Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mammoth 5 Ton Shark caught in China

Mammoth 5 Ton Shark caught in China
Thursday, May 31st, 2007

A five-ton shark is caught by fishermen on the outskirts of Lianyungang, in east China’s Jiangsu province, on May 23, 2007. The shark has been bought by a businessman at a price of 100,000 RMB ($13,066), local media reported.

Baby Chicks Move in with Tigers

Baby Chicks Move in with Tigers

Zoo-keepers in China say they were shocked when a group of tiger cubs made friends with some newborn chicks.

Workers at Zhejiang Wenling Zoo in Taizhou city put the chicks in a cage with the four month-old tiger cubs.

“We wanted to bring out the savage nature of the tigers while they were still cubs.”

But keepers were surprised to see the tigers initially shy away nervously from the chickens.

“Then in no time, they started playing together. Maybe in their eyes, there are no enemies, only friends,” added the spokesman.

Talk about a Senior Moment and why I see Life through scratched spectacles

Photo of myself (gregor) at 60 (Do I look that OLD?) and my son in India at the Ardh Kumbh Mela January 2007 (see my hair tucked under my garland?)

Well a story of personal interest, I suffered a gigantic Senior Moment two days ago. I had bought some Star Trek memorabilia, to leave for my 17 year old son. When I showed the things to him,I stated that when he was as old as I am (57 I thought) he said "Dad did you know that the artifacts would be 100 years old by then?". I said "What?" and started to figure the age of the artifacts from 1965 and then figured my age, I was born in 1947 and it is now 2007. That is when I came to the realization that I had stopped adding years to my age and thought that I was 57 (for the last 3-4 years a young to middle aged man) when in fact I will be 60 years old in August.Where did my life go?

But looking back is slowly set in that I have a lot of memories of different lifestyles and adventures, mostly of the 1960, Vietnam and being a peace activist's upon my return and being a hippie (I never got over that stage:) )Rainbow Gatherings,Nevada Test Site, anti-nuke activist Herb Company owner (Green Mountain Herbs) Yucca Mountain anti-nuclear waste activist, Solar energy designer and installer. Owning and living on the first gold mining claim in Colorado (the Red Cloud Claim)Owning a Colorado mountain Valley at 10,300 ft (second ridge from the Continental Divide ( with three cabins built from logs cut and milled in the 1930's and also a stone cabin, created entirely out of rock from the Valley (located in the middle of the Arapahoes National Forest, as far as I could see I owned)Owning an Arts and craft store in Central City Colorado,hanging with the Grateful Dead in the late 60's and early 70's(I am mentioned in"A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead by Dennis Mcnally )working for a Solar Company in Taos,New Mexico (installing a photovolatic electric system at the famous artist R.C. Gorman). living at a commune in New Mexico, the flood gates opened, but I will not bore you as I realized all that I did in my Life at this time.

Wow talk about a Senior moment,where have I been the last three years, I was totally floored, I don't look 60 (Do I?)I have long hair down to my shoulders with some streaks of silver(gray is the new silver) I am pretty fit and flexible, I do use a cane quite often, and have back and neck pains due to an auto accident in the early 90's. But to suddenly realize that I was 60 just blew me away. As I said that was the greatest Senior moment that I have ever had.

I was scheduled to take a Satipatthana Sutta meditation retreat at the California Vipassana Center but had to cancel at the last minute due to a MIR scheduled along with a visit to my primary care physician at the Salt Lake City Veterans Hospitable during the course. I really need to keep up with my spiritual practices as It help with the real pains and the difficulties of day to day life. :( so I hope to reschedule for the November retreat.

I have plan on writing a book to honor an old friend, Corbin Harney, the Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone tribe, who unfortunately has developed prostate cancer , which has spread to his bones.

This past summer, Corbin was diagnosed by western doctors with prostate cancer which has reportedly spread to his bones. After spending the early summer at Nanish Shontie, Corbin is back at Poo Ha Bah where he is receiving constant care and is close to the healing hot springs.

Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone Elder and Spiritual Leader

Corbin needs our help. Recently, Poo Ha Bah lost foundation funding and is experiencing a serious fiscal crisis. Specifically, Corbin requires funds for food, transportation, medication, health care, repairs and maintenance of the center. PLEASE send checks of any amount directly to "Corbin Harney" at his address: Corbin Harney, Post Office Box 187, Tecopa, California 92389

Corbin Harney is the founder of The Shundahai Network and Executive Director of Poo Ha Bah a Healing Center for Native folks who suffer(as Corbin Harney does)cancers from Nuclear above ground testing which occurred on or by their traditional homelands. The Western Shone homelands consist of most of the state of Nevada, parts of Idaho,California under the Treaty of Ruby Valley 1863. The US government said that the tread was voided by gradual (stolen) taking of the lands. But has generously offered to pay for the land at a price(1863 price) of fifteen cents an acre for the more than the millions of acres.

