Sunday, November 30, 2008


Zen Koan: What was the face you had before you were born?
What came before the Big Bang?

Zen Koan: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
What happened to the antimatter created when the universe was born?

Buddhist saying: Emptiness is form, form is emptiness.
Rutherford's discovery that 99% of an atom is space.
Alternatively, energy equals matter times the speed of light squared.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Family Trees

"I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap."
Rodney Dangerfield

I wonder who's the sap in the Bush family tree? We need more levity and humility like Rodney's. Here's to family trees forking and thriving, not inbreeding and withering like in Idiocracy.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Outlawing Research Nationally Doesn't Outlaw It Globally

Scientists have created insulin producing cells from embryonic stem cells in mice. The research was carried out in Singapore. One can look at this two different ways. One, cutting edge research is becoming more international. Or, two, cutting edge research has fled overseas because it was outlawed here in the U.S. In this case, I opt for the latter. The critics were right in this case.


Slick CyberSecurity Presentation by F-Secure

The malware threat is evolving.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is a Desert?

Most people think of a desert as a place with an absence of water. A desert is a place with an absence of liquid water. In that sense, Antarctica and parts of the Arctic are deserts. There's plenty of water there, but it's a solid. So, why are we lamenting the demise of these deserts of ice? Life will adapt and change. The polar bears will breed with brown bears and become something else. A new bear will emerge. The same is true for penguins. Unless that is, we begin to understand that deserts aren't really deserts, but extreme environments and that they serve a purpose. The human desire is for all deserts to bloom, is it not? Of course, if humans made the desert, such as the Australian Outback, shouldn't humans repair the environment back to the way it first was before we destroyed it? What is the best solution to environmental change? Not all environmental change will be bad. Shouldn't we only repair what we've broken or destroyed?



Zen Masters I Know

John Swift - my Uncle, my most beloved spiritual teacher.
Jerry Workman - my High School Chemistry teacher. As beloved as Uncle John.
Julie - more Mystic than Zen master, but what's in a name?
George Breed - a modern prophet, full of Zen and fire.
Mike Powell - figured it all out on his own.
Every cat I've ever met.

Zen Masters I Don't Know Personally

Eckhart Tolle

Almost Zen Masters

Stephen Balog, Sr.
Janice Thompson (could be there already)
Stephen Balog, Jr.
Kirk Holub
Peter Coates
Martin Arreguy
Martin Gaston

The Rest of the World
Life gives everyone an opportunity to awaken to his or her fullest potential in each Lifetime. That is the meaning of insight.


A Letter to George: Ruminations on the Frustrations of Communicating Knowledge and Wisdom

I posted a letter to George Breed in response to this blog post of his. But it deserves to be shared instead of being buried in his comments section. So, I am posting it here as well for the benefit of all. I am basically pointing out the communication problem that afflicts all those who try to listen to prophets and wise people. The wise person or prophet isn't the one with the problem because ultimately, there isn't a problem. It may be perceived as a problem because reality or actuality isn't giving you what you want, and that is for others to understand you. People will disbelieve actuality all of the time. Scientists see it a lot. Artists see it a lot. Prophets see it a lot. Selfless leaders see it a lot. We are all Sinners for not grokking one thing or another. What I mean by "sin" is that we miss the mark of being fully human at times. We are still striving for perfection because that is a goal or aspiration our minds have given us to distract us. In actuality, we are already perfect at this biological level. Each of us needs an insight to promote psychological perfection at this level. Once we perfect this level of development, there will be another level of perfection to strive for and attain. This is the purpose of evolution and whatever we call the mystical being or entity some call "God".


Ultimately, what you are pointing to is abstract. Most people want to be spoon fed concrete data, not abstract data. If we are to believe the Buddhists, all things and beings are energy. In this, physics agrees. Higher Consciousness or Directed Energy exists or flows through some life forms while many other life forms are like little machines, strictly focused on their jobs. In humans, our minds develop flawed models of the world. Instead of taking the time to look and observe, we make snap judgements and move on. Calling it sleepwalking or dreaming or delusion are just ways of pointing to the affliction, but they are imperfect as all words are because they are limiting. Words can never encapsulate, never totally describe an experience. They can only serve as a sign or a label to an event or thing. They are not the thing. But people confuse the two.

