You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2011.

I have been ignoring both my blog and Twitter. Facebook has become my social media of choice, mostly because it’s easier to post links to articles and I find the threaded conversations easier to follow and take part in, also no 140 character limit on comments.

My 68 year old brain just can’t keep up with all three (Blogs, Twitter and Facebook)

What is your favorite social media site?

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandberg

1) World In Pictures – Summer Fun

Sydney, Australia: Surfers return to the seas at Bronte beach as sea conditions return to normal following days of high tides. (John Donegan/Getty)

Ryan Blair (c.) and his friend Kasim Brown play in water released from an open fire hydrant on Memorial Day, Monday, in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP)

A girl runs past Memorial Day kites on the beach in Santa Monica, California, on Sunday. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Cape Town, South Africa: A man on Chapman’s Peak looks out over the Atlantic Ocean (Nic Bothma/EPA)

2) Dennis Hong: Making a car for blind drivers.

There are way too many who drive like they are blind. This is the kind of technology that can make driving as safe as we need it to be.

“Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It’s not a “self-driving” car, he’s careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity and route — and drive independently”


Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr Seuss

Another beautiful sunny day, in a picture perfect week. Perfect weather, warm during the day (temps in the 80’s), cool at night (temps in the 60’s). Spent the day in the park, watching the kids and squirrels play. Mediated at a beautiful little chapel on what a great place I am in this life, in this world. Today’s mantra – beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

The art of Physic

Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion.

The apparatus was built from a design published by Richard Berg at the University of Maryland. The particular apparatus shown here was built by Harvard’s Nils Sorensen.

The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations.

Monday is Memoral Day here in the US. It’s designated an offical holiday, but it is anything like a holiday for me. It is to honour the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for their country. There is honour in sacrifice, but war is the least honorable activity we humans take part in that I can think. I myself took part in war. Those memories only want to make me cry.

The face of war 2011

Abun, southern Sudan: A girl weeps while clutching a suitcase in a makeshift camp for internally displaced people (Pete Muller/AP)

The weather man had said it would be cloudy and rainy. I was gratefully surprised to wake up to a beautiful sunny day. Went off to the beach for my first shoreline walk this year.

My walks at the beach are usually solitary, though there are many people around me. I am very comfortable by myself and can’t remember the last time I felt lonely. I am of course always surrounded by this big, beautiful, amazing world.

From the essay “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”

Another artiest whose work I love is Vincent Van Gogh. I have a print of his “Starry Night” above my bed. Someone going by the name Copper Twist has created what is my new favorite interpretation of this painting with bacon:

I’ll finish with some art work of nature from the world of photography I came across last week

Yazoo City, USA: Floodwaters from the Yazoo river, one of the tributaries of the Mississippi, inundate crops (Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Kommetjie, South Africa: High winds churn up rough seas to produce sea foam, washed up on the beach (Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA)

A cloud of smoke and ash is seen over the Grimsvoetn volcano in Iceland, May 21, 2011. The cloud rising up from Grimsvoetn as a result of the eruption was seen for the first time around 1900 GMT and in less than an hour it had reached an altitude of 11 kilometres (6.8 miles), according to the Icelandic Meteorological (Institute.STR/AFP/Getty Images)

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Satchel Paige

On Saturday the calendar told me it was the first day of my 68th year. My bones seem to think I am a few years older. My brain still feels the same as when I was a young man. We won’t talk about what the mirror and scale are saying.

Do you feel older or younger than what the calendar is saying?

1) Pictures

a. The World

This NASA image shows the outlines of heavily flooded agricultural fields on the Missouri side of the Mississippi river. The center point for this frame is just north of Caruthersville, Mo. and west of Ridgely, Tenn. North is towards the lower right corner of the image. (NASA/AP)

Lava shoots from an Icelandic volcano in this dramatic image by Skarphedinn Thrainsson, who regularly risks injury from falling rocks and lava to get his pictures.

