January 2010

I acknowledge that social networking websites have the potential to be a tool for good, like organizing prayer events or sharing knowledge, but if you really want to be a quick success,  nothing sells like controversy.  Jump on one and ride the wave. It requires no intellectual effort at all.

Marshall County Flasher Has Facebook Page; Another Sighting Reported

Posted: 11:48 am EST January 28, 2010Updated: 9:18 am EST January 29, 2010

Another person has spotted a man who is believed to have been flashing people in Marshall County since at least December.The latest incident happened Wednesday around 5 p.m. in the 100 block of Pine Avenue in Moundsville.

A woman who was jogging reported she saw a man wearing no pants with his shirt over his head.The incident is similar to others, and police said if it is the same man, it’s possible he’s branching out, which might make him harder to catch. Previous sightings have mostly been confined to the area of Cedar and Grant between Second and Third streets.

Police said there is also a Facebook page dedicated to the flasher, which has more than 700 fans.A Moundsville police sergeant said investigators spoke with the creator of the page, who said it was a prank and denied she knows who the flasher is. However, police said it is possible the flasher is among the page’s fans.Police said they are looking through photos and Facebook fans who match the description of the flasher.

Police have also interviewed victims to try to identify possible suspects, but they said they don’t have any solid leads yet.The man is described as a white male in his 20s, thin, with short blond hair.

Officials encouraged residents to always carry a cell phone and, if they see the flasher, to report the sighting immediately.Anyone with information is asked to call police or the NEWS9 Lauttamus Security Crimebusters Tipline at (800) 862-BUST.

FYI, the news story above is already outdated, it is 1238 as of this writing if you want to check it out.


If you aren’t familiar with Christian New Testament stories read Matthew 14: 24-33 to get the humor.

After Day 16 I started adding back more types of foods first fruits and veggies and then slowly a little grain. Day 20 I went to the temple for the first time since starting fasting and it was Yoga Day USA and a feast. I had avoided going before because the food is usually pretty good and too rich for how I was eating.

Once back to a regular diet the first thing that is obvious is mental processes get a little duller and the process of digestion’s impact on the system is more noticeable. It drags you down, but I was able to have enough energy so Vidya and I got a bunch of wood into the house which was good because the weather was nice then and has turned very wintery with snow since then.  The lowest average temperatures of the year are historically Jan.18-20 so we have turned the corner on winter and the tide is turning to warmer weather but it doesn’t feel that way today — the first in a string of 3 or 4 days where the temperature won’t go above freezing.

Added to my post fast diet was fresh turnip greens and Chinese cabbage that I picked fresh from the garden. Last December I was picking Chinese cabbage and had it under some floating row cover. I had harvested all the ones that had headed out but the ones left still have lots of edible leaves on them. When the first really cold weather arrived there was snow the first day and it stayed until it thawed, so the Chinese cabbage was green and fresh right out of the garden in the middle of winter.

There was some bad spots on the outer leaves where they touched the ground but otherwise good condition. The turnip greens were a little worse for wear but the center leaves in the rosette were still good and so about a 1/3 of those greens were good and having for lunch today. Plus all the turnips themselves I picked about a gallon of.

Nandulal came by one day and helped bring some more firewood in.  He is home from Iraq and spending the winter helping his mother. The main reason I needed help was to unload the van. It still had the blackboards in it from when I was at the auction. I was strong enough to help but not able to lift those sheets alone.

We offered to pay him but he declined and said it is the duty of the youth to help the older members of the community. That isn’t something you hear every day.

About a week after stopping the fast I had blood work labs done again, my normal monthly. Everything was back to my normal, which includes the BUN is back to being high and the liver enzymes are climbing. The hemocrit, hemoglobin and platelets all slipped back a bit too, still in the good range but down a little from when fasting.

My blood pressure was mostly good during the fast even though I wasn’t taking the blood pressure medicine but that has climbed back up once I started eating again so I have added that med back into my protocol.

My glucose was way too high when I started the fast, the medicine wasn’t really controlling it. It drifted down over the 14 days to almost normal and I wasn’t taking any medications for it but now it is climbing back up again so I have added one of the medicines back in and will observe to see if the other will still be needed.

If only I could live and work without eating, I would be in great shape, but, alas, I need to eat to work and the garden season is just around the corner. I have ordered some seeds and trees and have several more orders I am working on and hope to have sent out by the end of the week, so stayed tuned for garden plans.

“Thus the Lord brought the desire tree of devotional service to this earth and became its gardener. He sowed the seed and sprinkled upon it the water of His will.


“In many places devotional service has been compared to a creeper. One has to sow the seed of the devotional creeper, bhakti-lata, within his heart. As he regularly hears and chants, the seed will fructify and gradually grow into a mature plant and then produce the fruit of devotional service, namely love of Godhead, which the gardener (mala-kara) can then enjoy without impediments.”

