May 2010

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.


The following is floating around the devotee email circuit:

Hare Krishna. Thought you might find this interesting. I just heard a clip from the BBC news service confirming the Vedic injunction that everything about the cow is auspicious and beneficial. It was a piece on research being done in Australia on a particular bacteria found primarily in cow dung or “gobar” as they call it in India.

Turns out that this bacteria, when inhaled (as would happen naturally in a rural setting or village life) helps generate serotonin, a chemical which acts in the brain to regulate moods and creates a sense of well-being. Even more so, this bacteria is found to reduce the effects of asthma and a host of other diseases and bodily distresses.

The commentator said “The benefits are especially true for children who grow up playing in such natural surrounding, where they would inhale this bacteria. That children are increasingly cut off from this type of natural environment may well be one of the major causes of the growth of allergies and attention deficit disorder in children”.

So once again, research science is playing catch-up to the eternal wisdom of the Vedas. Krishna playing with the cows in His childhood lila is showing the best standard for health for all children.

(end quote)

Here is a link that confirms the basis for the above.

So it is nice that some devotees are starting to be aware that Krishna was a cowherd boy. Unfortunately, most devotees still buy industrial milk and don’t offset it by supporting cow protection programs.

They justify this on the basis of ajnata-sukrti, that the cow they drink the milk from benefits from unknowing devotional service.

Unfortunately, the “knowing” part of a cow’s life can be something else.

Mercy for animals.

The potatoes are ready to bloom which means they are starting to make tubers.  These will be harvested for new potatoes plus if the yield is good we will have some left for storage. New potatoes are a different vegetable then the ones you buy in the store and no, the small ones they sell aren’t necessarily new potatoes, they are just small, usually.

New potatoes you can rub the skin off with your finger applying only a small amount of pressure.

The flea beetles are back at eating the leaves of the potato plants so I will reapply neem as an organic pesticide today.  It has rained and been a few days since last application.  It seems to keep their numbers down.  Sprayer ready neem is available in the big box stores anymore even here in the Northern Temperate zone.

Later Vidya will pick a bunch of the peonies and we will drop them off at the temple for the Lord Nrshimadev festivities this evening.

Growing up I remember the loud and eerie night time cries of the loon, especially in lake country in Minnesota.

While a recorded sound is only faintly indicative of the impact of the real thing out in the woods at night, you can check it out here.

Learn about loons and watch one nesting here:

“The tinkling of Krsna’s ankle bells surpasses the songs of even the swan and crane, and the sound of His bangles puts the singing of the cataka bird to shame. Having allowed these sounds to enter the ears even once, one cannot tolerate hearing anything else.”

CC  Antya 17.43

A one dollar bill met a 20 dollar bill and said, “Hey, where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you around here much.”

The twenty answered, “I’ve been hanging out at the casinos, went on a cruise and did the rounds of the ship, back to the United States for awhile, went to a couple of baseball games, to the mall, that kind of stuff. How about you?”

The one dollar bill said, “You know, same old stuff, church, church, church.”

by Alicia W. Roberts, Wake Forest University

South Carolina, United States — Pokeberries – the weeds that children smash to stain their cheeks purple-red and that Civil War soldiers used to write letters home – could be the key to spreading solar power across the globe, according to researchers at Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials.

Nanotech Center scientists have used the red dye made from pokeberries to coat their efficient and inexpensive fiber-based solar cells. The dye acts as an absorber, helping the cell’s tiny fibers trap more sunlight to convert into power.

Pokeberries proliferate even during drought and in rocky, infertile soil. That means residents of rural Africa, for instance, could raise the plants for pennies. Then they could make the dye absorber for the extremely efficient fiber cells and provide energy where power lines don’t run, said David Carroll, Ph.D., the center’s director.

“They’re weeds,” Carroll said. “They grow on every continent but Antarctica.”

Wake Forest University holds the first patent for fiber-based photovoltaic, or solar, cells, granted by the European Patent Office in November. A spinoff company called FiberCell Inc. has received the license to develop manufacturing methods for the new solar cell.

The fiber cells can produce as much as twice the power that current flat-cell technology can produce. That’s because they are composed of millions of tiny, plastic “cans” that trap light until most of it is absorbed. Since the fibers create much more surface area, the fiber solar cells can collect light at any angle — from the time the sun rises until it sets.

To make the cells, the plastic fibers are stamped onto plastic sheets, with the same technology used to attach the tops of soft-drink cans. The absorber — either a polymer or a less-expensive dye — is sprayed on. The plastic makes the cells lightweight and flexible, so a manufacturer could roll them up and ship them cheaply to developing countries — to power a medical clinic, for instance.

Once the primary manufacturer ships the cells, workers at local plants would spray them with the dye and prepare them for installation. Carroll estimates it would cost about $5 million to set up a finishing plant — about $15 million less than it could cost to set up a similar plant for flat cells.

“We could provide the substrate,” he said. “If Africa grows the pokeberries, they could take it home.

“It’s a low-cost solar cell that can be made to work with local, low-cost agricultural crops like pokeberries and with a means of production that emerging economies can afford.”

Alicia W. Roberts is a research writer at Wake Forest University.

From CNN Living

President Ronald Reagan was an actor and wasn’t elected to public office until he was 55.

Sadly, the down economy has put a lot of workers over age 50 in the unenviable position of needing to find a new profession. Don’t believe that old cliché about middle-aged dogs and new tricks, though; lots of wildly successful people found big success in careers they began after their fiftieth birthdays.

Here are just a few examples…

7. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The founder of the Hare Krishna movement was 69 years old before he started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

In his native India, Prabhupada had been a chemist and a Sanskrit scholar in Calcutta, but in 1965 he came to New York City with just fifty bucks, a pair of cymbals, and a desire to spread the teachings of Lord Krishna.

Prabhupada got off to a modest start by sitting on a sidewalk in the East Village and chanting, but by the time of his death in 1977 his legions of followers were rumored to be thousands strong…

Sunday I got a lot done some weeding and planting marigolds and weeding and planting sweet peppers and weeding.  It was predicted to rain and it did Monday and Tuesday so I felt I was mostly prepared for it.

Walking in the garden I see a lot of bare rooted weeds laying on the soil surface still green, and another cloudy day in store so some of them will have rerooted by the time the sun comes out so I will have to go back through and hoe them out when it dries up enough.

I need to be doing a bunch of mulching but I guess I am behind on that.

The peas and fava beans are blooming but I don’t think we will have some peas by the time we stop picking the asparagus in the next week. Usually the seasons overlap but we had a hot first week of April which kicked the asparagus in early and now May has been cool so the peas are coming on slowly so there is probably going to be a gap we normally wouldn’t have.

The fall planted spinach is starting to bolt so we will be left with the spring planted spinach and radishes  fresh from the garden in the meantime and beets and carrots from last fall still good in the root cellar.

After Sunday’s exertions, I spent the next two days mostly laying on the couch and today I will try get back up and be productive again.  Although I have the agility and flexibility of a 50 year old, I have the stamina of an 80 year old and that is frustrating to me.  There is always so much more that could be done.

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