Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whacking the Penguin

Couldn't resist this one...especially now that its getting close to Xmas frivolity - its very addictive..and hard to stop whacking!!

So relieve pre-xmas stress and work dullness..and whack the penguin here

And so far my record is 323.5!!

Virtual hugs?

Sending energy over time & space is one thing...but vibrating chickens??

"Singapore scientists have devised a vibration jacket for chickens controlled with a computer that gives the animal the feeling of being touched by its owner.

The next step would be to use the same concept to transmit hugs over the Internet, researchers at Nanyang Technological University said."

Well...for now, I think I prefer other methods...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A glass of wine

I am a glass of wine with dark sediment.
I pour it all in the river.

Love says to me, "Good, but you don't see
your own beauty. I am the wind

that mixes in your fire, who stirs
and brightens, then makes you gutter out"


Joan of Arc

Leonard Cohen's Joan of Arc continues to exist in many forms:

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Friday, November 25, 2005


A Sage was asked:

"Why do you not get to the heart of the matter, and give us arguments and proofs with which we can test our progress?"

He said:

"Sugar, flour, fat and heat are all very well separately. Combined, with time, they make delicious halwa."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More and more

Yet again I am reminded of the power of words...


when i am on this pedestal
you did not raise me there
your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare
i myself am the pedestal
for this hump at which you stare

you who wish to conquer pain
you must learn what makes me kind
the crumbs of love that you offer me
are the crumbs i've left behind


and don't love me quite so fiercely
when you know you are not sure
it is your world beloved
it is your flesh that i wear


you tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
i brought you silence
(for i know silence)
you would say
this is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me


lost in the fields of your hair i was never lost
enough to lose a way i had to take


i had it for a moment
i knew why i must thank you
i saw men who loved their worldliness
even though they had looked through
big electric telescopes
they still thought their worldliness was serious
i'll study you later
so many people want to cry quietly beside you

yes i long for you
not just as a leaf for weather
or vase for hands
but with a narrow human longing
that makes a man refuse
any fields but his own
i wait for you at an
unexpected place in your journey
like the rusted key
or the feather you do not pick up
until the way back
after it is clear
the remote and painful destination
changed nothing in your life


i didn't kill myself
when things went wrong
i didn't turn
to drugs or teaching
i tried to sleep
but when i couldn't sleep
i learned to write
i learned to write
what might be read
on nights like this
by one like me


she said, your eyes are dead
what happened to you, lover
and since she spoke the truth to me
i tried to answer truly
whatever happened to my eyes
happened to your beauty


you thought
i was a man of roads
and you loved me for being such a man
i was not such a man


you will never feel me leading you
forever i escape your homage
i have no ideas to shackle you
i have nothing in mind for you
i have no prayers to put you in
i live for you
without the memory of what you deserve
or what you do not deserve

i watch myself from where you are:
do not be mistaken:
the spider web you see me through
is the view i've always taken


come with me
i want to talk
i've taken a drug that makes me want to talk


because you will not overthrow your life. you cannot breathe. because of the panic of homelessness. you cannot breathe.
you cannot breathe because your sorrow will not return to its birthplace.


Selected words of Leonard Cohen

Monday, November 21, 2005

Selling lies

A very interesting article about the creation of propaganda for the Iraq War is in Rolling Stone magazine - called: 'The Man Who Sold the War' - fascinating account of how the PR machine works...over years...

After all, lies are big business... and Truth a rare commodity

My excuse

I'm often asked what exercise I do... I used to try wit and say 'drinking': now I don't have the motivation to humour people's curiosity. But I like this answer:

"I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises."

Neil Armstrong (the man who walked on the moon... of course)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Coherent plan

As noted astrophysicist/astronomer Fred Hoyle once said:

"There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for"

I also remember him saying - and I paraphrase - that the liklihood of the complexity of our life, of our DNA, to have evolved through natural, accidental, evolution was the same, statistically, of a hurricane blowing through a scrapyard and producing a Boeing 747.

Well....in that case - just what is the plan? At least I feel it's coherent.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shems Abode

A New Site! Initially I began to post my podcasts - audio posts - on this site. Yet it required linking to a 3rd site to download a Quicktime recording. So, I have decided to create a new podcast site where all my audio posts, from now on, will be posted.

This site - Shems Abode - can play audio posts directly without the listener needing to have any particular software installed. Easy!

I shall first repost the old files, plus all the ones I have 'in storage' before adding any new material.

Now, there is a new Abode.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A place to be

Today was beautiful - a clear blue sky, and a shining sun amidst a chilly yet fresh temperature. So I went for a walk... through my usual paths: down small lanes, over fields, through farms, past the sheep...with the hills and brown fells in the near distance.

And this always gets me thinking similar thoughts...am I to spend more time with Nature, or do I need to exist in the city environment? My research takes me into the technological realms: a wireless future, a socio-technological merger, physical mapping, smart computerised environments, digital-social networks..etc...

and then I have my love to get away from it all. I would indeed love to live in the countryside for my future years; yet why do I spend so much time considering the transformation from nature to nano-nature?

In the past 15 years I have lived in 11 different houses/flats. I have always rented, then moved on: at first I just carried all my possessions in 2 bags: now I need a small van to move. But thats all, just a one-day rental van.

It is truly difficult to see me settled. Life is like a rented time/space for me: I am moving through; doing what I came here to do - what I agreed to do.

Nature is truly beautiful; it's wondrous. Yet there are greater matters to attend to in the grand scheme of things. The cosmos is waiting. And there's a plan unfolding.

So perhaps it doesnt matter where I am: as long as I'm in the place I need to be for that time.

Friday, November 11, 2005

We self learn

Most of our experience comes from self-learning... perhaps less from the walls of classrooms: so to combine them both, the prestigous MIT has established the OpenCourseWare Site:

a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world. OCW supports MIT's mission to advance knowledge and education, and serve the world in the 21st century. It is true to MIT's values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.


* Is a publication of MIT course materials
* Does not require any registration
* Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
* Does not provide access to MIT faculty

In short, they publish the course materials for around 80 courses, for others to use in teaching at other institutions and, importantly, for people to work from in the comfort of their own homes.

A step forward in the Web of Knowledge...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Expressing secrets

How much do we long for a way to release a hidden secret? For someone to listen...?

There is a blog called PostSecret that continues to amaze me. Some of the confessions are funny, some sad, others very painful.

Its set-up is simple yet powerful. What happens is this:

'You are invited to anonymously contribute your secrets to PostSecret. Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before.

Create your 4-by-6-inch postcards out of any mailable material. If you want to share two or more secrets, use multiple postcards. Put your complete secret and image on one side of the postcard.'

The rest is unspoken. Visit PostSecret and see for yourself.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Now that the Ramadam has finished...words from Turkish poets to pass on to friends...

From Nazim Hikmet: extracts -

'All around us are the glittering sidewalks
of a marvellous night

and the steps of brave new human beings
singing brave new songs.’

'The best sea has yet to be crossed.
The best child has yet to be born.
Our best days have yet to be lived;
and the best word I want to say to you
is the word I have not yet said.'

'How good it is to be blind,
how good to love darkness.
No light like a flashing sword
nor the weight of colours
nor swarming shapes...
How good it is to love the darkness.'

From Orhan Veli:

'I woke up one morning;
the sun came up in me;
I turned into birds and leaves;
they glittered in the spring breeze;
I turned into birds and leaves;
my arms and legs were rioting;
I turned into birds and leaves,
And leaves.'