• 2013-11-19-–db came by with a painting i did in ’78; later, sue and i watched an episode of a park for all seasons–wood buffalo (pictured is pine lake in the park–besides bison, the park is also home to the whooping crane, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and many others–but they’re stressed by upstream pollution; the tar sands are nearby), then great canadian rivers–the french (which i paddled in ’74), plus rick mercer and this hour has 22 minutes.
Our woman in Warsaw (at COP19), Elizabeth May, writes that she and Australian Ian McGregor, both independents with limited access, joined the small Afghan delegation as advisors and gained full access, becoming ‘a new variety of “environmental refugee.” … Our own national governments are so dreadful that we are better able to be productive as “refugees”–taken in by another national government.’ Are you an environmental refugee too?
We have some quinoa, and trying to figure out what to do with it discovered that 2013 is International Year of Quinoa, ‘in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective is to draw the world’s attention to the role that quinoa plays in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication, in support of achieving Millennium Development Goals.’
• 2013-11-21–we watched the nature of things–a dog’s life.
I am reading the ‘Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism‘ by Thich Nhat Hanh (pictured). I find Guideline 4 especially hard: ‘Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.’ I currently am com/passionate about Douglas Adams–who seemed to not avoid suffering but handle it rather well. I’m also curious about tessellations, like this ancient, Islamic mosaic in Marrakesh, Morocco (more on Sunday).
Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (HHGG), ‘described himself as a “radical atheist”, adding radical for emphasis so he would not be asked if he meant agnostic…. Despite this, he remained fascinated by religion because of its effect on human affairs.’ In this video, Parrots, the Universe, and Everything, he fleshes out his fascination. At about 40 minutes, he gets into a hilarious though tragic explanation of why the kakapo population has plummeted. The irony is, as he explains, that as we humans find out more and more, we do stupider things. I guess knowledge is not power. He relates the fate of the kakapo (pictured–a flightless parrot that lives on the ground) to ours. He concludes with the observation that we don’t have to save the earth, but we do have to decide if we want to be part of it. During the Q&A, he discusses conservation, towels (pictured is a towel from Towel Day, May 25th), digital watches, and faucets.
By the way, FIDE reports that ‘Magnus Carlsen [pictured–left] of Norway became the new World Chess Champion after defeating the previous champion Viswanathan Anand [right] of India by 6,5-3,5’. (thanks to sh)
Watch this inspiring video about what it looks like when Canadians in communities across Canada come together to #DefendOurClimate.
Tessellation. Note that ‘this form of the aperiodic Penrose tiling has two prototiles, a fat rhombus (shown blue in the figure) and a thin rhombus (green)…. A honeycomb is a natural tessellated structure.’ Some flowers are natural tessellated structures too (such as the Colchicum flower) and some rocks (such as The Giant’s Causeway of Ireland or those at Eaglehawk Neck of Tasmania).However, a Voronoi diagram (such as the one below) is not natural.Artists have used tessellations through the centuries, such as in Roman mosaics: or the Alhambra:
‘Tessellated designs also often appear on textiles, either woven or stitched in or printed.’‘In graphic art, tessellations frequently appeared in the works of M. C. Escher, who was inspired by studying the Moorish use of symmetry in the tilings he saw during a visit to Spain in 1936.’
• 2013-11-24–while snow squalls threatened, we quested for solomon’s mines on tvo, a national geographic special full of archaeologists uncovering the remains of a huge copper mining and smelting operation in the middle east, ten to seven centuries bce. there is a strong supposition that slaves did the mining, living perhaps months in the mines, perhaps dying there too.
I missed these video antics in the Eighties (pictured is the milk drum) but unfortunately not the songs.
Can’t get enough of Serena Ryder and Stompa?
Here’s a live version.
‘On behalf of our many guests and volunteers… all the best to you and yours through the holiday season. Never stop caring… ’tis one of the better aspects of being human.’–BB of The Guesthouse.
• 2013-11-25–we watched I AM, by the guy who made films like ace ventura: pet detective and bruce almighty, tom shadyack, who…. well, you gotta see this doc–it’s totally unlike ace ventura and bruce almighty. it affirms a few things:
- who i am and the journey i’m on
- we are interconnected, not just with other humans, but with everything–the isolated ‘self’ is an illusion
- buying more stuff and hoarding stuff do not mean having more happiness
- life is more about cooperation than competition
- in fact, in aboriginal societies, selfish, hoarding, competitive acts indicate mental disorders