Monthly Archives: September 2003

Tibet Tibet

One more post about Tibet and then I will shut up. I mentioned last week the increasing popularity of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, due in large part to the Dalai Lama. He recently drew over 65,000 to Central Park. At the same time, the Chinese government is stepping up efforts to assimilate Tibet into the rest of China.

One key component of that assimilation is tourism: Tibet tourism drive disrupts Buddhist temple life, underscores Chinese control. The influx of tourists has brought the hassle of modern life, and the chase for much-needed cash, into Tibet’s ancient society. Even the monks can no longer spend hours contemplating, they must play host to swarms of visitors. While I think the opening of Tibet will inflect even more harm on this captive nation, I cannot deny their right to development and the 21st century. It would be ridiculous to cloister them away from the rest of the world, and downright ignorant to expect them to turn their back on modern necessities like running water and power. If tourism and the concomitant loss of culture is the price to pay for modernization, so be it. And I must admit I would like to visit Tibet someday too. Here’s the Chinese governments Tibetan tourism page, full of interesting visit Tibet information. Let’s pray that what makes Tibet unique is strong enough to survive the onslaught of tourism.

A good link for Tibet resources is Tibet Information Network, an independent clearinghouse for Tibetan news and information.

Now if you will excuse, I am heading off to watch a bit of Robert Thurman’s excellent Tibet documentary before I fall asleep.

Esta Gupa!

Tuesday Blues

There’s nothing like working over half the day on something, only to find nobody bothered to tell me while I toiled away that it was no longer needed. Lovely.

Oh well, at least my fantasy football team is 3-0 now. That’s cool.

Watched Tie Died tonight. It was a trip down memory lane. I remember Jerry. Hard to believe it’s been 8 years since he passed on. Wow. The music never stops man.

PDN Puts Up Redesign

The Pacific Daily News put up a redesigned web site today. The changes are all positive, enhancing the readability of the site and offering a more cohesive design.

However, the site still lacks even the most basic search functionality. It makes navigation infinitely harder on the site, especially when trying to look up something from a week or a month ago. The information is in there, but perseverance is necessary. A determined visitor needs to manually type in specific URL’s for different archived days. Even the mighty Google is powerless to locate these archived pages since they exist in a vacuum, entirely self-contained. Nothing links to the archive pages so Google’s bots never know of the archive’s existence. This is a problem that sorely needs attention by the Pacific Daily News.

Koyaanisqatsi

I watched Koyaanisqatsi several times over the last couple weeks. First time in a very long time – over ten years. It still moves me. The photography is amazing, and the Philip Glass score dazzles me.

I also watched Powaqqatsi last week. While I like that sequel, it is not as powerful a vision as Koyaanisqatsi. Koyaanisqatsi dazzles with images of technology, our shining beast. Powaqqatsi lectures on the sins on modernization, visited upon the third world. The images are still spectacular, but the viewer is browbeaten by the singular message. With Koyaanisqatsi, an ambiguity exists – is this glittering pinnacle of technology a good or bad thing? Powaqqatsi solidly affirms that the modern world is a bad thing, and that salvation lies in the traditional world. That view is too one dimensional, and it lacks the impact. The first film offers a new perspective on reality, allowing the viewer to draw her own conclusions. The second dictates what the viewer must feel.

I mention this because I will shortly be picking up the third film in the series, Naqoyqatsi, which I have never seen before. This is Godfrey Reggio’s first film since the internet revolution and 9/11, it was released late last year. I am curious what grim images it will unleash. I suspect it is not going to be a pleasant film. Koyaanisqatsi is Hopi for ‘Life out of Balance,’ Powaqqatsi translates as ‘Life in Transformation,’ but Naqoyqatsi means ‘Life as War.’ An ill portent.

Fantasy Football Update

So here it is, week 3 of the fantasy football season and my team is on the verge of being 3-0. Not too shabby. It is still early in the season though, and a number of mishaps have occurred. My backup kicker got released last week and now I don’t have a kicker for next week’s game since my primary kicker has a bye. Lucky we’ll be playing one of the worst teams in the league, so it shouldn’t be too great a loss. A couple players aren’t working out the way I hoped, Corey Dillon in particular. He might be trade fodder for a mid-season deal. And Randy Moss must be smokin’ too many doobies because his performance lately has been sub-par. Overall the team is a good mix of solid players, capable of putting up 90-100 fantasy points each week. I think this will be a pretty good season.

finger://quake@gldfs.cr.usgs.gov

see Ray Buland (quake)
Plan:
The following near-real-time Earthquake Bulletin is provided by the National
Earthquake Information Service (NEIS) of the U. S. Geological Survey as part of
a cooperative project of the Advanced National Seismic System. For
a description of the earthquake parameters listed below, the availability of
additional information, and our publication criteria, please finger
qk_info@gldfs.cr.usgs.gov.

This Bulletin is updated every 5 minutes.

