Thursday, 19 July 2007

Beef and global warming

Meat is murder on the environment

A kilogram of beef leads to more greenhouse emissions than a 3-hour car ride

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Hilarious ad placement

15 Unfortunately Placed Ads

Advertising can be creative and even purposely funny. But sometimes, an ad on a bad place can have unexpected results! Here is a list of 15 unfortunately Placed Ads.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Self-centered cultures narrow your viewpoint

Self-centered cultures narrow your viewpoint

An experiment requiring consideration of another person's perspective highlights a huge gap between US and Chinese people's intuition.

In a nutshell: 65% of US students didn't intuitively understand that another's perspective is different, compared to 5% of Chinese students. No surprise when you look at American culture and foreign policy, but still pretty shocking somehow. How can we help these people?
- Shen

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix

I had some time to fritter and Skyped Chris to ask for some Youtube recommendations.

He recommended Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix, which he has playlisted on one of the many interesting pages of his Floating World Web.

In this doco, various philosophy professors and writers deconstruct The Matrix with reference to a wide range of Western and Eastern philosophies.

Some quotes which touched me:

Part 2:
"Gnosticism frames the fundamental human problem in terms of ignorance, the solution being enlightenment, whereas traditional Christianity tends to frame the problem in terms of sin and repentance... Gnosticism would hold that the fundamental human problem is that we are diamonds in the mud... and we need to get out because we are divine sparks and we don't belong here."
"When we become passive consumerists, we are surrendering our lifeforce."

Part 3:
"Kant's point was that the mind has structures, that impose structure on the world and create worlds in certain ways... the structures of the mind actually bring forth phenomena... the structures of the mind bring forth the world."
"The herd mentality can be thought of as The Matrix - everyone's having a collective hallucination, everyone's thinking the same thing, which is an absolute nightmare for someone who wants to wake up, which would be a nightmare for Nietzsche."

Part 5:
"There's a whole school of spirituality... called Tantra, which basically maintains that neither men nor women can get final enlightenment without each other."

Part 6:
"Western philosophy, in a way, is a big head-trip.... In Hinduism, it's regarded as a spiritual path to really feel that enlightenment of really feeling that you're in Brahmin. Every human being carries, in the very centre of their being, this spiritual reality...."
"In all the Tantric traditions, love is what holds nirvana and samsara together. The simplest interpretation of that is that love can conquer all."

Monday, 9 July 2007

Terika: Tibetan World Music with Electronic Edges

Good friends of mine, Tenzin, River and Katherine, have just launched the website of their group Terika, described as "Australian made Tibetan World Music with Electronic Edges, Where ancient tradition meets modern technology." It brings together Tenzin's Tibetan vocals and instruments with River's sax, Katherine's cello, and on the Electronica CD various remixes by River including samples of Japanese bansuri whiz, Taro Terahara.

You can listen to music, read about the group, see photos and more. It's really really great music - I highly recommend buying their CD "acousticaelectronica", which at A$30 for a double CD is really top-quality music at a bargain price!

EarthlingZ Radio: Chillout Music from The Greenhouse

Posted on behalf of Chris Case...

A new private radio station, EarthlingZ Radio, began recently at with the broadcasting of several days of Indian live performances by Shen Flindell and DJ sets of downtempo and ambient music.

Broadcasting of a wide range of chillout and world music continues on a 24/7 basis, with interruptions from time to time as bugs are worked out of the system. The station is not publicly listed, and would appreciate feedback from Beta listeners about reception. It may be necessary to refresh your connection from time to time.

A large collection of Indian music is available, and we'd especially like to find out when would be a suitable time to schedule regular World Music broadcasts. Weekday evenings? Sunday afternoons? Your suggestions would be most helpful...

(Email Chris:

Escher in Lego

Escher prints in 3D LEGO versions

Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu build faithful, 3D versions of Escher prints using LEGOs: Relativity, Ascending and Descending, Waterfall, and Belvedere. (Only one of those four images required any photo manipulation to create its "Escher effect" -- can you tell which one, without scrolling down to see the descriptions on each page?) Other people's LEGO adventures: a playable harpsichord, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a portrait of Catwoman.

I also like Balcony
- Shen

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Amazing images of neutrino observatory

Jaw Droppingly Beautiful Underground Japanese Observatory

The Super-K is a neutrino observatory in Japan; it is 1000 meters underground, contains a lake of 50,000 tons of pure water & every inch of the the 41 meter high walls are lined with over 11,000 photomultiplier tubes. It is also one of the most amazing man made objects I've ever seen images of. Super high res photos available here. More photos of the construction & recent restoration. Via.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Quicktime panoramas of Kyoto

Quicktime panoramas of Kyoto

This page is all in Japanese but all you have to do is click on any picture of interest to see the panorama.

UPDATE: Just heard from Chris that there's an English page.