man is already pregnant they should be able to get medical care without having to go through nine doctors! my son is an excellent example of how someone with screwed up parents can have a much more “normal” life than either of their parents had.
The Hypocrisy Gospel: Get Rich for Jesus? – ever wonder why the religious conservatives adore the prosperity gospel so much?
Battle over Pot Possession in Alaska Is Back in the Courts – prohibitionists, once again, make some sort of lame excuse to overturn alaska’s legal home use of cannabis. they’re going to lose, of course, because their excuse is lame (“it’s not your father’s marijuana”, reefer-madness propaganda), but it’s got a lot of people upset in both camps.
Watch out, you’re being watched – The unsettling thing about living in a surveillance society isn’t just that you’re being watched. It’s that you have no idea.
NSA releases new version of Linux software – let me see if i’ve got this straight: a version of one of the most secure operating systems in existence, being offered by the most paranoid geeks the government can find, right? i’m not sure whether i would trust this or not…
Sex Offender Running for Mayor in Texas – if “christians” can run, why not sex offenders? they may even be the same people.
Rules of Moopsball – the precursor to calvinball, it involves three hundred and twenty-four people, and takes three days.
Lord Arunachala – Lord Siva said: “What cannot be acquired without great pains – the true import of Vedanta (Self-realization) – can be attained by anyone who looks at (this hill) from where it is visible or even mentally thinks of it from afar.”
Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison – For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words “Mary had a little lamb” on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison’s invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.
Lying for Jesus? – Richard Dawkins expounds on the recent fracas with PZ Meyers being expelled from Expelled.
Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk – and eleven other reasons why english is my native language.
Mahasivaratri is March 5 or March 6, 2008 – Happy Mahasivaratri everyone!
‘Arise, awake!’ is Shivaratri’s message.
By Sri Sri Ravishankar
Shivaratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the lord of meditation and therefore the lord of awakening. Shiva Tatva means to be awakened. Shivaratri is thus an occasion to awaken one’s self from all sorts of slumber.
The night of the rebel God Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over. One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware of everything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri.
For the pious, the following method of Shiva worship is advisable – sit down in lotus posture, do some Pranayam to stabilize your breath, then indulge in Dhyana, followed by chanting of “Om Namah Shivay”. It is the greatest mantra and the devout should drown himself in its Kirtan.
Shivaratri worship leads to fulfillment of a devotee’s wishes. There are certain days and time frames in a year that enhance one’s mental and spiritual faculties. In such times, whatever one wishes, materializes. Shivaratri is one such day. All this is very scientific.
Going to temples on this day is OK but you should remember that Shiva is everywhere. The meaning of Kailasa is celebration. So where there is happiness and celebration, Shiva is present. Whether in Sanyasa or Sansara, you can’t escape Shiva. Feeling his presence all the time is the essence of Shivaratri. That is the real Sanyasa.
No worship is complete without offering something to the deity. Shiva is a very simple lord, he is innocent – bholanath. One just needs to offer bel-patra to him. But in this simplicity is a deep message. Bel-patra offerings signify the surrender of all three aspects of one’s nature – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. You have to surrender the positives and negatives of your life to Shiva and become carefree! The greatest offering is your self.
To offer one’s self is the key to happiness in life. Afterall, why do you get sad? It is mainly because you are not able to achieve something in life. At such times you should surrender everything to the all knowing God. The greatest power is in surrender to the divine. It’s like a drop owning the ocean. If a drop remains separate, it will perish. But when it becomes the ocean, it is eternal!
Speakers at Academy Said to Make False Claims – lemme see if i got this straight: three born muslim, converted to “christianity” middle-eastern men with “western” citizenship, who say that they have been involved with terrorist acts in the past, but are now “reformed”, get to travel around the country, including the US Air Force Academy, talking about their experiences… <yeah, that’s likely… 8/ >
If Mukasey Won’t Investigate Federal Crimes, He Should Resign – related links here, here and here.
the most recent response i got from the national 2008 art car calendar lady said this:
Ganesha has 1008 names? WOW!