Update(pdf file)... on The Elimination of Racial Discrimination on The Early Warning And Urgent Action Procedure Decision 1(68) In Relation To The U. S.A. Submitted by The Western Shoshone National Council, The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, The Yomba Shoshone Tribe, The Wells Band Of Western Shoshone & The Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone

But back to my book"Shundahai Network:A Decade of Resistance" the thought of writing this book has brought purpose back into my life, again and am anxious to get started (actually I have been putting together my priorities for the book and an getting outlines, stories videos, audio releases from those who were there)I will be getting a web site to keep folks updated to what is happening with it. I know that getting a book publisher to release it would be near impossible, so will most likely go the vanity press route. If anyone has any suggested vanity press companies. Emails could be sent to me at

This has turned out to be a rather long post so I will close for now.

May world peace prevail during this time of war and worldwide hungry,
with loving kindness(metta in the language of Gotma the Buddha), gregor

Friday, June 8, 2007

Beer + Sunshine = Hot Water

Beer + Sunshine = Hot Water
Friday, June 8th, 2007

A Chinese farmer has made his own solar-powered water heater out of beer bottles and hosepipes.

“I invented this for my mother. I wanted her to shower comfortably,” says Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province.

Ma’s invention features 66 beer bottles attached to a board. The bottles are connected to each other so that water flows through them.

Sunlight heats the water as is passes slowly through the bottles before flowing into the bathroom as hot water, reports China Economy Network.

Ma says it provides enough hot water for all three members of his family to have a shower every day.

And more than 10 families in the village have already followed suit and installed their own versions of Ma’s invention.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fifties housewives' tarot deck (predict casseroles, aprons, A-bombs)

Fifties housewives' tarot deck (predict casseroles, aprons, A-bombs)

Link to Neatorama post, here's the deck itself (gah, Flash with complicated popup windows, my crappy Guatemalan wifi connection is choking), designed by Headcase. (Thanks, Mike D.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Smithsonian: Robert Lang, physicist, origamist

Smithsonian: Robert Lang, physicist, origamist
The new issue of Smithosinian magazine profiles Robert Lang, physicist and pioneer of technical and computational origami. From the article:

Images Articles 2007 Jun Origami-FrogNo one knows for sure when or where paper folding originated, but it seems to have been well established by the 1600s in Japan, where messages of good luck and prosperity have long been folded into ceremonial pieces. There was also an independent tradition of paper folding in Europe. But until the mid-20th century, practitioners had been limited to only a few hundred classic and oft-repeated designs. Then, in the 1950s, new techniques and designs created by Japanese origami artist Akira Yoshizawa started being published and exhibited. Soon after, experts began working on the mathematics that would allow the design and computation of abstract geometric shapes in folded paper. Lang and others use analytical geometry, linear algebra, calculus and graph theory to solve origami problems.

In the early '90s, Lang and Japanese origami master Toshiyuki Meguro simultaneously hit on a technique that has revolutionized folding. Now called "circle-river packing," the technique allowed origamists to do something that had always eluded them—create models with realistic appendages in specific spots. Each of a design's "flaps"—an area of the paper that is to become a leg or an antenna, for instance—is represented by a circle or a strip. Circles are drawn, or "packed," onto a square piece of paper, like oranges in a crate, with no overlap. The spaces between the circles may contain strips, or rivers, hence the name, circle-river packing. For the first time, designs that existed only in the mind's eye could be reliably reproduced without endless—and sometimes fruitless—trial and error.

• Robert Lang's Insect Origami Link
• Curved tetrahedron origami Link
• All shapes in origami Link

China Gives Scary Stories a Death Note

China Gives Scary Stories a Death Note

China has launched a crackdown on scary children’s stories including the popular Japanese “Death Note” comic book series, state media said Saturday.

Authorities are ordered to seize “illegal terrifying publications” from vendors ahead of China’s Children’s Day on June 1, the Xinhua News Agency and China Daily newspaper reported.

Communist authorities regularly launch sweeps to seize publications deemed pornographic or socially harmful. They are especially concerned about the influence of foreign books, movies and other pop culture on Chinese children.

One target in the latest crackdown is “Death Note,” a Japanese series of comic books about a notebook that can kill people whose names are written in it.

The story “misleads innocent children and distorts their mind and spirit,” said Wang Song, an official of the National Anti-piracy and Anti-pornography Working Committee, quoted by the China Daily.

“Death Note” publications have been seized in Shanghai and areas across central and southern China, the newspaper said.

Japanese Ice Cream Cone Pizza

Japanese Ice Cream Cone Pizza
Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Kono Pizza, a fast food restaurant is offering its customers pizza in a cone.

Instead of preparing toppings on a traditional flat crust, the toppings are placed inside a cone shaped crust (think an ice cream cone) and then baked.

The reasoning behind this strange creation is that cone pizza eliminates the mess and need for silverware that traditional pizza slices require. Cone Pizza can be eaten on the run.