Chaitanya Caritamrta Adi 9.9

“Grace, which is charity, contains in itself all virtues in a hidden and potential manner, like the leaves and the branches of the oak hidden in the meat of an acorn. To be an acorn is to have a taste for being an oak tree. Habitual grace brings with it all the Christian virtues in their seed.”

Thomas Merton. Thoughts in Solitude. (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1999).
P 20

Thought for the Day

“Actual graces move us to actualize these hidden powers and to realize what they mean: Christ acting in us.”

Thoughts in Solitude: 20.

Published: February 24, 2009

Later this year, a double-rigged crane will hoist a giant power turbine part way up One Penn Plaza, a black monolithic skyscraper next to Madison Square Garden. When the natural gas-powered generator on the 12th floor starts, it will not only produce some 6.2 megawatts of electricity — enough to power up to half the 57-floor building on a busy day — but it will also siphon off wasted heat and use it to help heat and cool the 37-year-old skyscraper.

Enlarge This Image

Gruzen Samton Architects

A rendering of the room that will house a cogeneration plant on top of Cooper Union’s landmark Foundation Building.

With tenants defaulting and lenders withholding credit, this might not seem the opportune time for landlords to be getting into energy recycling. But Vornado Realty Trust, which owns One Penn Plaza and 27 other office buildings in New York City, is among the small but growing number of commercial landlords in the area that are installing the energy-efficient power stations known as cogeneration plants, or cogens for short.

Unlike conventional power stations, which let excess heat dissipate into the air as exhaust, cogens reuse that cast-off energy for heating and cooling. Given the improved efficiency, combined with government incentives and rising electricity costs, some landlords are now finding it cost-effective to install cogens and generate their own power.

The Related Companies, a large residential developer, recently installed a cogen at Manhattan Plaza, a huge 1970s housing complex in Midtown. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is constructing one at its new academic building, a futuristic structure designed by Thom Mayne. And the Durst Organization has installed a cogen plant at One Bryant Park, a new office tower near Times Square.

The appeal is simple: cogens help landlords lower energy costs. “You start to see savings on monthly bills right away,” said Clark Wieman, Cooper Union’s planning director. He said that the new generator would cost eight cents a kilowatt-hour, roughly half the cost of buying electricity from Con Ed.

For landlords, the assurance of on-site power also provides added comfort. “Backup power is another amenity we offer to our tenants,” said David R. Greenbaum, president of Vornado’s New York office division.

Cogens are also considered greener, because they lighten the demand on Con Ed’s older, dirtier plants and generate as-needed energy on location. Indeed, only 40 percent of each watt that Con Ed generates reaches the customer, according to Thomas W. Smith, the chief executive at Endurant Energy, the consulting firm managing the One Penn Plaza installation, mainly because much of it is lost when the electricity is generated.

By contrast, the cogen at One Penn Plaza is expected to attain efficiency levels as high as 80 percent, according to Mr. Smith. That translates roughly into 2,800 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that are offset each year. And the captured steam will replace a fifth of the centralized steam that now controls the temperature of the building.

“This is changing how buildings generate power, and helping the city alleviate a huge problem in getting power to buildings,” Mr. Smith said.

The technology behind cogenerators is straightforward. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a federal research center affiliated with the Department of Energy, power generators that recycle excess heat have been around since the early 20th century, mostly in giant factories. But in recent years, as high-tech Internet hubs and other power-hungry industries have strained the aging electricity grid, the demand for smaller, fuel-efficient cogens have grown.

Office buildings in Manhattan, which sit over gas lines, were a natural market. In fact, cogens were cited by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2007 as a key component of his ambitious blueprint to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

The Durst Organization, a prominent landlord in Midtown, leapt first. Its cogenerator at One Bryant Park, a glassy 54-story skyscraper rising at the corner of 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas, is scheduled to come online this summer. Durst expects the 4.6-megawatt cogen to power as much as 35 percent of the building during peak hours.

Last year, Related Companies removed nine parking spaces at Manhattan Plaza, a 1,689-unit complex on West 43rd Street, and installed two 350-kilowatt cogens, which it plans to turn on next month. Related, which pays for tenants’ utilities, expects to save $350,000 a year, and recoup its costs by 2012. “There should be no impact to the tenants,” said Nick Lanzillotto, an operations manager. “They won’t even know it’s happening.”

Related also installed cogens with microturbines, smaller versions of the conventional engine, at Tribeca Green, an apartment complex in Lower Manhattan.

While New York State offers a range of incentives through its Energy Research and Development Authority (Vornado, for example received a $2.5 million package for One Penn Plaza), the upfront cost can turn many landlords pale. Vornado’s plant at One Penn Plaza cost $18 million.

The steep price can make even well-endowed, green-minded places like Cooper Union hesitant. Instead of footing the bill for the cogen at its new academic building in the East Village, Cooper Union hired an outside company, Office Power, to build, own and operate the generator.

Cooper Union now wants a cogen in its landmark Foundation Building. “Earlier, the board did not want to spend on something that had not been proven,” Mr. Wieman said. “But we learned that the payback made sense.”