A full moon is seen at Borobudur temple during Vesak Day, commonly known as ‘Buddha’s birthday’, at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17th in Magelang, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

b. Children

Buddhist nuns offer joss sticks as they visit the famed Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, during the full moon day of Kasone, one of the holiest days of the year for Buddhists. (Khin Maung Win/AP)

A Pakistani child, his face covered with flies, sits inside a wooden cart in an alley of a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

Mennonite girls stand outside their school in the Valley of Juarez, Mexico. More than 80,000 Mennonites live in Mexico. Mennonites arrange their lives according to their religious beliefs; they have their own educational system and do not participate in the government or serve in the military. (Gael Gonzalez/Reuters)

3) Passion In Song

There are many sides to passion. Here are three.

a. Temptation – Diana Krall

b. Religious Faith

Whole Again – Jennifer Knapp

c. Sensual

Me Cai – Pacifika

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein

Back from cat land. I wouldn’t say it was the worst experience of my life but I am thrilled not to have to deal with cat poop, cat vomit and a 4:00 am cat breakfast meal. In appreciation of my efforts they have given my their traditional going away present, 5 lbs of cat hair on all my clothes.

My cousin on the other hand talked about how she did not enjoy her vacation as much as in the past, a bus tour of Scotland, because of how much she missed her feline family.

Here is one cat who has made an unusual friend.

Comments from the Daily Mail:

“The pair clearly enjoy each other’s company – every time Gebra comes in to land, her four-legged friend trots up to greet her with a friendly rub and purr.

It is believed the animals get on so well together because they have been pals since they were young.

It is also likely that they have bonded over a mutual instinct to hunt rodents.”

2) Rob Summers was told he would never walk again after he was hit by a speeding car but was determined to prove doctors wrong.

From the Guardian

“Baseball champion Rob Summers was hit by a speeding car in Portland, Oregon, three years ago, which smashed into his legs and left him with appalling injuries. He was told he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair at best. But the 25-year-old is now making history – as the first person paralysed from the chest down to stand and take a step unaided.

The small and shaky movements that Summers has achieved spell real hope for all those who have suffered a spinal cord injury, and possibly even for those paralysed by other causes such as stroke.

When he was in hospital, doctors told Summers he would never walk again, he said. “They said that I had no hope and to just give up. My comment was you don’t know me very well. I’m going to fight until I get well again.”

To stand again and take steps, he said, “felt incredible. It was amazing. It made me optimistic and hopeful again for the future. I’m excited at being a part of this.”

Summers’ legs are able to move because of electrical stimulation from a device implanted in his lower spine. Two hard years of training, suspended over a treadmill with physiotherapists manipulating his legs to stand and walk have helped build up the spinal cord neural network which processes signals to and from his legs.

The real discovery has been that it is not the brain that is in charge of movement, but the legs and the spinal cord.

His achievement is the culmination of many years of hard work and intense scientific endeavour funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.”

I will be entering cat hell again from for the next week. House sitting my cousin’s seven cats. Hope the following can entertained you until my return. Unless my next stop is an asylum.

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1) Thursday being Cinco de Mayo I watched my favorite mariachi band:

2) Mother’s Day – Anita Renfroe keeping Mother’s Day realz

In Tha Muthahood

3) World In Pictures

A man walks past the outside wall of the ‘Art In The Streets’ exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The exhibit is the first major historical exhibition of graffiti and street art to be organized by an American museum. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Young South Korean monks stand on a platform under lanterns at the Chogye temple in Seoul to celebrate Buddha’s upcoming birthday. (Ahn Young-oon/AP)

Mexico City, Mexico: Girls dressed as revolutionary soldiers from the Zacapoaxtla tribe chat during the Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Photograph: Reuters)

