Friday, February 4, 2011


If you plan on being around 10-20 years from now, you might find this talk on China interesting -- given at a TED conference in London. Especially interesting in the last minute of the talk: a picture comparing the size (gigantic) of a 15th century sailing ship in which a Chinese explorer made his way to the coast of East Africa compared to the size of the Pinta (tiny by comparison) in which Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic, also in the 15th century. Another picture is shown of a painting or tapestry from an early Chinese dynasty of people playing what appears to be golf. Point: what we (most Westerners) don't know about the history and culture of China (in particular, but lots of other nations in general) allows us to maintain an air of unjustified superiority in the West. (I recall having the same "Whoa!" experience when watching the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fast-talking, Funny, and Magic!

I have watched this at least 10 times, not to try to figure out the tricks but because I am mesmerized by this young guy's (James Galea, obviously an Australian) power to entertain, his confidence, his humor -- the whole package. I wonder why we haven't heard of him before? (Perhaps you have?)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vegan Books #1 on Amazon

The #1 selling book on Amazon today is Kathy Freston's Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World. That's the second vegan book to hit #1 this month, the first being Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! (Carr cured her cancer with a diet and lifestyle approach.) 

I'll refrain from editorializing about the implications for our culture -- I hope it's obvious.

(Thanks to for the news item.)

Earth from Above

A beautiful and fascinating collection of aerial photographs from the eye and lens of Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The gorgeous photos were taken over a five-year period crossing six continents by air; pictures of how people live and how the earth is shaped.