Friday, September 30, 2005

Beautiful flowers losing their scent

"It seems that the breeding behind the huge variety of roses and other ornamental flowers now available has also inadvertently diminished the flowers' scents. In an excellent Science News article, Ivan Amato examines why today's ornamentals don't smell as good as they once did. He also discusses how flower scientists are looking at ways to resurrect lost scents and even engineer new ones. From the article:
"Pigment compounds are derived from the same biochemical precursors [as scent compounds are], so it makes sense that if you make more of one you get less of the other," notes floral-scent biochemist and geneticist Eran Pichersky of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Floral scent may be dwindling because breeders for the $30 billion ornamental-flower industry pay scant attention to this most emblematic attribute of flowers. "In order of [commercial] priority, color is number 1 through 10," says Alan Blowers, head of flower biotechnology for Ball Helix, a biotech company in West Chicago, Ill., devoted to the ornamental-plant industry. Beyond color, breeders have been targeting improvements in flower longevity, shape, size, disease resistance, and other traits likely to improve the growers' bottom lines.

Fragrance is different. It's invisible, and its sensory impression is as subjective as taste."

Link to Complete Article

"George Harrison: Surely isn't it like flowers? If somebody may prefer roses and somebody may like carnations better... Isn't it really a matter for the devotee, that one person may find Hare Krsna is more beneficial to his spiritual progress, and yet somebody else, some other mantra may be more beneficial? Isn't it like just a matter of taste? Like judging a flower. They're all flowers, but some people may like one better than the other.
Prabhupada: But still, there is distinction. The rose flower is considered better than simply a flower without any flavor.
Yoko Ono: In that case I can't...
Prabhupada: Just try to understand this flower example.
Yoko Ono: Yes.
Prabhupada: It is all right. You are attracted by some flower, I am attracted by some flower, but amongst the flowers there are distinctions. There are many flowers which has no flavor and many flower has flavor.
Yoko Ono: Is that flower that has flavor better than...
Prabhupada: So therefore attraction for any flower is not the solution of the question. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham [Bg. 4.11]. Krsna is Supreme Absolute. Anyone wants Him in any way, He also presents Himself in that way. Just like the same example. If you want a yellow flower, never mind whether there is any scent or any flavor or not, so that flower is there. It is for you. That's all. But if anyone wants rose flower, Krsna gives him rose flower. But when you make a comparative study which one is better, then rose will be considered better. (chuckling)"

Room Conversation With John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison -- September 11, 1969, London, At Tittenhurst

(I will be gone a couple of days so no use checking back in until Monday.)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gee Whiz, Mr. Wizard, We've Been Nuked!

Between 1955 and 1963, approximately 160 nuclear bombs were detonated aboveground in the United States. With the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963, nuclear testing in the United States, Great Britain and Russia moved underground and atmospheric concentration of C14 have since been dropping exponentially due to radioactive decay and atmospheric diffusion.

Nuclear Tests Leave Mark in Teeth, Reveal Age

By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 14 September 2005

Aboveground testing of nuclear bombs during the 1950s and 1960s produced large amounts of radioactive carbon that diffused around the globe. One of the places this radioactive element ended up is in our teeth, a new study reports.

Carbon 14 (C14) is a radioactive form of carbon that makes up approximately 0.001percent of the total amount of naturally occurring carbon on Earth. Beginning in 1955, the global concentration of C14 in the atmosphere spiked due to increased nuclear bomb testing taking place in various countries worldwide, including the United States.

C14 acts just like regular carbon and can react with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Plants incorporate the radioactive carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. By eating plants and the animals that feed on plants, the C14 concentration in the human body closely parallels that in the atmosphere at any given time.

One place in the human body where carbon is incorporated is in the teeth, where it makes up approximately 0.4 percent of the hard outer covering of the tooth known as the enamel. During childhood, the enamel forms at different times depending on the tooth and is laid down only once. The final formation of enamel occurs at age 12 in a child’s wisdom teeth. This means that the C14 concentration found in the enamel of the tooth reflects the amount of C14 that was in the atmosphere when the enamel formed.