Jesus has a lot, but not that many.
if i had known she was a “christian” and was going to make jeezis a part of the conversation, i wouldn’t have even bothered submitting my car in the first place… 8/
last night was the Sousa Bash, in honour of John Phillip Sousa‘s 153rd birthday, and, coincidentally, it was also Antoine-Joseph Sax‘s 193rd birthday. it went well, in spite of the fact that the west seattle bridge was closed for 3 hours, immediately prior to our concert, which made everybody, including a significant portion of the band, late. it was held at Kenyon Hall (formerly “Hokum” Hall), which, despite the fact that i actually lived in west seattle for a year or so, and have driven past it so many times i have lost count, i have never heard of it. it’s a good thing i know were it is now, however, as we apparently have the hall scheduled for the next 2 tuesdays in a row for recording.
it also makes me interested in talking to lou (the proprietor) about scheduling the fremont philharmonic there at some point…
i was in this hotel in a big city somewhere, lots of glass, modern architecture, doing something, when these three guys with automatic weapons came in and started screaming and spraying bullets everywhere. fortunately i was off to the side, so i wasn’t a direct target, but also the shots that i did take were, apparently, fairly low velocity, and they were buckshot about the size of a dust-speck, so they stung, but they didn’t actually injure me – it was frightening, none the less, and everybody was cringing and trying to convince the guys to let them go. somehow i managed to find my way to an elaborate laundry chute which lead to the basement, but the guys were not letting anyone escape that way – despite the fact that there were three or more people that jumped down the chute that i saw. when i was getting ready to jump, one of the guys waved a gun in my direction and told me to stay put, so i didn’t jump, but i continued to work my way towards the exit, and i eventually managed to escape into the parking garage. at this point, i realised that moe had been there as well, but instead of going back for her, or notifying the police or something like that, i decided to get out of town by the most direct means possible and not tell anybody about the fact that this hotel was being held up, or that my wife was in danger. towards the end of the dream, when i was going out of town, it vaguely resembled 5th ave., in downtown seattle, except the buildings were all different, and if it was 5th ave. then the hotel that i was coming from would have been approximately where the westlake mall is, except that it was backwards, and a hotel instead of a mall.
i also got another email from the 2008 art car calendar people, indicating some vague interest in knowing more about the swastika, and the meaning of my car, which, on the surface, sounds like i may have made an impression on them. i’m not holding my breath, however, because one of the questions they asked was answered in plain, clear language, in the blurb i sent them about the car originally, which makes me wonder if they even bothered to read the blurb in the first place, or they just had a knee-jerk reaction to the swastika.
so i submitted pictures of my art car to the national 2008 Art Car Calendar.
this was the response they sent me:
You have a beautiful car, but I do have a problem with the swatstika on top.
Yes, I know that I am ignorant and narrow minded, but the image is embedded in my brain as an evil symbol of hate.
Next year if you would allow me to cover it up or replace it with another symbol, then I would feel more comfortable to have it in the calendar.
I truly apologize if I have offended you in any way, but that is my opinion and I publish the calendar.
Thank you for submitting your car for the calendar.
so this was the response i sent back:
if people like you continue to be in positions where they can determine what other people see, then the swastika will never regain that which it had for everyone, for literally thousands of years before anybody ever heard of the nazis. if that happens, it will be a sad day for humanity.
one of the reasons why i put a swastika on my car is to show people that it had another, entirely opposite meaning from the one people like you have put upon it in the past 85 years.
you may not cover or alter the artwork on my car. to do so would be a misrepresentation of what i meant for my art car, and i will not permit you to do so.
i am offended, but i will get over it. however, you should examine your prejudices again in a year or so and see if they haven’t changed, because if they haven’t, then it is possible that you have offended The Remover of Obstacles, and i can’t speak for Him.
U.S. Navy to spend money on masking swastika snafu
September 27, 2007
A U.S. Naval base that appears in the shape of a swastika when seen from above will receive a US$600,000 make-over after sparking concerns from Jewish groups.
“It doesn’t make any sense that a building on government property would be built in the shape of one of the most hated symbols in human history,” Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Director in San Diego, told CNN.
Barracks at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Calif. were built as four L-shaped buildings, four decades ago.
But it wasn’t until online satellite imaging tools such as Google Earth made pictures from above readily accessible that the shape sparked controversy.
