March 2010

“Springtime then appeared in Markandeya’s asrama. Indeed, the evening sky, glowing with the light of the rising moon, became the very face of spring, and sprouts and fresh blossoms virtually covered the multitude of trees and creepers.”

Srimad Bhagvatam 12.8.21

I still haven’t finished pruning my various trees and shrubs which with a warm spell in the offing has acquired a sense of urgency. The bad weather in February is biting my backside now as I got no pruning done then. I also try to do some pruning on friends or temple properties but I am not getting too much of that done this year and feeling a little guilty about it. There is an ocean to do. If anyone wants to help with that let me know and we can go together, my progress is relatively slow on those projects but I can direct more energetic persons and get a lot done if someone wants to help.

I still have some work on my veggie garden fence. It is fine for deer but not raccoon, possum, and ground hog proof yet. I made a little progress on that yesterday but more to go.

There is a lot of neglected cleanup work on my property from years of being out of the loop. One thing I am hacking away at is a pile of windows I had accumulated for cold frames that weren’t stored properly and most of the glass has broken due to the freeze/thaw cycle. I am taking some of the broken glass and putting it into trash bins for the weekly collection, but it is heavy so only so much can be put out at a time.

All in all though, I am accomplishing some things and that is satisfying, though in a garden or on a farm, there is always an ocean of possibilities so always more to do.

Meanwhile the forsythia and crocus are blooming, so spring is no longer a wish or an illusion, it is manifest.

The market place is empty,
No more traffic in the streets.
All builders tools are silent,
No more time to harvest wheat.
Busy housewives cease their labors,
In the Courtroom no debate.
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes through the gate.

Oh the King is coming,
The King is coming,
I just heard the trumpet sounding
And now his face I see.
Oh, the King is coming,
The King is coming
He’s coming for me!

All the railroad road cars are empty,
As they rattle down the tracks.
In the newsroom no one watches,
As machines type pointless facts.
All the planes veer off their courses,
No one sits at the controls,
For the King of all the ages
Comes to claim eternal souls.

Oh the King is coming,
The King is coming,
I just heard the trumpet sounding
And now his face I see.
Oh, the King is coming,
The King is coming
He’s coming for me!

Happy faces line the hallways,
Those whose lives have been redeemed.
Broken homes that He has mended,
Those from prison He has freed.
Little children and the aged,
Hand in hand stand all aglow,
Who were crippled, broken, ruined,
Clad in garments white as snow.

Oh the King is coming,
The King is coming,
I just heard the trumpet sounding
And now his face I see.
Oh, the King is coming,
The King is coming
He’s coming for me!

I can hear the chariots rumble.
I can see the marching throng.
The flurry of God’s trumpet
Spell the end of sin and wrong.
Regal robes are now enfolding,
Heaven’s grandstand all in place.
Heaven’s choir now assembled
Start to sing Amazing Grace.

Oh, the King is coming,
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding
And now His face I see
Oh, the King is coming
The King is coming
He’s coming for me!

Oh the King is coming,
The King is coming,
And now his face I see.
Oh, the King is coming,
The King is coming
He’s coming for me!
He’s coming for me!

“In the material world there is keen competition between animals, men, communities and even nations in an attempt to gratify the senses, but the devotees of the Lord are above all this. Devotees have no need to compete with materialists because they are on the path back to Godhead, back home where everything is eternal, full and blissful. Such transcendentalists are a hundred percent nonenvious and are therefore pure in heart. Because everyone in the material world is envious, there is competition. The devotees of the Lord are not only free from all material envy, but they are also kind to everyone in an attempt to establish a competitionless society with God in the center.”

Teachings Of Lord Chaitanya 23: Why Study the Vedanta-sutra?

“Having given up all desire to compete with other men, they suddenly
wake up and find that the joy of God is everywhere, and they are able to exult in
the virtues and goodness of others more than ever they could have done in their
own. They are so dazzled by the reflection of God in the souls of the men they live
with that they no longer have any power to condemn anything that they see in another.”

Merton, Thomas, New Seeds of Contemplation. New York: New Directions, 1961, p. 60

Construction to begin on thousands of charging stations for ‘clean’ cars.

Source: Washington, United States []

What’s billed as the biggest rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure in the world is about to begin in the United States.

Urban planners are deciding where to locate more than 11,000 charging stations in 11 major cities. They want those stations up and running when the first mass-market electric cars from Nissan and General Motors go on sale at the end of this year.