Between 1955 and 1963, approximately 160 nuclear bombs were detonated aboveground in the United States. With the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963, nuclear testing in the United States, Great Britain and Russia moved underground and atmospheric concentration of C14 have since been dropping exponentially due to radioactive decay and atmospheric diffusion.

One Morbid Use

This knowledge is proving particularly useful for forensic scientists because it provides them with a new method of determining a person’s age at death that is more accurate than traditional methods.

In their study, the researchers were able to determine the ages of 22 individuals to within 1.6 years by comparing the amount of C14 in their teeth to the known concentrations of C14 in the atmosphere.

Currently, the most commonly used method for determining an individual’s age at death is to look for signs of wear in the individual’s teeth or in the skeleton, said Jonas Frisén, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and principal investigator of the study. In adults, however, this method is only accurate to within 5-10 years.

Because scientists know that teeth generally grow from the front to the back of the mouth, they can figure out whether an individual was born before or after 1963—the peak of nuclear testing—by comparing the concentration of C14 in the newer teeth versus that of the older teeth.

Because atmospheric C14 concentrations began to rise only in 1955, the technique does not work for individuals born before 1943—twelve years before worldwide levels of C14 began to increase—since all their teeth would already have formed by this time.

Frisén told LiveScience that the method has been used to by the Swedish police to determine the age of some of the victims if the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia.

The method should work for people living all around the globe, regardless of race or ethnicity, since atmospheric diffusion should have evenly distributed C14 around the globe. While it’s conceivable that differences in diet or in local conditions might lead to variability in the amount of C14 incorporated into tooth enamel, other studies suggests this is unlikely.

Frisén believes the method should be useful for several more decades since global atmospheric concentrations are decreasing only slowly and C14 measurement techniques continue to improve

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Common Usage of Logic

3 men went to a hotel. The desk clerk said the room was $30, so each man put up $10 and went to the room. A little while later the desk clerk realized the room was only $25, so he sent the bellhop back to the 3 guy's room with $5. On the way to the room the bellhop couldn't figure how to split the $5 between the 3 guys so he just gave each one of them $1 and he kept the other $2. That left the 3 guys paying $9 each for the room. 3x9=27+ the 2 that the bellhop kept =$29. WHERES THE OTHER DOLLAR??????

Now don't be lazy. Try to actually figure this out.

"If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"

"Don`t think that you`re thinking. If you think that you're thinking you only think that you're thinking."

"If a train station is where a train stops, what is a workstation?"

Sorry, just a little filler in there so if you have any regrets about giving up so easily and really do want to take some more time figuring out where that dollar went, the explanation won't be right there to ruin the last opportunity to think for yourself.

Unfortunately, the $30 "logical" approach to spiritual life doesn't work, and those who get caught up in it usually end in sectarian bickering. If you want to use logic, then at least study it and apply it correctly.

Unfortunately, much of what passes for intelligent dialogue in so-called spiritual circles is the $30 "logic" as seen herein, or what seem to be the devotees favorite logical fallacies: the Red Herring , the Ad Hominem, and the Strawman.

Incidentally, the answer is the three men paid three x nine = twenty-seven, of which twenty five went to pay for the room and the other two went into the bellhop's pocket.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Git'er Done

Overcoming Procrastination

by Ramona Creel is a good quick look at how to organize yourself to be more productive. Sample section:


    Start with a written plan of action to avoid getting distracted
    Keep your plan simple and straightforward
    Start with the one thing you must get done today to feel productive
    Should be a manageable item you can complete in 10-15 minutes
    Break the day up into a number of "action sessions" for other tasks
    Balance the time spent planning with time spent creating or doing
    Avoid over-planning -- another method of procrastination
    Before ending your day, spend 10 minutes reviewing your progress
    Take time to plan your actions for the next day

Other Section Headings:

    Be vision-directed
    Bite-sized pieces
    Decide to schedule it
    Good enough is good enough
    Just do it
    Plan around interruptions
    Remember to make it fun
    Staying motivated

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lone Piper

Hearing "Black Island" Played by a Live Bagpiper

Echoes of a Bagpipe

You can learn when pipes are played,
immerse yourself in bagpipe history,
study the details of its construction
and research where to buy one.