The swastika, a symbol forever tied to Nazi Germany, is visible to anyone with access to the Internet.
The Navy has said the barracks, used by the Seabees, were constructed in the late 1960s and were not intended to resemble the Nazi symbol.
Casuto readily admits that it was likely an oversight when the complex was built, but says that doesn’t make it right.
After nine months of conversation with the ADL, the Navy has decided to spend US$600,000 on landscaping and architectural changes that would obscure the swastika shape from the air.
“The Navy came to realize that this is a symbol that thousands of people died to defeat and it was inappropriate to have that shape on a military base,” Casuto told Reuters on Wednesday.
Richard Rider, a member of the San Diego Tax Fighters, said spending money on cosmetic changes to military bases is wasteful.
“Should we spend $600,000 on landscaping and cosmetic changes or should we buy three heavily armored humvees for our forces in Iraq?” he told ABC. “Don’t go to the American taxpayer and say we’d rather spend your money on flowerpots and sidewalks than fighting vehicles for our men.”
But the whole debate has flown over the head of John Mock, the architect who designed the buildings, who told CNN last year there was no malicious intent.
“It’s four L-shaped buildings — looking from the ground, the air — it still is,” he said.
The ADL is fighting the appearance of another immense swastika, this one carved into a cornfield in rural New Jersey.
“At a time when Jews around the world and in New Jersey are celebrating the High Holidays, we are confronted with this ugly symbol of hatred against Jews,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL New Jersey Regional Director.
According to the ADL, it’s the third time a swastika has been cut into a New Jersey county cornfield.
from the book “Gentle Swastika – Reclaiming The Innocence” by ManWoman:
Webster’s New American Dictionary (1959) gives this definition for Swastika: “An ancient Jewish religious symbol…”
From the second century BC to the end of the first century AD, a secret, monastic brotherhood of Jews called the Essenes lived in Palestine. Living communally and shunning public life, this hermetic group stressed purity and profound spiritual seeking. The swastika to them was a sacred sign representing the Wheel of Eternal Life. It symbolized the inner movement of the soul which leads through death to resurrection.
Jesus of Nazareth is said to have been trained in his mystical path by the Essene brotherhood, who are probably the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls…
There are associations with the swastika in Hebrew Qabalah, a Jewish mystical teaching. “Aleph” (א) is composed of two “Yodin” (י) and a cross-bar, which is a “Vau” (ו). It represents the World Above separated from the World Below by the Vital Force…
Aleph is symbolic of the primal motion of the Great Breath, the action of the creative center. This may be the source of the swastika as a Jewish religious sign. Some Qabalistic diagrams of the Sepiroth Wheel show a ten-legged swastika-like symbol portraying the manifestation of Primordial or Heavenly Man (Sephiroth) from the Infinite (En Soph)…
The Jewish Defense Leage and the B’Nai Brith Society have been trying to stamp out swastikas, even ones in Chinese shops…
The Jews of the world need to know that there is a gentle swastika, and that they are connected to it by their deepest religious philosophies. Only time can heal the wounds left by Hitler, time and the truth — and that is my purpose in writing this book. Have I chosen an impossible task? I don’t think so.
What do I want from Jews? I want them to realize that the swastika has a life separate and distinct from the nazis.
Swastika building embarrasses US Navy
September 28, 2007
The US Navy will spend thousands to camouflage a California barracks resembling a Nazi swastika after the embarrassing shape was revealed on the internet.
Navy officials said they became aware the barracks looked like a swastika from the air shortly after its 1967 groundbreaking — and had decided not to do anything.
According to The New York Times the resemblance went unnoticed by the public for decades until it was spotted in aerial views on the internet.
The Navy now plans to spend $682,000 on “camouflage” landscaping and rooftop adjustments to hide any aerial view of the San Diego barracks, known as Naval Base Coronado.
“You have to realise back in the 1960s we did not have the internet,” base spokeswoman Angelic Dolan said. “We don’t want to offend anyone, and we don’t want to be associated with the symbol.”
Ms Dolan said when officials first noticed the swastika look there was “no reason to redo the buildings because they were in use”.
