Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Known Universe

Very well done and fantastic video.

Astronomy Picture of the Day has some comments.

The Known Universe by AMNH

Pointer via Pat Stacey/UM Ning.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Blog: Unfettered Clips

Exactly a month ago I started a new blog which I was working towards (on and off) for much of 2009 and of which I was first dreaming since exactly the time of this blog post, 2009-01-01. It has been and is a team effort as there is a group of people that took great effort to transcribe (and they still do) a lot of audio files and also Ken McLeod supports these projects and generously makes his material freely available to the public.

So what is it?

It's a kind of The Best Of Ken McLeod's teaching classes. Ken McLeod is a Western Buddhist teacher and author of the book Wake Up To Your Life (which is also available in audio form).

Personally I find his material full of wisdom, insight, and also practical value. A friend wrote about it: "I always think Buddhism indeed is among the wisest religions, or rather philosophies regarding the attitudes towards life. It is easy to understand, but also easy to forget. Thank you for reminding me these deep wisdoms. Ken McLeod did a very nice job in communicating these ideas."
Personally for me it is the other way around:), counter intuitive and difficult to understand, but once understood easier to remember. But maybe that's why I need a Western translator.

So I hope you enjoy this stuff:

Unfettered Clips & Quotes

Clips already posted and that I want to mention explicitly as I consider them especially important are the following three:

- Basic Skills
- Progression
- Manifesting Things


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Largo d'Orta

Isola San Guilio at Largo d'Orta

Click on the image for a larger view (or if you have a big monitor even better here is a full screen version).

This photo here from Wikipedia was the reason to go to Orta San Guilio when looking for a place in the Piemont to hang out over the Christmas days of 2009. We didn't regret it (despite no internet and a rocky train ride).

From The Independent:
Lake Orta, one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy's sub-Alpine lakes, is a place for sublime moments. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 and believed that the experience changed his life forever, inscribed the date "von Orta an" ("from Orta onwards") as a preface to his masterpiece Thus Spake Zarathustra. Other 19th-century writers enchanted by its quiet beauty include the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, who wrote rapturously of this "grey pearl in a green jewel-box"...

Strangely, despite such praise, Orta seems nowadays to have become rather a secret place - so secluded that many Italians have never heard of it. But to those who know its fairy-tale setting, the lake is Cenerentola (Cinderella): the beautiful, self-effacing maiden ordered to stay at home while her flashy elder sisters go to the ball. As visitors flock eastwards to the comparative fleshpots of the nearby, much larger Lake Maggiore, pretty Orta offers altogether quieter, more mystical pleasures.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday, January 01, 2010

Da Hammer

What would you do with a hammer?

Peter, Paul & Mary - If I Had A Hammer

The Beatles- Maxwell's Silver Hammer with lyrics

words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Social Sites

Interesting graphic and list of social sites from Focus: The Boom of Social Sites

As one commentator (named "How the Common Man Sees It") said it:
Wow. I’ve heard of about 10% of those. I now consider myself officially out of touch with the internet.
And from Stephen Welton:
Wow! The common denominator is that people are meeting people! That will never change.
While these sites all facilitate great new services and ways of interacting, my problem with them is, they mostly try to fragment, privatize, and monopolize the internet in order to cash in. E.g. they all invent email again:). Same for blogging etc. But all just inside their network.

The same that happened on the PC with propietary file formats is bound to happen again. Companies setting standards by using their first mover advantage and then it takes a decade of establishing open standards to wring back control of your own data.

Well, guess what, I don't want to sign into Ning or Xing in order to read or send a message to another person. How can I disable on Facebook making public the list of people I am interested to play around with. Why do I need Xing or LinkedIn to publish a list of people that have "officially" confirmed to be connected with me? The good think now, the masses (aka the kids) are way faster in moving further along if it so pleases them or something better or new comes along.

Pointer via The Big Picture.