Friday, October 31, 2008

Oct 31

"All Hallows’ Eve.
The Scotch tradition is, that those born on All Hallows’ Eve have the gift of double sight, and commanding powers over spirits."

"Hallowe’en (October 31st),
according to Scotch superstition, is the time when witches, devils, fairies, and other imps of earth and air hold annual holiday."

--E. Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898 edition "Revised, Corrected and Enlarged"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Western preference

"The narratives of Buddhism in the United States have ignored the contribution and presence of Mongols. While 'Tibetan' Buddhism remains, arguably, the most visible and popular type of Buddhism in North America, how and why it has achieved this status has not been sufficiently queried.... By taking into account the central role of race and how it is defined and manipulated in U.S. immigration and naturalization law, the experience of Kalmyk Mongol Buddhist immigrants in the 1950s can be recovered. Tracing the life and experience of the Mongol 'Living Buddha' within the context of the west's reception of Buddhism reveals a preference for orientalist versions of Asian religions at the expense of Asian American racial and ethnic identities."

--abstract of "Mongols or Mongolians? And the Strange Career of the 'Living Buddha' in America" by Rudiger Busto

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dakota War of 1862

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"When the tribesmen appealed to Andrew J. Myrick to allow them to take food on credit, he said, 'So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry, let them eat grass or their own dung.' He made this retort while involved in a confrontation between Dakota tribesmen, the United States government, and other traders....

"Myrick was killed on the second day of fighting at the Battle of Lower Sioux Agency as Dakota warriors took revenge at the agency settlement. When his body was found days later, it was discovered that grass had been stuffed in his mouth."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the most capricious zephyr

"Faith, I know not where I wander. Methinks the most capricious zephyr hath more design than I. But lo: do not detain me, for I am resolved to quit this place forthwith."

--Bill Watterson, The Days Are Just Packed

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Stayin' Alive," CPR

"'Stayin' Alive' might be more true to its name than the Bee Gees ever could have guessed: At 103 beats per minute, the old disco song has almost the perfect rhythm to help jump-start a stopped heart.

"In a small but intriguing study from the University of Illinois medical school, doctors and students maintained close to the ideal number of chest compressions doing CPR while listening to the catchy, sung-in-falsetto tune from the 1977 movie 'Saturday Night Fever.'

"The American Heart Association recommends 100 chest compressions per minute, far more than most people realize, study author Dr. David Matlock of the school's Peoria, Illinois, campus said Thursday....

"It turns out the American Heart Association has been using the song as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years.

"They learned of it from a physician 'who sort of hit upon this as a training tool,' said association spokesman Dr. Vinay Nadkarni of the University of Pennsylvania.

"He said he was not aware of any previous studies that tested the song.

"But Nadkarni said he has seen 'Stayin' Alive' work wonders in classes where students were having trouble keeping the right beat while practicing on mannequins. When he turned on the song, 'all of a sudden, within just a few seconds, they get it right on the dot.'

"'I don't know how the Bee Gees knew this,' Nadkarni said. 'They probably didn't. But they just hit upon this natural rhythm that was very catchy, very popular, that helps us do the right thing.'

"Dr. Matthew Gilbert, a 28-year-old medical resident, was among participants in the University of Illinois study this past spring. Since then, he said, he has revived real patients by keeping the song in his head while doing CPR.

"Gilbert said he was surprised the song worked as well as it did.

"'I was a little worried because I've been told that I have a complete lack of rhythm,' he said. Also, Gilbert said he's not really a disco fan.

"He does happen to like a certain Queen song with a similar beat.

"'I heard a rumor that "Another One Bites the Dust" works also, but it didn't seem quite as appropriate,' Gilbert said."


Your Name

Дуудах нэрийг эцэг эх өгдөг.
Дуурсах нэрийг өөрөө олдог.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Biology: Polydactyl cat

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Polydactyly is a congenital abnormality, usually genetically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait with incomplete penetrance. Polydactyly is not life-threatening and usually not even debilitating to a cat. Some polydactyl kittens initially have more difficulty in learning to walk and climb than normal animals. However in some cases it appears to improve the dexterity of the animal. For example, a common variation of polydactyly with six toes on the front paws, with two opposing digits on each, (comparable in use to human thumbs) enables the cat to learn and perform feats of manual dexterity generally not observed in non-polydactyl cats, such as opening latches or catching objects with a single paw."


"When a child with his soul just making itself felt, or a grownup who has never thought of anything before but animal thoughts, or an adolescent in love, or an old person just confronted with death, or even a philosopher or a star-measurer—when any of these, or you or I ask ourselves, with all the weight of our lives behind the question, What am I? What is this Time? What is the evidence for a Time that is not mortal as a leaf in autumn, then the answer is, That which asks the question is out of the world’s time . . ."

--Doris Lessing, Briefing For a Descent Into Hell, 1971

The Flying Fish

It’s fine that nature at least permits a certain fish to fly
with brazen expertise. Every such ascent
is a consolation to the rule, a reprieve
from universal necessity, a gift
more magnanimous than need be, for the world to be world.

--Wislawa Szymborska, “Thomas Mann,” translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire

Thursday, October 09, 2008

seen around the world

"The American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, aided and abetted by the British, was seen around the world as a war without any basis in international law, and as a war that could not be described as just or moral."

--Michael S. Northcott, Angel Directs the Storm: Apocalyptic Religion and American Empire, 2004