A bagpipe can be seen in pictures
played by a full dress, lone
piper or in a multitude
marching down Fifth Avenue.

Someone who has heard
the pipes can describe the droning
sound, it can be reproduced
on CDs, in movies…

Yet nothing prepares
you to hear a bagpipe live,
the melody of “Black Island”
echoing off the ridge on the far
side of Wheeling Creek,

piercing the rationalization
of how it’s Nature’s way,
piercing the comfort, cold,
of theological idealism,

piercing the dull routines
and the flimsy shell of denial,
louder than ever imagined –
at the funeral of an old dear friend.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

One Eulogy Read at the Memorial Service

To all the assembled vaishnavas: I sincerely wish I could physically be with you on this auspicious day. Please know that I am with you in spirit as we honor and celebrate the remarkable life of Mary Lou Sherwood/Sister Piety/Madhavi Shakti devi dasi. She touched many hearts and lives and left a positive impression on each of us. She had flair and a charismatic persona that was hard to miss. Her generous, outgoing personality effortlessly filled whatever space she occupied.

My earliest memories of Mrs. Sherwood are from the mid 1980’s when she became a teacher to the older children in the New Vrindaban Community. She taught English at the house across the street from the Palace. In gurukula, Mrs. Sherwood was undoubtedly the best academic teacher I ever had. I say this for a couple of reasons. First, she really was a good teacher. It was a talent she had perfected throughout her career. She knew how to encourage and motivate her students. She took a personal interest in each of her students and pushed us to do our very best. Second, she actually took her service as a teacher seriously. At that time in New Vrindaban other activities were given precedence over education. Often Kirtanananda Swami would take the older teenage boys out of school to work on various construction projects around the Community. When this happened it was generally understood that any classes we missed would be overlooked. Mrs. Sherwood, in her amiable yet firm way, told Kirtanananda Swami she would have none of that. She informed him that the students had to come to her class, participate in the lessons and turn in all assignments or she would not pass them. For the most part Kirtanananda Swami agreed. Her calm persuasion changed the educational dynamics in the Community for the better.

Mrs. Sherwood also encouraged me to continue my education and go to college. She did this during a time when the prevailing mood was that “worldly” education was considered “mundane,” “materialistic,” and so on. I took her words to heart. At times when my college studies got tough I would think back on her words and they would inspire me to keep moving forward. For this I am forever grateful to her. Please know that Mrs. Sherwood’s joyful spirit lives on through the lessons she shared with her students.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” - Henry Adams

In closing, I offer my love and prayers to Krpamaya, Krsna Bhava, Krsna Priya, Krsna Balarama and the rest of her wonderful extended family. Hare Krishna.

Seeking the essence,
Chaitanya Mangala dasa (aka Chaits)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sunday's Madhavi Shakti Memorial Schedule

Memorial Service Schedule

10:00 a.m. - Ceremony Inauguration (Mrdanga and Native American drums played by Gouranga Kishore, sitar played by Raga Jaya & singing bowls played by friends)
10:05 a.m. Welcome Address by Advaita Acharya das and Kripamaya das
10:10 a.m. - Words of Appreciation from His Holiness Radhanath Swami (Maharaja will call from India and will be heard via speaker phone)
10:20 a.m.. - Reading of eulogies from those who can not attend.
10:30 a.m. - Open Mike - (words of appreciation from those present.)
11:30 a.m. - Farewell Concert by children and grand children of Madhavi Shakti

a). Bass Instrumental played by Devin Hornby
b). Favorite Hymns of Madhavi Shakti played on piano by Susan Sherwood
c). Excerpts from the Bhagavad-Gita sung by Kripamaya das & Krishnapriya dasi
d). Poem by Dylan Thomas read by Krishnapriya dasi
e). "Dark Island" bagpipe instrumental played by Susan Sherwood
f). Reading of "Crossing the Bar" a poem by Alfred Llyod Tennyson read by Susan Sherwood
g). "Peace I Ask of Thee Oh River" Sung by Mary Lyn Sherwood and Susan Sherwood

12:00 a.m. - Closing Ceremonies with a reading from the Bible & Ishopanishad.

a). Bhoga offering and aratika for the departed soul
b). Releasing of butterflies from their cage
c). Cow procession to the lake behind the Palace with bagpipe accompaniment.
d). Singing of the Irish Blessing as the ashes are offered to the wind
e). Pusphpanjali (Offering of Flower Petals to the picture of the departed soul)

After the memorial service a feast will be served out in front of the R.V.C Temple at 2:00 honor of Madhavi Shakti.