“When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Krsna, dresses him in nice garments and gives him a flower, Krsna smiles. If you can get Krishna to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.” – Srila Prabhupad, Lecture SB 3.25.12, 12th November, 1974

Vishaka mataji’s girirajji

As my eyes took in the slow dawn of day
my fingers felt the soft wood
bead by bead – transcendental wood of tulsidevi
My mind the wonderful traveller
a thousand places did it visit

A thread of desire was visited and explored
Memories entangled with that thread
of gopi dots, peacock feathers, ghee lamps
of chandan, mukut pieces, chadars
caused that familiar longing
longing to serve your beautiful deity form…

How can I ever anticipate that sweet mercy of yours?
“Anuradha? Can you come paint and dress up my girirajji?”
Amazement and wonder continues to be my friend
as your mercy continues to flow…

by Nishal Lama, mybangalore.com

participating cow with a complete makeover

How many would have really thought that there could be a fashion show with models being the cows. The Kombu Mela celebration that was held at ISKCON in the city on January 14 showed exactly that: cows replacing the model, where the designers where replaced by the make over artists who were none other than the students from various city colleges.

As an initiative by ISKCON to celebrate the yearly Kombu Mela, the authorities, this time, decided to organize this, one of its kind, event where cows were to replace the usual models for the fashion show. Dressed in the best attire (all thanks to the students’ efforts), the cows were sure to look different for the show. With balloons, ribbons, garlands and flowers, it was almost a no-stone-unturned thing for the students who were involved to give the make over. The students, however, had their share of fun participating in the event. Shweta, a student from Vogue Institute, said, “This is the first time ever that I have come so close to a cow, let alone dressing it up. I was pretty apprehensive when I got into this, but that was short lived. Once here, I lost all my apprehensions. I have enjoyed doing the makeover; it was so much fun.”

People from the temple singing a Bhajan during the program

It wasn’t just the make over artists, but the cows were seen equally apprehensive. Radhika, another participant said, “When I came here for the first time, the cow was really scared looking at everything that was going around. But it didn’t take a lot of time for us to get our things done. It was wonderful to see how the cow started reacting to all that we were doing. It’s, for sure, one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Echoing Radhika’s thoughts, Shweta K., a participant from Vogue Institute, said, “We have even given a name to the cow that we are doing the make over for; we have named Sahana, and she is beautiful. I have got an amazing experience being here.”

Meanwhile the Mirchi RJ’s also engaged the crowd with fun games and contests. Celebrity judges from Sandalwood, Chetan & newbie Regina, seemed to have had a fun time watching the cow beauties walking the ramp. While standing beside the winning cow for a picture, Regina cheekily said, “It feels as if we are standing beside a glam diva. I am glad that the organizers have come out with such fun concept.” Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Balyan, Cluster Head Karnataka & Kerala said, “Kombu Mela has become our signature event now. And, since Radio Mirchi has such a strong following with the youth of Bangalore, we decided to adopt and give the Sankranti celebrations a youthful and Mirchi twist. Hence, the fashion show.”

Some of the participating colleges for the Fashion Show were Vogue Fashion Institute, the fashion departments of Surana College and KLE College, Sheshadripuram College, Presidency College and so forth. The team, which was successful in bringing out a perfect themed look on the cow, was chosen the winner, and it was Vogue Institute with the theme Beauty and the Beast. The winner got price money of Rs. 10,000.

Having won the contest, Sandeep M., from the winning team said, “We were not here to win, but to participate in the event. So, it really doesn’t matter, but it has been a sheer fun to have taken part in the whole thing.” Guess, it just happens with the cows in India.

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From an email I received:

“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”  Daniel Webster

Which echoes Prabhupada when he says:

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.5

Cow protection includes agriculture because the dung is used for fertilizer and the bull used for traction. Not slaughtering animals is a specific feature of true Vaisnava agriculture.

A follow up email I received:

I found the original  quoted extract in the last paragraph of a speech Daniel Webster delivered to the Massachusetts Legislature (Boston, 13 January 1840):

“Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. Man may be civilized, in some degree, without great progress in manufactures and with little commerce with his distant neighbors. But without the cultivation of the earth, he is, in all countries, a savage. Until he gives up the chase, and fixes himself in some place and seeks a living from the earth, he is a roaming barbarian. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”

The speech is printed in its entirety in The Works of Daniel Webster, Vol. 1, 7th ed. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1853), pp. 443-457 . (See enclosed attachment.) This lawyer and politician had a great interest in and knowledge of agriculture. He discoursed confidently on crop rotation and fallowing, the importance of manure, winter feeding of livestock, the best breeds of sheep and cows, etc.

Of course, his perspective was not that of a Vaishnava; he viewed as normal the raising of animals for slaughter, for example, but the bulk of what he said seems quite intelligent. His stamina and productivity were amazing; at one time he was employed for a dollar a day as the principal of an academy while working as a recorder of land deeds and also studying law in his spare time!

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