A long exposure picture shows Japanese red-crowned cranes sleeping in their winter roost on a river lightened under the nearly full moon at Kushiro, an eastern city in Hokkaido, a northern island in Japan as temperatures lie at around -20C. The cranes overwinter on a river that does not freeze to protect themselves from their natural enemies like foxes, weasels, crows, Steller’s sea eagles, white-tailed eagles and others. The estimated population of the red-crowned crane lies between 2,000 and 2,500 birds, with habitats in northern Japan, north-eastern China, Mongolia, Korean Peninsula and eastern Russia. The population on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is estimated at about 1,200 cranes. So far it appears that the Japan disaster has not had any adverse effects on the animals’ habitat on Hokkaiko (Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)

4) Guardian slide show of winners in the Royal Geographical Societies Travel Photographer of the Year contest:

The Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest mud brick building in the world. Photograph by Larry Louie, Canada, overall winner of Travel Photographer of the Year 2010.

A sadhu making his way out of a cloud of colours during the Holi festival in India. Photograph by Poras Chaudary, India, special mention in Best Single Image in a Portfolio – Encounters category.

“This was shot just after a sunset on the roof of a palace at Shugruf village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen. No extra lighting was used. The sun has just set (see the top right corner of the image) and mist has started to rise from the valley below.” Photograph by Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia, winner of Best Single Image in a Portfolio – Amazing Places category.

Four mountains seen across the Greenland ice cap illuminated by the midnight sun during a British mountaineering expedition to Knud Rasmussen Land. Photograph by Quintin Lake, UK, winner of ‘Portfolio – Amazing Places’ category.

When I was born in 1943 Eddie Cantor sang about “Makin Whoopee”

In 2011 Neon Tress tells us “They kinda want to be more than friends”, from there hit “Animal”

Whatever the words, whatever the look, whatever the sound, it’s still all about makin whoopee.

What’s you favorite love song?

The Music of Space – Eumir Deodato – Also Sprach Zarathustra

Finding Love Through the Pain of Hate

Getting bullied because you are different has been a fact of life for way too many kids, especially if you are gay. This hate was too much for too many. The It Gets Better Project is reaching out with the message of that if you can perseverance through the pain you can find love, fulfillment and joy on the other side of the door.

I woke up to another beautiful Spring day, two in row. “The sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses.” This is the song stuck in my brain:

1) The World In Pictures

A young boy takes a nap during a break at Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea. A group of children entered the temple, the main temple of Korean Buddhism’s Chogye Order, to experience a monk’s life for a month to celebrate Buddha’s birthday on May 10. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

Sana’a, Yemen: A girl holding a balloon sits on the ground next to a guard shortly before the arrival of President Saleh to deliver a speech to supporters (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

A young Jewish man prays in the gas chamber of the Auschwitz Death Camp before the March of the Living in Oswiecim, southern Poland. Thousands of people from around the world take part in the annual March of the Living paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the former Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
(Bela Szandelszky/AP)

2) Earth Landscapes from Space

This image shows the landscape of the Gedo region in south-west Somalia. This spectacular and varied scenery that includes rocky mountains, red and white sand dunes and gorges – lies some 400km west of Mogadishu and 800km north of Nairobi (European Space Agency)

This unusual landscape called Wadi Rum is in south-west Jordan, where mountains of granite and sandstone rise next to valleys filled with red sand. Some mountains reach 1,700 metres (5,600ft) above sea level, and many have near-vertical slopes. So alien is this landscape, it is nicknamed Valley of the Moon, yet nomadic people have lived here for thousands of years. It was declared a protected area in 1998. In the top-right of this image you can see circles where irrigation fields lie. Lawrence of Arabia, who fought in the Arab Revolt of 1917-1918, made frequent references to Wadi Rum in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A prominent feature of the protected area is named after the book and several of its sites bear his name (NASA)

3) You knows its a great day when the memories that visit you are thoughts of love. These words wandered into my brain, I played with them a bit. Poetry kicked started my day:

As the waves roll in
they the caress the shore

As the clouds roll by
then embrace the land

As my eyes kiss your skin
love swells my heart

As my spirit soars
its song fills my soul

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