Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deep Down Inside

You Make Me Feel So Jung

“And just as, in Christianity, the Godhead conceals itself in the man of low degree,” Jung writes, “so in the ‘philosophy’ [alchemy] it hides in the uncomely stone.”
-Carl Jung

Rings' Shadow on Saturn

I didn't realize, at first glance, the black line is a shadow.

The Alchemist

The prize was not the gold, but the process.

When our family lived in Emmaus
, Pennsylvania, my dad's study was a place of fascination for me. Bookcases filled with science, history and the mysteries of the universe. We children were not supposed to go in there. Right! There were objects of interest, like the million year old sharks tooth on the desk, or the wonderful paintings on the wall that would unleash my imagination. One of those paintings was of an Alchemist. I think David has the books and paintings now.

What brought this to mind was an email from George Bleich in which he included an excerpt from Paul Levy's, "The Ancient Art Of Alchemy", that seemed relative to the current discussion of spirituality and associated religions:

“Who is it inside ourselves who is actually suffering?”

“For the alchemist,” Jung emphasizes, “the one primarily in need of redemption is not man, but the deity who is lost and sleeping in matter."

What this says to me;

The goodness of God is always with us.

The alchemist sought Gods brilliant sparkle in the dullest of materials.

Jesus, the Buddha, and Confucius
teach us that the way to Heaven is love.

There is more of Gods goodness in a meadow than in a mega-church.

The object of turning lead into gold was not for the gold, but for the process that could lead to spiritual awakening.


End of world photo manipulation using Photoshop.

I have noticed that the mainstream media has been playing to people who are expecting the end of the world. It seems like every earthquake, tidal wave, volcanic eruption, flu epidemic, dead bird, or salmonella outbreak is trumpeted in bold face type and brightly colored graphics telling us to be afraid.

Run For Your Lives

Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Be very afraid. Phooey.

Masks Are Pointless
There are two types of facial protection, says William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Surgical masks are designed to keep germs in — so you don't infect someone else, while N95 respirators are designed to keep germs out, so a sick person doesn't infect you.

Right now, there's no need for the general public in the USA to wear either, because swine flu cases are still very rare.

A properly worn surgical mask can make a person feel warm and even claustrophobic.

A N95 respirator can make it hard to breathe.

So far, in a week, less than 300 people may have died from swine flu.

Let's look at how many people die on planet earth without swine flu.

  • 1.78 deaths per second
  • 107 deaths per minute
  • 6,390 deaths per hour
  • 153,000 deaths per day
  • 56.0 million deaths per year

(It looks like you are more likely to be run over by a bus, than to die of swine flu.)

Stay indoors.
Stock up on clean water.
This could be the doom you have been waiting for.

Some people cant wait to tell me, with fanatical glee, "The End Is Here!"

What about revelations?
That was supposed to happen while the Apostles were still alive.
I believe Jesus' words were, "I'll be back boys, in your lifetime, at the right hand of God, and we will all go to Heaven."
I am not sure of the translation, any translation.
I am sure it didn't happen, and it's not happening now, so, personally, I am going to enjoy this moment of existence in God's grand universe, and eat some cake and ice cream.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
The End Of The World - Carpenters

Don't Worry About It

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April Showers

Chasing Rainbows

At the library, looking to the East. 4/27/09

Late afternoon and evening thunder showers with sunshine and flowers paid a splendid visit to Redding yesterday. To go to the library, I just drove toward the rainbow.

When I walked out of the library, the rainbow was still there. I stopped to see some friends at a coffee shop, and mentioned that I had been chasing the same rainbow for 15 to 20 minutes. When I left there, the rainbow was waiting for me.

From Marina Drive, looking to the left. 4/27/09

The amazing thing now
was the two sides of the rainbow touching down a couple of miles apart.

From Marina Drive, looking to the right. 4/27/09

I stopped at the spot where people feed the ducks and geese, to take a picture of the piece of rainbow I saw from the road, and when I looked to the right, I saw the other end. I stayed there for another 10 minutes, taking pictures until it looked like it was fading, then started to get back on the road, but there was more!

Rainbow and palm trees. 4/27/09

I looked up
at the palm trees that I plan to film as part of the Zombie Reggae video, and there was the same rainbow giving me more natural art.
I drove a tricky way back home so that I could watch the final bit of the longest lasting rainbow I have ever seen.
That was terrific. Thanks God.

Speaking of God

The worlds leading Bible expert explains it clearly.

Bart D. Ehrman saved me 10 years
of research, by spending 30 years doing it for me. I always figured I would have to learn ancient Greek to truly understand what is so very wrong with the Bible. I had learned from some researchers that a writer, calling himself Mark, wrote the first of the gospels 60 years A.D., based on the epic poems of Homer, simply changing the names and places. I could see how the others used that as an outline on which they expanded to support their own agendas, but I never understood how the clergy could still claim that it was the word of God. Are they dumb, or devious?

I recently found a program that provides many different translations of the bible, and was prepared to learn ancient Greek to see if I could find a true translation. Then wonder of wonders, I was at the library last week and on the shelf of new arrivals was, "Jesus Interrupted". A book by one of the worlds foremost experts on the Bible.

In 1978, after he graduated from divinity school, Bart Ehrman wanted to learn more about this book he was expected to believe is the word of God.

He learned ancient Greek. He did advanced bible studies at Princeton, and discovered that side by side comparisons of Mark, John, and Paul, describing the same event, were at odds with each other.

Translators try to combine
the different versions of what Jesus may have said and it ends up not making any sense.