Swan Boat at New Vrindavan

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mooving On

Man: "Wha...? I remember a steakhouse... tightness in chest... flashing red lights..."

Cow: "Can you say "karma"? Now, back to practicing your mooing."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Welcome Visitors From Jaya Murari's Mailing

I saw a spike in visitors last night and also got the email from Jaya with the invitation to view my blog so I assume there is a correlation. That activity has continued into this morning.

I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. There are so many excellent sites out there about devotee stuff that I would never be able to compete with. See the Links section in the sidebar for the Official New Vrindaban site and links to ISCOWP (Cow Protection) and (One Doorway to Krsna) for all of that. Plus, if you all are coming from Jaya's list, you are already getting a lot of great Deity pictures.

I am trying to post things that to me are interesting and devotee related, tho sometimes I know that "relatedness" may seem tenuous :-) I do have my running parody of the Soccer Sampradaya as an ongoing theme, for those who aren't familiar with it, so that keeps popping in but don't take it too seriously please.

If you find anything of interest on this opening page, there is more in the Archives section, also found in the sidebar.

In a way, what Jaya does is a sort of blogging, just thru email. In any case, welcome, and drop by anytime.

Madhava Gosh

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How Many Legs Does this Elephant Have?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Six Blind Men and the Elephant

You understand the sun planet from here. You are seeing the sun planet, that's a fact, but that does not mean you know what is actually the sun planet is, because you have no access to approach there. You may speculate, that's all. Speculation means the blind man seeing the elephant. Somebody thought, "Oh, it is just like a pillar." Yes. Big, big legs. Somebody understood the trunk. Somebody understood the ears, elephant. There is a story, some blind men studying the elephant. So they were giving different conclusions. Somebody: "The elephant is just like a pillar." Somebody says, "Elephant is just like big boat." Somebody is... Somebody is... But actually what is elephant, if you have no eyes to see, you can go on speculating. Therefore it is here said that pusann apavrnu. "Please uncover the covering. Then I can see You."

Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 13-15 -- Los Angeles, May 18, 1970

Full versions of The Six Blind Men and the Elephant:

Buddhist Version
Jain Version
Hindu Version
Simple Version with Teaching Guide for Children

Monday, September 19, 2005

Carmel Point (picture from a beach at Goa)

Carmel Point

The extraordinary patience of things!
This beautiful place defaced with a crop of surburban houses-
How beautiful when we first beheld it,
Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;
No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,
Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads-
Now the spoiler has come: does it care?
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty
Lives in the very grain of the granite,
Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.-As for us:
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.

(Robinson Jeffers)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pavitra's Take on Flatlanders

I think Srila Prabhupada's example of the frog in the well is very much akin to the Flatlanders thinking. When trying to understand the ocean he is limited to his perceptions of space. Is it 5 times my well, is it 10 times etc. Eventually one gets into numbers that one just can't understand, like me trying to understand the national debt in dollars above say, I dunno, 100 billion or something. I just have no concept of a number like 5 trillion.
I received this from a friend:

I was visiting the site you mentioned in your blog about the Flatland example. I remember reading it years ago (the book) and your example brought back an interest on my part. On the homepage I saw a picture I was interested in and redid it to my perception.

I think Srila Prabhupada's example of the frog in the well is very much akin to the Flatlanders thinking. When trying to understand the ocean he is limited to his perceptions of space. Is it 5 times my well, is it 10 times etc. Eventually one gets into numbers that one just can't understand, like me trying to understand the national debt in dollars above say, I dunno, 100 billion or something. I just have no concept of a number like 5 trillion.