But an anti-bigotry group based in San Diego is not impressed.
Regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Morris Casuto, said: “We told the Navy this was an incredibly inappropriate shape for a structure on a military installation.”
He said his group “never ascribed evil intent to the structure’s design” and praised the Navy for recognising the problem and “doing the right thing”.
The naval spokeswoman said the barracks were in a no-fly zone that was off limits to commercial airlines, so most people would not see the offending building from the air.
Navy to mask Coronado’s swastika-shaped barracks
Ground level isn’t a problem but aerial views of the Coronado site spark outrage.
September 26, 2007
By Tony Perry
CORONADO, Calif., — The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees.
From the ground and from inside nearby buildings, the controversial shape cannot be seen. Nor are there any civilian or military landing patterns that provide such a view to airline passengers.
But once people began looking at satellite images from Google Earth, they started commenting about on blogs and websites about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis.
When contacted by a Missouri-based radio talk-show host last year, Navy officials gave no indication they would make changes.
But early this year, the issue was quietly taken up by Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director in San Diego, and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego).
As a result, in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Navy has budgeted up to $600,000 for changes in walkways, “camouflage” landscaping and rooftop photovoltaic cells.
The goal is to mask the shape. “We don’t want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika,” said Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, the command that is responsible for maintaining buildings on local bases.
The collection of L-shaped buildings is at the corner of Tulagi and Bougainville roads, named after World War II battles.
Navy officials say the shape of the buildings, designed by local architect John Mock, was not noted until after the groundbreaking in 1967 — and since it was not visible from the ground, a decision was made not to make any changes.
It is unclear who first noticed the shape on Google Earth. But one of the first and loudest advocates demanding a change was Dave vonKleist, host of a Missouri-based radio-talk show, The Power Hour, and a website, www.thepowerhour.com.
In spring 2006, he began writing military officials, including then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, calling for action.
That August, he received a response from officials in Coronado, who made no promise to take action and said, “The Navy intends to continue the use of the buildings as long as they remain adequate for the needs of the service.”
In December, the now-defunct San Diego Jewish Times wrote about the buildings and the controversy.
Soon Casuto and Davis got involved.
Casuto began an on-and-off dialogue with the chief of staff to Rear Adm. Len Hering, commander of Region Southwest. He said that several members of the Jewish community had complained to him.
“I don’t ascribe any intentionally evil motives to this,” Casuto said, referring to the design. “It just happened. The Navy has been very good about recognizing the problem. The issue is over.”
Davis, who is Jewish, is also pleased with the Navy’s decision.
During a discussion with military officials on other issues, Davis had mentioned the Coronado buildings and suggested that rooftop photovoltaic arrays might help change the overhead look. The base gets 3% of its power from solar energy and has been looking to increase that percentage.
Reached in Versailles, Mo., vonKleist, the talk-show host, said he was ecstatic.
“I’m concerned about symbolism,” he said. “This is not the type of message America needs to be sending to the world.”
what about hindu anti-defamation? the swastika is a sacred symbol to hindus, and by “camouflaging” it, they are doing a disservice to people (like me) who are trying to reclaim the swastika from people who think that it only means nazi.
let me make it very clear: the swastika has been around for thousands of years and it has only been within the last 100 years that it has meant anything other than good luck, peace and love! even the jews used the swastika as a sacred symbol: the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says “The swastika appears on various articles excavated in Palestine, on ancient synagogues in Galilee and Syria, and on the Jewish catacombs at the Villa Torlonia in Rome.” there are swastikas that decorate the floor of ancient synagogues in tel hum (capernaum). from the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, again: “In modern times, anti-Semites have given the swastika a baleful significance by adopting it as their symbol; their claim that it is of “Aryan” origin is absurd.” the fact that the US navy is “camouflaging” their swastika-shaped building is an indication that they are buying into the common myth that it means something else.
i understand that it is a common myth, but that doesn’t make it any more right for our government to “disguise” a building that has been in existance since the 1960s, and it is offensive to me that they would disguise it solely because somebody found a satellite photo of it on internet.
i knew that there was an old testament prophet that went for hindu ritual, but i couldn’t remember where. now i have proof that jacob was a sivaite!
And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.