The same Bulletin is also available via the Internet at:
ftp://ghtftp.cr.usgs.gov/pub/cnss/quake
A more complete listing, which includes events from the past 7 days is
located here:
http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/bulletin.html
Updated as of Sun Sep 21 13:40:07 GMT 2003.

DATE-(UTC)-TIME LAT LON DEP MAG Q COMMENTS
yy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss deg. deg. km
03/09/17 01:09:35 28.81S 178.41W 203.0 4.8M KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
03/09/17 01:27:14 4.46S 102.79E 33.0 5.3M SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
03/09/17 02:59:55 51.81N 101.40E 10.0 4.7M RUSSIA-MONGOLIA BORDER REGION
03/09/17 04:03:35 17.95N 65.50W 4.9 3.1M PUERTO RICO REGION
03/09/17 05:33:51 12.99N 90.61W 33.0 4.1M OFF COAST OF CENTRAL AMERICA
03/09/17 09:39:52 19.06N 68.04W 25.1 3.4M NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
03/09/17 10:27:50 42.36N 139.22E 217.2 4.3M HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
03/09/17 18:01:36 35.94N 114.70W 3.7 2.7M ARIZONA
03/09/17 21:34:46 21.42S 68.17W 126.2 5.8M CHILE-BOLIVIA BORDER REGION
03/09/17 23:56:22 5.67S 103.47E 33.0 5.1M A SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
03/09/18 04:33:06 18.04S 178.15W 600.0 4.0M B FIJI REGION
03/09/18 07:03:46 35.93N 28.04E 33.0 4.4M B EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA
03/09/18 08:33:00 29.89N 138.75E 423.6 4.3M A IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
03/09/18 13:18:10 4.79S 103.09E 33.0 5.1M A SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
03/09/18 17:27:46 11.20N 93.75E 174.0 4.3M B ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
03/09/18 17:27:48 8.24S 107.84E 33.0 4.8M B JAVA, INDONESIA
03/09/18 20:37:45 6.20S 106.86W 10.0 4.8M B CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE
03/09/19 01:44:15 17.95S 70.29W 61.8 4.4M NEAR COAST OF PERU
03/09/19 15:59:13 28.22N 142.75E 33.0 4.7M A BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
03/09/20 03:54:50 35.02N 140.14E 51.9 5.2M A NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAP
03/09/21 07:42:45 11.85N 143.12E 33.0 5.4M B SOUTH OF MARIANA ISLANDS

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Still getting lots of thunder and lightning on Guam. Very unusual weather. And we had a small earthquake this morning. Always unsettling.

Abominable Snowman ‘just a bear’

A Japanese mountaineer announced the results of 12 year’s research into the existence of the abominable snowman or yeti. He concluded that the yeti is just a regional variation of the word for bear

Makoto Nebuka, 56, a senior member of the Japanese Alpine Club, plans to publish the results of his 12 years of research which led him to conclude the mysterious creature, known as the “Yeti,” is really the endangered Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus Arctos).

Nebuka’s theory rests on a linguistic discovery: Through a series of interviews with local people in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, he has found that “yeti” is a regional dialect word for “meti”, meaning bear.
Ethnic Tibetan tribes who are scared of the powerful bears which often attack their villages, worship the meti/yeti as a dreadful, supernatural creature, Nebuka said.

Sounds a great deal more plausible than some unseen giant snow ape running around in the mountains.

Bacteriophages To The Rescue

More from Wired: How Ravenous Soviet Viruses Will Save the World. I actually saw something on PBS a couple years ago on this very topic. The show introduced viewers to the Eliava Institute in Georgia and the research Soviet scientists conducted on phages during the Cold War. Now a new startup called Intralytix is partnering with the Georgian scientists to bring phages research to the world. It holds great promise in this age of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Money, It’s A Drag

Gary, my oldest brother, is something of a libertarian and he frequently forwards links about economic policy. The latest was a speech by Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) on paper money and the fixing the dollar to the gold standard again. Interesting stuff.

Then I stumbled across a complementary story on another website Gary mentioned, the the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and it made me go ‘hmmm.’ Maybe he is onto something here.

In fact, Gary was talking about how the war on Iraq was actually a scheme to stabilize waning US economic dominance by forcing Iraq to sell oil for dollars instead of Euros. Looks like he was right about that too. Gotta keep the dollar pegged up high against all threats, especially the resurgent Euro, and the best way to do that is through the use of uncontested military might to overthrow countries that threaten the hegemony of the almighty dollar.

SPACEWAR

Found a fascinating article originally published in Rolling Stone back in 1972 about Spacewar and academic computing in general, written by Stewart Brand, of Whole Earth Catalog, the WELL, and more recently the Long Now Foundation.

What struck me in the article was the foresight Brand possessed about where computers and networks were heading. Take this sentence for example: “Since huge quantities of information can be computer-digitalized and transmitted, music researchers could, for example, swap records over the Net with “essentially perfect fidelity.” So much for record stores (in present form).” He wrote that in 1972. No wonder he is fascinated by building a 10,000 year clock; the guy can sense the shape of things to come.

Thanks to McGee’s Musings for the link.