You point to the mystical - the mysterious, but people do not understand you. The Buddha had the same problem. Jesus had the same problem. Every prophet, wise man, and woman has this problem. It is a problem due to the limitations of language and the way we are taught to not think, not comprehend. Thinking is dangerous to those people who are in power because a thinking awake populous wouldn't put up with the inequalities promoted by the so called powerful(1). Perhaps you should aim your sermons at children. Their minds haven't been trained to blind their perceptions of the world. This is why Jesus advocated becoming like a child. The other alternative is to teach in different ways because people learn differently. Language arose through speech and hearing first. Reading arose much later. Much spiritual teaching is best done through public speaking and experiencing due to the way the human brain has evolved. Reading is adding another layer of abstraction. Or, one can be a cynic and state that many people are just thick (stupid). I believe that a better analogy is that it is very difficult to awaken a sleeper and many people are deeply asleep, trapped in a dream.(2) I wish there was a way to identify those who are lightly sleeping, so that they could be awakened first.


1. Modern K-12 schools were created to manufacture factory workers. People who do monotonous, repetitive labor for reasons of efficiency to greatly enrich a few, and if they are lucky, enrich and empower themselves. Institutions of Higher Learning were created to manufacture the leaders, thinkers and artists of the world. Educational institutions have been corrupted to an extent by money and been overtaken by technological changes (the network we call The Internet). Critical thinking and unbiased perception has been mugged by bad television programming and journalism and what we call spin, but what others in a simpler world would call subtle lies or sophistry. Intel people call it disinformation which is closer to the truth.

2. The saying "Don't confuse them with facts because their minds are already made up" is another way of illustrating the phenomenon. (The solution - seek a more receptive audience if one can.) However, Zen masters sow confusion through the use of koans in an effort to provoke understanding. So, we should be confusing people to provoke (or is that, promote?) wakefulness.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Becoming Still

I had to take Bashful back to the vet for a followup exam. She was stressed out and terrified. I was able to briefly become still for about 10 seconds. My mind stilled and this indescribeable feeling of warmth welled up within me. It was the only way I could think of to nonverbally communicate with her that everything would be okay. Too bad I haven't been able to make such instances last more than 10 seconds.

Labels: DNS Server Issues with Yahoo

Verizon DSL's DNS servers are not seeing for some reason. I had to change my DNS settings to's to solve the issue. Here's the dig results:

dig @

; <<>> DiG 9.5.0-P2 <<>> @
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 43002
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

; IN A

;; Query time: 33 msec
;; WHEN: Sun Nov 16 11:04:37 2008
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 35

But works:

dig @

; <<>> DiG 9.5.0-P2 <<>> @
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 45789
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

; IN A


;; Query time: 56 msec
;; WHEN: Sun Nov 16 11:26:42 2008
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 90

After changing to's nameservers:


; <<>> DiG 9.5.0-P2 <<>>
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 45677
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

; IN A


;; Query time: 75 msec
;; WHEN: Sun Nov 16 11:05:01 2008
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 90

It seems that Verizon changed their nameservers for their ISP customers from and to and Here's the whois for There are four primary DNS servers - two for Bell Atlantic and two for GTE. I'll just stick with At least there won't be so much confusion when my ISP changes something important without notifying the customer or the owners of the DNS root servers for the .net domain.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

SRT1720 - A Future Anti-Aging Pill?

Derived from research at Harvard University, SRT1720, a resveratrol mimetic, confers multiple benefits in mice. Since the same gene, protein and signal pathways are conserved in humans, it's likely that the drug will confer the same effects.

In other news, besides vitamin D for preventing cancers, researchers have found that vitamin B3, nicotinamide, boosts memory in normal and Alzheimer's mice. This shouldn't be surprising since biochemically NADH (nicotinamide is a building block of NADH) is required for oxidative metabolism of glucose, and the brain eats glucose like we eat candy.


Free Image Analyzer

I found a free image analyzer for Windows. It may work on Macs and Linux with Wine or Crossover Office (commercial version of Wine). I haven't installed it yet on my Windows system, but I plan to. The program can actually enlarge images through interpolation.


Root of All Psychological Suffering

The root of all psychological suffering is the "little i" or the "little me". What have I done wrong? Why did he or she say nasty things about me? I or me is referred to as the egoic self. If there is no egoic self, there is no psychological suffering. There will always be a self in the sense of a physical body with a brain capable of interacting with the world, but the ego's time has come and gone, barring a collapse of civilization. My cats have identities or selves. Each has her own personality, with its needs and wants, but they aren't attached to those wants for very long. Both cats live in the moment. Same for dogs, but cats have independent wills for the most part. So, there are two ways to eliminate psychological suffering - get rid of the self, or live entirely in the present. Both are actually complementary and synergistic. Both time and self are psychological concepts to an extent. They are also both linked. The mind distracts you by trapping you either in the past or the future.

