January 2007


madhuwithjaywalker.jpg

My son Madhu is a policeman in Atlanta. He responded to a call for backup from an arresting officer after a professor took an attitude and then resisted arrest. It is Madhu leaning over the guy in the picture.

Historian thrown to ground, cuffed for jaywalking

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — Police say a British historian was handcuffed, thrown to the ground and jailed because he refused to obey a uniformed officer’s order to use a crosswalk and wouldn’t show identification.

The historian says he had no idea the upset young man was a police officer.

“Where I’m from, you don’t associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides,” said the historian, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, a professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts and expert on colonial history.

Mayor Shirley Franklin has asked for an investigation to make sure procedures were followed

Fernandez-Armesto, 56, was arrested January 4 while in Atlanta for the American Historical Association’s convention.

Officer Kevin Leonpacher said he was in uniform as he directed pedestrians to use crosswalks in front of the downtown Hilton Hotel.

He said Fernandez-Armesto shrugged him off, walked away and repeatedly refused to show an ID after the officer told him to stop and warned him he could be arrested, police said.

Other officers helped him handcuff the historian. According to Leonpacher’s report, the professor said: “Well now I believe that you are the police.”

Fernandez-Armesto said he suffered a gash on his forehead and a bruise on his wrist. He spent eight hours in custody, but the charges of jaywalking and disorderly conduct were dropped after he appeared in traffic court and said any arrest record could jeopardize his immigration status in the United States, police said.

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When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God’s name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
How should we dream of this place without us?
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
A stone look on the stone’s face?

Speak of the world’s own change. Though we cannot conceive
Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,
How the view alters. We could believe,

If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without
The dolphin’s arc, the dove’s return,

These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?
Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.

Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.

I made the 3 mile (5 k) walk to the temple for the 3rd Sunday in a row. I left at about 12 PM and got to the temple while the camara was being offered at an arotik that starts at 1 PM. So it took just short of a soccer match in time, and I covered about half the distance one would expect to run in a match.

I can now walk relatively briskly without huffing and puffing, although any sort of something resembling a run immediately brings it on. As a soccer game is mostly running and recovering while off the ball, I am nowhere near any kind of game shape, but I can see the possibility so I am getting more confident about the degree of recovery from my liver transplant 8 months ago.

I have to stop and rest a couple of times on the way. The first time I sit on a log about a quarter of the way up the slope going from the hollow at Bahulaban to the ridge top. I have already covered over half a mile by then and that first part of the climb is the steepest. I then seem to get my “second wind” and am able to pull the rest of the climb and go a ways before stopping again. This time I made it all the way to Nityo’s house where he has some large rocks as landscape items in his yard that make good sitting places.

It was snowing again this time, but not too much wind and only a few degrees below freezing so not too bad. I was reminded of the old “Eskimos have 20 names for snow” because rather than being flake looking, some of the snow was more granular in appearance. It was still as light as snow, not like hail, but little roundish things.

I got a ride home from Hrydaya, a visitor from Yogaville who was in for a personal weekend retreat. He is from Australia and is spending a year there as an instructor. He has visited Mayapur and Vrindaban and was familiar with devotees. We had spent some time together Saturday swapping stories and hanging out with some cows at Balabhadra’s.

I tried to link to the Yogaville website but it seems to be offline. It is located in Virginia and according to Google “Yogaville is an Ashram founded by Swami Satchidananda offering Integral Yoga programs, Yoga Teacher Trainings, Retreats, Body/Mind Workshops and Guest Stays …”

The only real cloud on the horizon for my prospects of joining the summer soccer league is I am on the verge of starting treatment for Hepatitis C and the side effects are nasty so I may or may not be able to play.

snowyfig.jpg

Here is my fig tree all bundled up for the day after day of sub-freezing snowy weather we have been having.

I just realized I posted a link to how to be a curious photographer a week ago and haven’t posted a photo since; not exactly the rubber meeting the road.

snowybuddhathrough-fence.jpg

I found this Buddha at a local flea market. He seemed lonely so I bought Him for a couple of bucks and set him between the catalpa tree and one of my highly fragrant deciduous azaleas that I have to cover in the winter or the deer eat the buds off it.

malemath.jpg

“When Krsna descends to this universe, He enjoys the pastimes in places of the same name. These places on earth are nondifferent from those original abodes, for they are facsimiles of those original holy places in the transcendental world. They are as good as Sri Krsna Himself and are equally worshipable. Lord Caitanya declared that Lord Krsna, who presents Himself as the son of the King of Vraja, is worshipable, and that Vrndavana-dhama is equally worshipable.”