The material world is a b---- but we do get to pop our heads through the covering now and then and see some mercy. Varsana gave a nice example at his Gaura Purnima lecture. He said if we give an ant a huge diamond, the ant just doesn't get it. It doesn't understand the value, but give him one small grain of sugar and he will be in bliss. Similarly, we don't understand the incredible mercy of Lord Caitanya. Its amazing scope and potency is beyond us, but give us a little sense gratification and we are happy campers.

If I'm that guy in the picture, I think I should crawl through the space and get over there fast instead of just peeping through now and then. Conditioning is a tough nut to break. Of course chanting Hare Krsna is the recommended solution for all in this age to be able to cross over and live in the sunshine of that mercy.

This is more accurate. The spiritual world (4th dimension) has something unseen in the material world (3D) represented here by color. I think even the color in the spiritual world should be somewhat muted slightly where Lord Caitanya's color is the most vibrant. I think that would convey the supreme excellence of Caitanya's mercy, which I feel is primary even to Krsna's pastimes in our KC movement. Of course it is all beyond category of good, better, best in this realm as the Lord has so many incarnations and all are no less than the Godhead. Even the maha mantra would work in place of Caitanya's picture in that regard.

Did you ever see the movie "Time Bandits" ? It was from a George Harrison production company and was about these small people who stole the map of the universe that God used to create it. It had flaws and they used it to find these flaws which were portals to another time in history. So they would use these "doors" they found on the map to get out of trouble in their immediate time frame. It had subplots of good and evil and mans purpose and all and was a comedy of sorts with Monty Python like humor. John Cleese has a small role as Robin Hood.

Anyway the doors or windows along the edge of the photo, where a man is viewing the spiritual world are known by the spiritual master. He can show us these openings and we can take advantage of them. He, so to say, has the map. Without his kindness and mercy we would never ever find them on our own using our given tools of philosophy, reason, logic etc.


Friday, September 16, 2005

FFL Katrina Relief Calling Volunteers

by Priyavrata Das, Food for Life Global

Dear devotees,

Food for Life Global is coordinating the FFL Katrina relief efforts in Mississippi and Texas. The first FFL program was initiated from the New Talavan farm. Devotees have been serving prasadam in a nearby town called Picayune in Mississippi. However, some volunteers are due to leave for other services and so we DESPERATELY need help to continue this project. The devotees from Alachua and New Vrindavan recently delivered truckloads of bhoga, so food is not a problem at this time. We just need hands to cook and serve out prasada!

We also have a team in Houston providing prasadam to shelters across town, however, soon we will be starting a new program in the center of downtown Houston in a large Hall and we will need help.

We are now calling for experienced cooks and kitchen hands to contact Food for Life Global if you wish to participate in these projects. Even if you are only able to assist for 2 weeks, please do contact us now!

Visit: for details of these projects.

Priyavrata das
DirectorFood for Life Global
Ph: + 1 (301) 987-5883
Fax: + 1 (413) 403-3090

Soccower Poets

Click here to see Soccower Poets in action.

Bonus feature:

Time and Tide

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Soil Husbandry Transcends Soil Science

From an article by Wendell Berry in Orion magazine:

“It has become clear that we have been running our fundamental economic enterprise by the wrong rules..."

“The farm and all concerns not immediately associated with production have disappeared from sight. The farmer too has vanished...”

“The result is utterly strange in human experience: farm families that buy everything they eat at the store...”

“Husbandry, which is not replaceable by science, nevertheless uses science, and corrects it too. It is the more comprehensive discipline. To reduce husbandry to science, in practice, is to transform agricultural "wastes" into pollutants, and to subtract perennials and grazing animals from the rotation of crops. Without husbandry, the agriculture of science and industry has served too well the purpose of the industrial economy in reducing the number of landowners and the self-employed. It has transformed the United States from a country of many owners to a country of many employees...”