Last year, the Department of Energy awarded $100 million to eTec, an electric transportation research and development firm, to build electric vehicle charging networks in five states. Now is when the rubber meets the road, or more precisely, construction begins.

“You know, there’s a lot of excitement over this,” says Rich Feldman, a regional manager for eTec. “This is going to result in oil savings. There’s going to be jobs that come out of this project in terms of people installing the equipment. We’re obviously launching a whole new industry here. There’s going to be other spinoffs and economic opportunity.”

Park, Plug in and Power Up

Feldman is supervising the installation of more than 2,000 electric car chargers in the greater Seattle area in western Washington, and another 2,000 at homes and public places in four Oregon cities. They’ll be near shopping centers, fast food restaurants and movie theaters, “the variety of places that people think about when they’re able to park and leave the vehicle for an hour or two.”

Feldman’s infrastructure company has partnered with Nissan. The car maker bought lots of ads during the Winter Olympics to promote its forthcoming all-electric model named the Leaf. Nissan is inviting drivers to sign up on its website to be among the first to buy one.

Feldman says eTec hopes to convince a subset of Nissan Leaf buyers to participate in a study. It wants 900 drivers in each state to let researchers from the Idaho National Lab monitor their driving and charging behaviors. “In exchange, they get a free, home-based charging station,” he explains. Lessons learned about consumer preferences on placement, features and payment options could guide the eventual national rollout of charging infrastructure.

The Nissan Leaf and the plug-in Chevy Volt are supposed to hit U.S. dealerships late this year. They’re the first wave of mass production electric cars. Mark Perry, who directs product planning for Nissan North America, says new owners will have no trouble finding a power station. “So the concern, ‘If I use this vehicle or purchase this vehicle, can I get charging?’ that’s going to be a very easy answer here.”

The price of the fully electric Nissan is being announced at the end of March. Then the company will start taking deposits from consumers, who likely will pay a substantial premium over a comparable gasoline powered compact. The four-door, five-passenger Leaf has a range of about 160 kilometers.

Perry says that Nissan will sell and lease the car and battery as a package. “There had been a lot of conversation about separation of car shell and battery and different approaches,” he said. “Nissan is still going to explore different business models in other parts of the world. But here in the U.S., definitely an entire transaction ? car and battery ? purchase or lease.”

A World of Business Models for Electrics

Other companies and countries are trying different business models to lure consumers into electric cars. Denmark is one nation on the cutting edge. A California-based company called Better Place is working with Denmark’s biggest utility to build the charging network there. It will offer battery swap-out stations, a feature not included initially in the United States.

(Image, left: In Copenhagen, hotel owner Kirsten Brøchner gets behind the wheel of her leased Norwegian-made electric car. Credit: VOA – T. Banse)

“We are building these switch stations here in Denmark ? a number of them ? so that when people want to cross the country, then they can very easily,” Utility CEO Anders Eldrup says. “If it works according to the plans ? we hope it will ? then you can, within three to four minutes, faster than you can put gasoline in your car, you can switch the battery for a brand new one, which is fully charged, and off you go.”

When the system starts up next year, Danish electric vehicle drivers will pay a monthly subscription to access the battery charging network. They could also pay by the mile.

But will consumers go for any of this? Vehicle researcher Valerie Karplus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the car market is big enough to support numerous niches. But she adds, “It’s going to take consumers some time to sort out how they feel about going to a swap station, versus a gas station, versus charging at home. At the same time, today’s internal combustion engine cars are going to get more and more efficient. You may not have to go the gas station all that often with one of those cars.” She is looking forward to what she calls ‘an interesting technology race’.

In Denmark, electric cars are exempt from the world’s highest car registration tax. That’s a big incentive, along with free parking on Copenhagen streets.

Washington State already exempts fully electric cars from its sales tax, and Nissan executives recently paid a call on legislators to talk up additional incentives. Free parking came up, along with access to carpool lanes. In Oregon, electric car enthusiasts want that state to increase the tax credit it offers to buyers of alternative fuel vehicles.

Similar conversations are happening in government offices in Europe, East Asia and U.S. state capitals. Many policymakers, as well as drivers, find the prospect of a zero-emissions ride electrifying.

Reprinted from Voice of America, a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people.