CC Adi 5.18

The Braj Foundation is dedicated to the all round development of Braj – the culturally vibrant region lying in close vicinity to Taj Mahal and associated with the legend of Sri Radha-Krishna.

“The braj region spans the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, portions of Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and Faridabad district of Haryana and lies well within the golden triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra.

“The Foundation works directly on projects to restore Braj as an idealistic rural society by conserving hoary heritage and environment through planning, conservation, renovation and encouraging local community participation.

“The current focus is on the restoration of one thousand ancient water retention tanks (kunds), revival of 137 important sacred groves, regeneration of around 18000 acres of hilly terrain into lush-green pasture lands & forests and the resurrection of River Yamuna.

“The Foundation is making several interventions in areas like organic farming, dairy industry, rural education, healthcare etc. towards the realization of its broader mandate. ”

Here is a great article, a must read for devotees, IMHO, by a devotee who works with the Braj Foundation. It is a very balanced, mature, realistic treatment of a difficult issue.

The protection of cows is intricately linked with environmental concerns.

If devotees can’t get it together in the Holy Dhama to care for it, how can they maintain the illusion they are going to be effective bringers of change to the rest of the world?

I would encourage anyone with means to contribute to the Braj Foundation or similar organizations.

Devotees Should Set Example in Vrndavan

“I have noted with interest the recent submissions by Her Grace Urmila devi dasi (Part 1 and Part 2) and the follow-up by Srimati Karuna Purna dasi. There are also articles and comments on Chakra on similar environmental topics by other devotees. There seems to be a growing awareness that perhaps as devotees we have to improve our rather lacklustre record in connection with environmental issues.

“They all express understandable concern and consternation about the current situation in Sri Vrindavan Dham and proffer some solutions. On one level this is very positive: many devotees becoming inspired on the same topic. I have often found that this is the precursor of the Lord inspiring devotees into action in that area, so there is cause for optimism…”

IDC: 1 billion phones should sell this year

“Mobile phone users are on track to buy 1 billion handsets this year, IDC said as part of its report on third quarter sales.

“A total of 254.9 million phones shipped during the quarter, an increase of 7.9 per cent compared to the previous quarter and up 21 per cent over the same quarter last year, IDC said. That means phone makers should ship a total of 1 billion phones this year, the researchers said.

“Growth at the top and bottom of the market is fuelling sales. The trend at the high end is shifting from very slim phones to handsets with digital music players, IDC said. While full-featured phones are drawing buyers in mature markets, sales of low-cost phones are growing in emerging markets. ”

Does anyone making this shift to the combo phone digital music player, or to an music player with video capacity, have a now orphaned iPod or MP3 player? If so, would you want to find a loving, caring home for it?

If so, please leave a comment on this post and I will email you my snail mail address. I will provide, at no cost to you other than the shipping, that home for what was once your beloved, now antiquated, technology. I know lots of other devotees who would also be willing to provide homes, so it is NOT a first come, first serve offer. I will, at my own expense, place these orphans with caring devotees.

Teens Heart Blogs (Micro Persuasion, 2005-11-03)

“Nearly three in five school-age teens with Internet access have created online content, including Web pages with artwork, photos and stories ? and about a fifth have their own blogs, which also allow friends and other readers to create…

“Online Teens, Mainline Content Creators (Breaking eBusiness News and Investigative Reports, 2005-11-04)
Ever wonder what your teenagers are doing? How are they spending their time? There’s a legitimate chance they’re loading something online. According to the new Pew Internet and American Life Project study, 57% of online teens create content for the Internet. This means about 12 million kids, 12-17 or about half of all teens are content creators.”

This info is more than a year old. The percentages are already higher, would be a safe assumption.

The MySpace generation is going to be hitting college age wholesale really soon with much much higher percentages of content creators than current students and adults. This represents a significant demographical shift in the way people do social networking and receive their information.

The TV generation is going the way of the buggy whippers.

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