“The effort of husbandry is partly scientific but it is entirely cultural; and a cultural initiative can exist only by becoming personal..."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

NV Devotees Attend PETA's 25th Anniversary Gala

Along with Alec Baldwin and a a host of other celebrities, devotees from a New Vrindaban based independent company were in attendance at PETA's 25th Anniversary Gala . They were given a table to distribute samples of their Primal Strips prasadam and included on the Food and Beverage Donors list by virtue of having won PETA's 2004 Proggy Award for Best Vegetarian Snack Product for their vegetarian jerky, the aforementioned Primal Strips, available at a store near you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mary Lou aka Sister Piety aka Madhavi Shakti dd left her body last night

I was trying to limit myself to posting one poem a week to keep some semblance of balance, but a friend has left. I will post something about her later. For now, to better express the moment than I can, a poem by Phillip Larkin:

Next, Please

Always too eager for the future,
Pick up bad habits of expectancy.
Something is always approaching, every day
Till then we say,

Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear,
Sparkling armada of promises draw near.
How slow they are!
And how much time they waste,
Refusing to make haste!

Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks
Of disappointment, for, though nothing balks
Each big approach, leaning with brasswork prinked,
Each rope distinct,

Flagged, and the figurehead with golden tits
Arching our way, it never anchors; it's
No sooner present than it turns to past.
Right to the last

We think each one will heave to and unload
All good into our lives, all we are owed
For waiting so devoutly and so long.
But we are wrong:

Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Introduction To Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means

(Billy Collins)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

RADical HASTy Answer Made re:Incoming comment

I posted to my blog a thought that what this movement needed was a good cartoonist. I received a comment on the post which referenced a Buddhist oriented book that had cartoons, so I checked it out on Amazom. You may need to click Next Page a few times to get to the cartoons. For those with weak faith in their own religion, there is Nothing to worry about when viewing a book about Buddhism.

If cartoons can be made about Nothing, imagine what could be done with Someone as a focus instead. Tho perhaps the adventures and misadventures of someone trying to focus on that Someone would be more appropriate for a series of cartoons. Quick, dogmatists, look up "cartoon" in the VedaBase and see if it is authorised!

For those without VedaBase, here is one suggestion:

I very much appreciated also the nice cartoon-advertisements for your OSU Yoga society, and I think Ranadhira must have done them so nicely. Please thank him and encourage him to do much more such nice artistic work.

Letter to: Kirtanananda -- Los Angeles 30 November, 1968

Friday, September 09, 2005

First Day with 100 Unique Visitors

Yee ha. Just had my first day on the blog with a triple figure Unique Visitors count. 102 to be exact. If only 6 more had come, it would have been truly auspicious. This is heady stuff for a country boy with a narrow target demographic. Fresh cream drink with raw honey and organic blueberries prasadam for everyone.

Almost, but not quite, as good a feeling as skating in Central Park, New York City, until the the endorphins kick in, and the whole world opens up before you. Similar to a good kirtan, for you nonskaters. The "runner's high" the kids at the local high school must have had today when they rallied from 2-0 behind, 2-1 at half time, to win 5-2. Which is to say I haven't quite adapted to the sedentary lifestyle yet, but I am starting to see it may have some good sides to it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Alarm Growing on Storm's Cost for Agriculture

"In Covington, La., thousands of cows are stranded in two feet of brackish water on the levees near New Orleans. Mike Strain, a veterinarian and co-owner of the Strain Cattle Company, struggled Wednesday to find a plane to airlift hay into the area to give his remaining 400 head of cattle "enough strength and energy to get them out of there." Already, well more than half of the 1,100 animals in his herd have perished, costing his company $2 million in uninsured losses. "The timetable for survival is diminishing rapidly," said Dr. Strain, who is also a state legislator. "The death loss of cattle in southeast Louisiana will be 80,000 to 100,000 head when it's all tallied. That's 50 to 70 percent of the herd here, and that's before disease sets in." Dr. Strain's rescue efforts are being severely hampered is a lack of diesel fuel to move the cattle to a ranch 100 miles north. "There is no fuel in the service stations that have power. That's just unconscionable." ..."

Full article

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mother Cow

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Satellite Photo of House Project -Failed, DNR

I was going to post a satellite photo of my house today. I went to Google Maps and after some trial and error due to being out in the country, actually found my house and got it at a 200 feet per inch scale (metric = (extremely roughly) 24 meters per centimeter). Unfortunately, same old hangup, had to do a print screen and by the time I went thru the changes to get it into jpg format, it was too muddy to bother with.

So yes, I am in a bad mood.

