25 June 2006

Disrespect can separate us from love, to be sure, but so, too, can admiration.  We seek love from those whom we admire, but to the extent that our admiration blinds us to their human struggle and its essential similarity to our own, we erect barriers to love that are as effective as any sneer.

Communities are bound together by a social order that dictates our status and our level of privilege; but individuals are bound one to another by a love that arises when judgments and comparisons are set aside.

~  Josh Mitteldorf

24 June 2006

“Several studies on meditation have demonstrated effects that are consistent with a lengthening of both the (mean) life span and the ‘health span.’ Most recently, a large-scale epidemiologic study comparing hypertensive practitioners of Transcendental Meditation with matched hypertensive controls over two decades revealed a 23% decrease in all-cause mortality.”

From Molecular Biology to Anti-aging Cognitive-Behavioral Practices, by Dr William Bushell of MIT
  Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, 1057:24-49 (2004) 

Report from Bushell's trip to India documenting extraordinary metabolic control of yogi adepts.

23 June 2006

Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly.

~ Richard Bach, seventy years old today

22 June 2006

Rapid development + Central planning = Ecotopia

Shanghai is China's largest city, located at the mouth of the Yangtze, a center of culture and progressive thought, and now, a forest of skyscrapers where rural peasants flock to taste a middle-class, cosmopolitan life style.

25 km to the north of Shanghai, urban planners are conducting a grand experiment in community and environmental planning.  A new city of Dongtan is being designed for livability, healthy life style, and a compact "ecological footprint".  The vision involves wind power and urban waste recycled to biogas, bicyclable streets and public transportation more convenient than cars.  Low-rise housing clusters are designed to seed China's traditionally powerful community ties in a place that will be newly populated by immigrants from all parts of China.

Dongtan is an important experiment that could become a blueprint for 21st century Chinese development.

New Scientist article 
Guardian Unlimited article

21 June 2006

In about 2600BC, 80 blue stones were transported from the Preseli Mountains in South Wales, some 385km (240 miles) away and erected inside the earthen bank at Stone Henge in a double crescent setting.

Stones were carved with hammers made of other stones, and moved with tools of rude wood.  Metals were not yet invented.

The largest of the stones weighs over 45 tons.  They were placed so as to provide a guide to viewing the sunrise, detecting the solstice and other special times.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site - Stonehenge - Reconstruction


20 June 2006

I moulded kings and saviours,
And bards o'er kings to rule;
But fell the starry influence short,
The cup was never full.

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
And mix the bowl again;
Seethe, fate! the ancient elements,
Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.

Let war and trade and creeds and song
Blend, ripen race on race,
The sunburnt world a man shall breed
Of all the zones, and countless days.

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
My oldest force is good as new,
And the fresh rose on yonder thorn
Gives back the bending heavens in dew.

from R W Emerson, Song of Nature  

19 June 2006

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and mendacity so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”

~ Blaise Pascal, born this day in 1623

«La vérité est si obscurcie en ce temps, et le mensonge si établi, qu'à moins que d'aimer la vérité, on ne saurait la connaître.»

~ Les Pensées de Pascal