How could I not buy a plant with a name like Sweet Vanilla Butterfly Flower?  “Its sweet vanilla smell draws butterflies and hummingbirds, but this is one tough, versatile plant. Suitable for moist soil, such as next to a lake, but also tolerant of dry conditions. Excellent for everything from large landscape projects to naturalizing to cut-flower arrangements.”

(Update 8/12/10. This turned out to be a milkweed, which lived up to its billing in every way, though the flowering season was disappointingly short. I don’t know if I had deadheaded it if it could have been extended but it happened when I was swamped and was letting the subtle parts of gardening go by unaccomplished.  It wasn’t the common milkweed that most people would be familiar with. I don’t know the specific name of it but it is one of the lanceolate leaved types which I have seen grow in the wild here before the deer started ravaging everything.

“There are two major groups of milkweeds: narrow-leaved (with linear or narrowly lanceolate leaves) and broad-leaved (with leaves usually more than two inches wide throughout most of their length). Some milkweeds make beautiful specimens for the formal flower garden while others are considered dull, invasive weeds…”

Read more about milkweeds here.)

It has arrived and has been planted. It came from the same company I ordered 4 gojis from, but only one arrived despite being invoiced for the four. I called them and they are shipping the other three, no problem.

I have planted some potatoes and in cold frames spinach, a lettuce mix, a greens mix, regular red round radishes and some white icicle radishes. If my energy holds up by this evening I will have fava beans, snap and shell peas planted.

I got catalog fever bad this winter and went nuts ordering. I may live a long time who knows, but I do know I have energy this year and may not next so I am planting more trees, berries, and flowering perennials that are fragrant.  The next two or three weeks are going to be intense. I told most catalogs to ship April first but some are coming already. I ordered from 12 different plant catalogs and two supply catalogs so it will be staggered to a degree and some don’t give you the option as to when they ship, they do it according to their own schedule.

Here is the list. Lots of the strawberries are to be distributed amongst a group of devotees, not all for me, I am only planting about 30.

Quantity Plant Tree, Bush, Vine, Perennial Spacing Height
1 Chocolate vine V 15-20′
1 Corkscrew Vine V 12-36″ 4-6′
1 Grape Buffalo V
1 Grape Ontario V
1 Grape Steuben V
2 Kiwi Arctic female V
1 Kiwi Arctic male V
1 Passion Flower V vigorousTerritorial
1 American Chestnut Hartman hybrid T 50′
1 Apple Winter Banana T
1 Asian pear T 15′ 15′
1 Asian pear T 15′ 15′
1 Asian pear T 15′ 15′
1 Cherry Emporor Francis T
1 Cherry Star Stella T
1 Cherry White Gold T
2 Cornelian Cherry T
1 Hazelnut Jefferson T
1 Hazelnut Yamhill T
1 Hazelnut Delta T
1 Jujube Shuimen T 15′ 30′
1 Jujube Globe T 15′ 30′
1 Jujube Russian #1 T 15′ 30′
1 Pear Sekel T
1 Persimmon Amer. Celebrity U20A T 40-45′
1 Persimmon Amer. Early Golden T 40-45′
1 Persimmon Asian Hokkaido T 25′ 25′
1 Persimmon Asian Rosseyanka T 25′ 25′
1 Polemonium Blue Pearl P 12″ 12″
3 Begonia White Odorata P 8-10″ 10-12″
1 Bunchberry P 6″ 6-8″
1 Clematis Florus Solitary P 30″ 3′
1 Corydalis Berry Exciting P 15-18″ 12″
1 Crambe P 3′ 4-6′
1 Dahlia Who Dun It P 18-24″ 40-44″
20 Dahlias mixture P
2 Daphne Ruby Glow P 3′ 12″
1 Dianthus Coconut Punch P 12″
1 Dianthus Velvet’n Lace P 12-18″ 12-18″
25 Double Freesia P 4″ 15-24″
3 Helleborus mixture P
1 Hibiscus P
6 Hybrid Phlox mixture P 18-24″ 30-48″
1 Iris Jewel Baby P
1 Iris Tomorrow May Rain P
1 Licorice Mint P
6 Lily tree P 8′
10 Oriental Lily mixture P 10-12″ 3-4′
100 Strawberries Earlibelle P 12″
100 Strawberries Cavendish P 12″
100 Strawberries Record P 12″
1 Sweet Vanilla Butterfly Flower P
1 Wintergreen P creeper
3 Yellow Meadow Rue P 24-30″ 36-48″
1 Plum Tree Sweet mini B
1 Angel’s Trumpet B 6′ 8-10′
1 Bearberry B
1 Bilberry Eagle B low
1 Blueberry Aurora B
1 Blueberry Ka-Bluey B
1 Blueberry Rubel B 8 x 4′
3 Cherry Nanking B 4-5′
1 Currant Pink Champagne B 3-4′
1 Dewberry B 3-4′ sprawl
1 Fragrant Abelia B 4-5′ 5-6′
4 Goji.s B 8′
1 Gooseberries Hinnoki Red B
1 Gooseberry Pixwell B 5′ 3-4′
5 Hanson Bush Cherry B 4-5′
1 Lilac Reblooming Jose B 4-5′ 6′
4 Lingonberries Variety B 18″ 12-15″
2 Lingonberries Regal B 18″ 8-15″
2 Lingonberries Red Pearl B 18″ 12-18″
5 Raspberry Prelude B
2 Saskatoon Blueberry B 15-20′
2 Seaberry Female B 2-3′ 8-10′
1 Seaberry Male B 2-3′