Time is a manmade construct in the sense that we separate it into past, present and future. In reality, there is only the present. The past is gone, only a memory. The past is an incomplete memory at that. The future is only a possibility. I'm not saying not to use time practically or plan for future engagements, but to not dwell on past events or future possibilities that may never come to pass.

In a practical sense, all of this means that when the world ends, it is not "The World". A world ending event means that each individual's psychological worldview is destroyed by actual events. Each person cannot delude him or herself further about how he or she thinks the world works. In some cases, a group of individuals may have a collective experience as their worldview ends. We see this all the time when a community is destroyed by a disaster, when a government such as the former U.S.S.R. falls, or when the entire banking system collapses due to debt and greed. The ultimate end of the individual psychological world comes at the death of each individual. What happens next I have no idea and it is immaterial to speculate on post death Consciousness anyway because death is a loss of consciousness in this world. The point I am making is that the key to Life and Happiness is to let go of the egoic self - to "die before you die". We aren't taught how to do this, but we experience moments of selflessness all the time. Whether we recognize them as such is the issue, and the goal here is to be selfless as much as is practically possible. With some people the process is spontaneous, but it can be learned through meditation and yoga breathing - paying attention to one's breathing.

This world is Eden. A place of Life in a solar system devoid of Life. At some point, humans developed minds and became separated from "Eden" - the natural world. Instead of living in harmony with Nature, we seek to tame it, often with disastrous consequences. The planet will heal itself if we give it a chance. However, if we keep doing what we are doing, all Humanity will accomplish is more suffering for itself - more pain, hunger, death, and destruction until we stabilize the human population to something the planet can tolerate. The alternative is to let Nature cull our numbers. The problem with that is that Nature is indiscriminate in its choices.

What my perspective means is that the Christian Rapture is a delusion. The saints won't be taken to Heaven, leaving the sinners here on Earth. This planet at this time and place is Heaven Manifest. Heaven is NOW! Heaven is sharing what you have with others, human or otherwise. Hell is humans behaving badly to one another and other beings. If one wishes to open the Gates of Paradise, lay down your anger, hurts, resentments, and weapons, and treat one another with kindness. If one wishes to open the Gates of Hell, just keep doing what you are doing.

So, is my perspective flawed?


Eclipse 3.4 with Tomcat5.5 on Debian Sid

If you've installed Tomcat5.5 on Debian Sid, it's likely broken. You'll see the error message:

invalid CATALINA_BASE specified failed!

The default value for CATALINA_BASE=/var/lib/tomcat5.5, but that directory doesn't exist. With Eclipse 3.4, the CATALINA_BASE variable should be CATALINA_BASE=/usr/lib/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.tomcat_5.5.17
in /etc/default/tomcat5.5. You will also have to create the following directories like so:
mkdir -p /usr/lib/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.tomcat_5.5.17/temp
mkdir -p /usr/lib/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.tomcat_5.5.17/work
mkdir -p /usr/lib/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.tomcat_5.5.17/logs

Restarting tomcat via: /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 start or /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 restart will then work. Linux suffers from the UNIX disease. There is no standard file hierarchy and it wastes a lot of time and effort of programmers and system administrators just configuring something to work.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Google Breaks G1 Phone Jailbreak

Google pushed out an update this morning. It disabled the telnetd server, so one can't start the telnetd server on the G1 wih wifi enabled and telnet to it any more. My version of Linux on my laptop and workstation doesn't seem to like the Android SDK or Eclipse for that matter. I wasted a couple of days installing and reinstalling them. I can get the Android SDK to function in a VMware Ubuntu virtual machine though. I was able to download the ARM GNU toolchain from Surprisingly, compiling a hello.cpp was very easy. Uploaded it via adb, i.e. adb push hello /data/local/hello. But, the excutable will not execute. I get a permission denied error even though the C++ program has the correct attributes set via chmod. I had already installed busybox in /data/local. So, I created a shell script that says "Hello Android!" It will not execute as well. However, ./busybox ash will display "Hello Android!" in the adb shell console, but not in the Personal Terminal application. One can execute busybox through the Personal Terminal, but there are permission issues and jails that interfere with console output. I'm kind of glad that Google shut down the telnetd server. That was a very bad oversight from a security standpoint. I wish they'd put in an openSSH server though, but it goes against their security design.

Obviously, I am still insane to spend so much time trying to get something to work. I already had it built on the virtual machine, but I wanted it to work on the host operating system. No joy. Testing on a 32-bit operating system with a slightly older distribution ( gave the same results. There's something different about Sidux.


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