Month: November 2014

30th November 2014 / News

A group of nature conservation, wildlife and animal welfare charities are calling on people in Yorkshire to visit the Houses of Parliament next month to help put nature firmly on the political agenda.

On Tuesday 9 December, hundreds of people from across the country are joining the Rally for Nature. This event will see them march to Parliament and challenge MPs from the major parties to make firm commitments for wildlife and the environment in their 2015 election manifestos.

28th November 2014 / Music

Available to stream and as a free download as of now.

This will not be the most accurate, hipster friendly review for, probably, the most accurate, hipster friendly piece of music you will hear until Festival season next year. I admit it – I know nowt about the genre of Dreampop other than the shows I tuned into on Harrogate Alternative Radio that were presented by Luke Lount, the musical / production force behind POLO.

24th November 2014 / Hermeticism

Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching-Yun (simplified Chinese: Li_chingYuen李清云; traditional Chinese: 李清雲; pinyin: Lǐ Qīngyún; died May 6, 1933) was a Chinese herbalist who supposedly lived to be over 256 years old. He claimed to be born in 1736, while disputed records suggest 1677. Both alleged lifespans of 197 and 256 years far exceed the longest confirmed lifespan of 122 years and 164 days of the French woman Jeanne Calment. His true date of birth was never determined. He was reported to be a martial artist, herbalist and tactical advisor.

Wu Chung-chieh claims that Li Ching-Yuen was born in 1677 in Qijiang County, Sichuan province.[citation needed] According to a 1930 New York Times article, Wu Chung-chieh, a professor of the Chengdu University, discovered Imperial Chinese government records from 1827 congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday, and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877. In 1928, a New York Times correspondent wrote that many of the old men in Li’s neighborhood asserted that their grandfathers knew him when they were boys, and that he at that time was a grown man.

24th November 2014 / Hermeticism

In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff utilizes characters from Winnie the Pooh to attempt to explain the fundamentals of Taoism.

By observing Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and Pooh, it is easy to see that the actions of the character Pooh best describe Taoism. One of the most important principles of Taoism used in the book is the un-carved block. Hoff uses the characters from A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books to illustrate and explain the basics of Taoist philosophy, showing how Pooh himself is the epitome of the Taoist thinker, enjoying life with simplicity but not stupidity.

24th November 2014 / Hermeticism

The Tao of Pooh is a book written by Benjamin Hoff. The book is intended as an introduction to the Eastern belief system of Taoism for Westerners. It allegorically employs the fictional characters of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories to explain the basic principles of philosophical Taoism. Hoff later wrote The Te of Piglet, a companion book.

Hoff wrote the book at night and on weekends while working as a tree pruner in the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park.

The book starts with a description of the vinegar tasters, which is a painting portraying the three great eastern thinkers, Confucius, the Buddha, and Laozi over a vat of vinegar. Each tasting the vinegar of “life,” Confucius finds it sour, the Buddha finds it bitter, but Laozi, the traditional founder of Taoism, finds it satisfying. Then the story unfolds backing up this analogy.

24th November 2014 / Human Rights Issues

This evening I put forward my membership to Amnesty International UK. I do not want a big pat on the back, but, I would like to explain a bit about my motivation for doing so.

Amnesty work to protect men, women and children wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

As a global movement of over seven million people, Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organisation. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilise the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.

23rd November 2014 / Folklore

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Kimono-makers laid their old needles to rest during the “hari-kuyo” needle festival at Buddhist temples all over Japan at the beginning of February, sticking them into soft chunks of tofu bean curd to thank them for their hard work.

Japan’s throwaway culture can rival that of any Western country, but at the Sensoji temple in central Tokyo, dozens of women in jewel-coloured kimonos honoured their broken tools with the 400-year-old rite.

21st November 2014 / News

Bryan Timlin always carries an iPhone and an Android phone.

The 57-year-old is an app and graphic designer with a Michigan company called OptHub, but he doesn’t carry two phones for work. He carries the iPhone because that’s what he likes, and he carries the Android because it’s what he needs.

The Android phone monitors his behavior. Five years ago, Timlin was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by four or more manic or depressive episodes a year. Some episodes, he says, can last as long as eight weeks. “Being bipolar is like jumping out of an airplane knowing you don’t have a parachute on,” he says. “You know you’re going to be hurt, but the high is so euphoric that it’s worth the risk. You can deal with the consequences later.” With his Android phone, he hopes to deal with these moments in other ways.