Kono Pizza offers customers 7 different types of pizza cones and 2 dessert cones. Pizza cones are prepared freshly and cooked on site in a specially designed conveyor belt oven.

Kono Pizza currently has 5 stores in Tokyo and 1 in Nagoya.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Winners and losers as India booms

Winners and losers as India booms
By Karishma Vaswani
Business correspondent, BBC News, Mumbai

On a dry, arid patch of land in Western India, a group of farmers make a political and economic statement - we are selling our farms, they say.

Indian cotton farmer and his sons at Yavatmal outside Nagpur

Many farmers have been hit hard by globalisation
Under the searing heat of the Indian sun, the head of the village, Dharampul Jarundhe, whose family has farmed for generations, wipes the drops of sweat from his brow.

"No more agriculture for us", he says. "It doesn't feed us, it doesn't feed our children. We will move to the cities and work as tea bearers, and live in Mumbai's slums if we have to - it is better than starving."

Seventy per cent of India's people make their living on the land. Millions of farmers, spread out across rural India, have had to watch the value of their products depreciate on the international markets.

There is a segment that is growing up in India right now that is ready to reap the benefits of what globalisation truly is
Pavithra Suryanarayan, independent economist.
A lack of subsidies mean they are at the mercy of the whims and fancies of economic terms like the demand and supply curve, subjects they never studied in school, phrases they don't understand.

All they know is that they are caught in the cycle of debt and drought, and year after year life gets worse.

Higher expectations

Like many of India's farmers, Dharampal has heard the legendary tales of Mumbai. In the village next to his, there is cable television, brought thanks to the growing incomes of some of the villager's young who have gone to India's financial capital to make a living.

People in rural India

The gap between rural and urban India is enormous
On the TV sets, images of a rich, urban, glittering India are beamed into the tiny mud-patched homes of the Indian countryside, fuelling resentment, giving rise to an unimaginable fury that has manifested itself in demonstrations and protests scattered across the nation.

Critics of globalisation say the forces of free market style economics are to blame for the rising income inequality between the India of the haves, and the India of the have-nots.

"Is this what you call progress?" asks Jaideep Hardlikar, a farmer activist and a journalist. "I think it's loot by a few of the majority.

"No doubt software professionals are earning money their fathers and forefathers had never ever imagined in their life., but the kind of deprivation you see in parts of India that were once prosperous is shocking and unfathomable."

I am making more money than my parents could have ever dreamed of, and as an Indian woman that is so totally liberating
Devika, call centre worker, Mumbai

But economists say that globalisation is a useful bogeyman and should not be blamed for India's ills.

"This is not the fault of globalisation," scoffs Pavithra Suryanarayan, an independent economist.

Garuda shopping mall, Bangalore
Shopping malls have proliferated in India's cities

"Arguably, even if India had never liberalised, you would have seen the same results.

It is the fault of a lack of reforms in the agricultural sector. You cannot blame the faults of the government on globalisation. It is a convenient phrase that is bandied about and blamed for everything."

Big benefits

During loud protests on the streets of Delhi outside parliament house, globalisation gets blamed a lot.

It is the reason that many say India's social and cultural values are being eroded. It is what small shopkeepers say is bringing in American supermarket chains like Wal-Mart to India, threatening their livelihoods. And it is what is being blamed for rising pollution levels in the country, as a result of rapid industrialisation.

Software company in Bangalore
India's outsourcing industry has produced wealth for some

But ask 25-year-old Devika, who works at a call centre in Mumbai, whether her life has been changed for the better because of the free market and she will give you a resounding yes.

"It's a cliché now, isn't it, but it's still true. I am making more money than my parents could have ever dreamed of, and as an Indian woman that is so totally liberating.

"I don't need to depend on my parents for money, I don't need to depend on a husband for money. I can choose to get married later if I want to. I may not even need to get married. The opportunities that have opened up for me are mind-boggling."

Ms Suryanarayan agrees.

"There is a segment that is growing up in India right now that is ready to reap the benefits of what globalisation truly is, and what it can do," she says.

"They can tap into global markets, they are being given opportunities now to be part of a really global world. It is this generation in India that will see the benefits of a globalised economy."

Balancing the opportunities of the haves with the misfortunes of the have-nots, though, will be a priority for India as its economy develops.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chinese man washes hair for first time in 26 years

Chinese man washes hair for first time in 26 years

80 year-old Mr. Luo lives in the little village of Chong Qing city in China. Wildly enough, he hasn’t washed or cut his hair or beard for more than 26 years.

His hair grew to 2 meters long and his beard was 1.5 meters.For the first time in 26 years, he decided to give himself a new look for a local animal sports event.

All the townspeople lined up to give him a hand. After many failed attempts using regular shampoo, they spent a total of 5 hours and 3 packs of laundry detergent to wash him clean.

In the end, Mr. Luo was a very happy man.