Katrina Spammers Should be Shot

I just had my second attack by spammers adding comments to posts. Besides the chore of cleaning up that sort of dog @#$%, it was especially annoying because the opener was some mention of Aid and Katrina, then a really transparently weak segue into useless nonsense - including , of course, one for a sexually exploitive site. Now that to me is a form of looting and the dogs who post it should be hunted down and put out of their rabid misery. Where is a good ksatriya when you need one?

Monday, September 05, 2005


Sometimes the celestial syrup slows
into vines
stumps, rock slopes,
it’s amazing in fact how
slow it can get – diamond:

but then sometimes it flows
free in a flood
and high
so procedure drowns out

practically, a roof showing
here and there
or a branch
as skinny

wind it recalls
and promises everything
but delivers nothing
except the song that
skims the mountains

and makes no sense
(except all sense)
to us
slowed discrete
out of following

(A.R. Ammons)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

God's Total Quality Management Questionaire

God would like to thank you for your belief and patronage. In order to better serve your needs, He asks that you take a few moments to answer the following questions.

Please keep in mind that your responses will be kept completely confidential, and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions.

1. How did you find out about your Deity?
___ Newspaper
___ Bhagavad Gita
___ Bible
___ Torah
___ Book of Mormon
___ Koran
___ Divine inspiration
___ Dead Sea Scrolls
___ My mama done tol' me
___ Near-death experience
___ Near-life experience
___ National Public Radio
___ Tabloid
___ Burning shrubbery ___ Other (specify): _____________.
2. Which model Deity did you acquire?
___ Yahweh
___ Father, Son & Holy Ghost [Trinity Pak]
___ Jehovah
___ Jesus
___ Krishna
___ Zeus and entourage [Olympus Pak]
___ Odin and entourage [Valhalla Pak]
___ Allah
___ Satan
___ Gaia/Mother Earth/Mother Nature
___ God 1.0a (hairy thunderer)
___ God 1.0b (cosmic muffin)
___ None of the above; I was taken in by a false god

3. Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working order and with no obvious breakage or missing attributes?
___ Yes
___ No

If no, please describe the problems you initially encountered here.
Please indicate all that apply:

___ Not eternal
___ Finite in space/Does not occupy or inhabit the entire universe
___ Not omniscient
___ Not omnipotent
___ Not infinitely plastic (incapable of being all things to all creations)
___ Permits sex outside of marriage
___ Prohibits sex outside of marriage
___ Makes mistakes (Geraldo Rivera, Rush Limbaugh)
___ Makes or permits bad things to happen to good people
___ When beseeched, doesn't stay beseeched
___ Requires burnt offerings
___ Requires virgin sacrifices
___ Plays dice with the universe

4. What factors were relevant in your decision to acquire a Deity?
Please check all that apply.
___ Indoctrinated by parents
___ Needed a reason to live
___ Indoctrinated by society
___ Needed focus in whom to despise
___ Imaginary friend grew up
___ Wanted to know Jesus in the Biblical sense
___ Graduated from the tooth fairy
___ Hate to think for myself
___ Wanted to meet girls/boys
___ Fear of death
___ Wanted to piss off parents
___ Needed a day away from work
___ Desperate need for certainty
___ Like organ music
___ Need to feel morally superior
___ Thought Pat Robinson was cool
___ My shrubbery caught fire and told me to do it

5. Have you ever worshipped a Deity before? If so, which false god were you fooled by?

Please check all that apply.

___ Mick Jagger
___ Rajanish
___ Baal
___ The almighty dollar
___ Bill Gates
___ Left-wing liberalism
___ The radical right
___ Ra
___ Beelzebub
___ Barney T.B.P.D.
___ The Great Spirit
___ The Great Pumpkin
___ The sun
___ Elvis
___ Brittany Spears
___ The moon
___ TV news
___ Burning shrubbery
___ Other: ________________

6. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God?
Please check all that apply.