Adult man asks the sorcerer:

— Do you have anything that stops the aging process?

— Sure. What kind of disease would you like?

From the Deccan Herald

Amid uproarious scenes, Karnataka Assembly today passed the controversial cow slaughter ban Bill, which provides for stringent punishment for violaters and makes the offence cognisable and non-bailable.

After more than a four-hour debate, the Bill was passed by voice-vote as the entire opposition — Congress and JDS — trooped into the well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans, branding the BJP government “communal”.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, who termed the legislation “draconian”, “anti-secular” and “unconstitutional” tore a copy of the the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010 — and threw it in the air.

Earlier, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa defended the Bill, saying it was aimed at protecting cows and preserve cattle in Karnataka. A number of states, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir, already had similar legislation, he added.

Cow slaughter ban is in force in Cuba and Iran, Yeddyurappa said, and highlighted the medicinal benefits of cow urine which have been proved by research.The bill prohibits slaughter of cattle, sale, usage and possession of beef, puts restriction on transport of cattle and also prohibits sale, purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter.

The offence is punishable with imprisonment not less than one year which may extend up to seven years or fined between Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 or both; second and subsequent offence would attract a fine of not less than Rs 50,000 up to Rs one lakh along with imprisonment penalty.

The bill was intended to replace the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, bull, buffalo male or female.It is also aimed at preservation and improvement of the breeds of cattle and to endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution.

The bill provides for stringent punishment for violation of the act, and also provides for powers to search and seizure of any premises including vessel or vehicle.

Home Minister V S Acharya said the bill was “in tune with the sentiments of the majority community”, as per the election manifesto of the BJP, and the judgements of Supreme Court and High Court.

Siddaramaiah said such a bill can be enacted only in “Hitler’s regime” and not in democracy. “Is yours a Hitler’s regime ?” he asked.

The BJP Government, he charged, was thrusting “vegetarian culture” on the people, adding, if the bill was passed, the price of mutton per kg would shoot up to Rs 1,000 from the present Rs 260 or so.

By this act, those dependent on the products such as shoes, leather, belts, nail polish, films, buttons and other beef products would lose their jobs. “You are making their life miserable”, he said.As several opposition members flayed the bill in the debate that saw sparks fly, Siddaramaiah cautioned it would create “disturbance” in society and have an adverse impact on harmony.

Defending the bill, C T Ravi (BJP) said there would be severe shortage of milk in Karnataka in future if the current rate of cow slaughter continued in the State.

JDS leader H D Revanna said the BJP brought the bill keeping in view its “vote bank”.

Roshan Baig (Congress) expressed shock over the provision for a seven-year imprisonment in the act. “Don’t try to implement hidden agenda”, he told the BJP government, adding, the 1964 act was good enough.

Qamarul Islam (Congress) said the bill would create “hatred” among different communities, leading to “law and order problems”. Several opposition members argued it poor eat beef as this meat is affordable and inexpensive at around Rs 60 per kg, compared to chicken and mutton. The choice should be left to the people, they said.

“In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time.

“It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence. The whole material existence is manifested by actions and reactions of elements which make the influence of time prominent in the matter of past, present and future. There are no such actions and reactions of cause and effects there, so the cycle of birth, growth, existence, transformations, deterioration and annihilation — the six material changes — are not existent there. It is the unalloyed manifestation of the energy of the Lord, without illusion as experienced here in the material world.”

SB 2.9.10

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