___ Tarot
___ Lottery
___ Astrology
___ Television
___ Fortune cookies
___ Oprah
___ Psychic Friends Network
___ Dianetics
___ Palmistry
___ Playboy and/or Playgirl
___ Self-help books
___ Sex, drugs, rock and roll
___ Biorhythms
___ Alcohol
___ George Bush
___ Tea leaves
___ EST
___ Google
___ Mantras
___ Jimmy Swaggert
___ Crystals (not including Crystal Gayle)
___ Human sacrifice
___ Pyramids
___ Wandering in a desert
___ Burning shrubbery
___ Barney T.B.P.D.
___ Barney Fife
___ Other:___________

7. God employs a limited degree of divine intervention to preserve the balanced level of felt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer? (circle one)

a. More divine intervention

b. Less divine intervention

c. Current level of divine intervention is just right

d. Don't know...what's divine intervention?

8. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and miracles.
Please rate on a scale of 1 - 5 his handling of the following

(1=unsatisfactory, 5=excellent):
1 2 3 4 5 flood
1 2 3 4 5 famine
1 2 3 4 5 earthquake
1 2 3 4 5 war
1 2 3 4 5 pestilence
1 2 3 4 5 plague
1 2 3 4 5 spam
1 2 3 4 5 AOL

1 2 3 4 5 rescues
1 2 3 4 5 spontaneous remissions
1 2 3 4 5 stars hovering over jerkwater towns
1 2 3 4 5 crying statues
1 2 3 4 5 water changing to wine
1 2 3 4 5 walking on water
1 2 3 4 5 VCRs that set their own clocks
1 2 3 4 5 Saddam Hussein still alive

9. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the quality of God's services? (Attach an additional sheet if necessary.)

**********************************************If you are able to complete the questionnaire and return it to one of our conveniently located drop-off boxes by November 31 you will be entered in the One Free Miracle of Your Choice drawing (chances of winning are approximately one in 6.023 x 10 to the 23d power, depending on number of beings entered). .

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Color Transcends Form

This ties into the Great Wheel Metaphor which is about transcending. Krishna, of course, can do anything, can always make a miracle. But miracles are, by definition, exceptional, not general. In general, the rules of material nature apply rather than miracles, and miracles are extremely rare.

So just as color transcends the form, it doesn’t change the form. You can have Form, and no Color, but Form with Color transcends Form. Just as Life transcends Matter. You can have Matter without Life, but Matter with Life transcends Matter. The same as you study matter with physics, the study of life (as in biotic life, not Life as an abstraction) is biology. Biology transcends physics. Biology doesn’t transform (change) the laws of physics, but does go beyond them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Beloit College Mindset List

“Each August, as students start to arrive, Beloit College releases the Beloit College Mindset List, which offers a world view of today's entering college students…”

“The list is distributed to faculty on campus during the New Students Days orientation. According to McBride, “It is an important reminder, as faculty start to show signs of ‘hardening of the references,’ that we think about the touchstones and benchmarks of a generation that has grown up with CNN, home computers, AIDS awareness, digital cameras and the Bush political dynasty. We should also keep in mind that these students missed out on the pleasures of being tossed in the back of a station wagon with a bunch of friends and told to keep the noise down, walking in the woods without fearing Lyme Disease, or setting out to try all of the 28 ice cream flavors at Howard Johnson’s.”…”

It is also interesting to go back and read some of the archived Mindset Lists to see how really out of touch you might be (the older you are, the more applicable this is).

New Vrindaban could do something like this. My youngest son just went off to college. I asked him if he remembered Bhaktipada (Kirtanananda Swami). His response was he remembers pictures of him, but not the man himself. A list of devotee kids' going to college this year mindset could include:

1. Bhaktipada never lived in New Vrindaban
2. There has never been a gurukula
3. New Vrindaban has always been part of ISKCON
4. Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Candra have always been in this temple
5. There's never been a separately located brahmacary ashram
6. Women have never been sannyasis
7. Bahulaban has always been a ghost town
8. There has never been a zonal Acharya system

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans and New Talaban Katrina Update

Up to date infromation on devotees in New Orleans and at the New Talaban community can be found at:
Kurma's Blog

Great Wheel Metaphor jpg

Here is a test to see how the Great Wheel Metaphor jpg will display. I am going to try it in the blog itself, wherein you would click on picture to see larger size, and also trying a link to Flickr, a photo hosting service. Explanatory text will follow tomorrow. Open to suggestions for renaming it.