Here's some of what happened;

The Apostles could not read
or write. They could speak Aramaic, but literature at that time and place, was in ancient Greek. So they were illiterate.

Jesus spoke Aramaic and could read a little, but didn't know how to write. At that time it was uncommon for people to spend time learning both reading and writing. Those lucky enough to be schooled, generally learned to read, or to write. Rabbi's and merchants learned to read, and scribes learned to write.

So who wrote the gospels?

Greek scholars
who never set foot in Palestine, let alone saw or heard Jesus.

Read the book and see just how deep Bart Ehrman delves into history to uncover who wrote what.

It's very enlightening.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;

It Aint Neccessarily So - Jamie Cullum

God Is Good

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sample Size

Live Right- Eat Light

One of the interesting side
effects of learning at the pace and exponentially increasing number of projects, is the occasional, "I thought I already did this", moment. This is the case with today's topic. It's not a new philosophy, in fact, I was a proponent of this healthy approach to life as far back as the 1960's.

The Good Stuff

One of my favorite meals. Steamed veggies in 4 1/2 min.

Doctors and scientists, now have, "discovered", that rats on a near starvation diet, live longer, more vigorous, and healthy lives than their portly counterparts. This is because the body produces a combination of enzymes and chemicals that promote wellness, when it's not bogged down with continuous digestion and fat production. This is magnified by the body working to extract nutrients from, "non foods".

Dr. OZ explains digestion

Very Small

Electronmicroscopic image of array and simulation.

Yale researchers
have demonstrated silicon-based nanocantilevers, smaller than the wavelength of light, that operate on photonic principles.

In nanoelectromechanical systems
(NEMS), cantilevers are the most fundamental mechanical sensors. These tiny structures — fixed at one end and free at the other — act like nano-scale diving boards that "bend" when molecules "jump" on them and register a change that can be measured and calibrated.

Very Large

Humpback whales seen from under the surface.

Northern Lights

Giant space tornado's create flare ups in Aurora Borealis.

Meanwhile, In Iraq

My brother, Jerry in Abraham's house.

Jerry sent me some pictures from when he took a tour of UR.

When I was a child, I didn't like to go to sleep. I was afraid that while I was sleeping, reality might go away, and when I awoke, everything would be gone.

Here In Redding

Iris, out back, in Dorothy's garden. 4/26/09

Today At The River

Sundial bridge. 4/26/09

To try and assist the last few salmon making the spring run, additional water is released from the Keswick dam. Watching organized attempts to put the genie back in the bottle, sort of reminds me of the scene from Fantasia with Mickey as the sorcerers apprentice. We, (Department of Fish and Wildlife), are so desperate to stop the ecological damage we have done to the river, that we "farm" salmon, truck them to the Bay, release to the sea, then later, collect and truck the fish back upstream to try and establish breeding colonies.

This Just In...

Inside wave picture from my sister, Sue.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Fixing A Hole -Beatles


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Still Writing

Sound Of The City

Awake, at the crack of 10:30.

This morning, like many mornings, I am awakened by the sounds of human activity. I wrote a song about it in 1970, called, "The Sound of the City".

I heard it one evening,
when I was looking at a piece of property in the Oakland/Berkeley hills. Astro Johnny had invited some of us up onto the hillside so we could see the view from where he thought it would be a great spot to build a house. As we climbed the hill and gazed upon the cities and the bay below, I noticed that we were also climbing up and out of a, "sound".

It was as thick as fog,
and the way I heard it, it was like a layer of sound so thick it could be felt until I climbed high enough up the hillside to rise above it. When it was still lapping at my knees, I turned to Louie and asked him if he could see and feel this, "sound fog", that we were climbing out of. He looked at me questioningly and said, "What sound"?

"The sound of the city"
, I said, waving at the vista of Oakland, Berkeley, and the Bay Bridge reaching across to San Francisco, twinkling in the distance. "Where you are standing, it comes up to your knees. Listen to what you hear now, then take a few steps down while you listen closely."

I watched as he descended
below the surface of the lake of sound. Soon he was playing in the lake of sound. It was actually visible, if one looked for it. I could bend down and stick my hand in it and actually feel the substance of the sound, it was that thick. It was the accumulated detritus of noisy human activity below. The sound of the city.
I wrote a song about it.
Louie Shwartz and I played it a few days later during a gig in Berkeley. I think Bob Raines played drums.

I revisited the Sound of The City
, in 1995 during a visit to Richmond. While I was out in Marians backyard I listened to the sound chowder of Bart, the railroad, I-80, cars and other accumulations of human audio poop, and I noticed the birds were singing loud and furiously to hear each other above the noise. Later I read an article about a study of birds in urban environments, and how they have changed their songs to make them distinguishable in the midst of the city sound scape. This is important because the male bird with the best song gets the girls. If the girls cant hear you, not only do you not get any whoopee, you are the last of your bloodline! I wonder if the city birds impress the country gals when they are passing through town.

I added more verses
and a bridge to Sound of the City and recorded that version in Carmel Valley. It was okay, and I have a copy of that recording, but it was never all that I hear in my head, so I set it aside. for awhile.

Here in Redding,
where I live now, I am on a hill above the little town on the banks of the river. The sound is not a roaring soup, but more like a Wal Mart of sounds, emanating from different parts of the store and parking lot.

Here in my bedroom, in my apartment, at the Treehouse, the sounds are as close as my window. When the window is open, the sounds stream in and splash around the room until they settle on the carpet. This explains why it is noisier when I sleep on the floor. I can tell the height of my sleeping surface, by the level, (depth), and viscosity of the surrounding sounds.

Sound Portal

Where the sounds pour in. (I like the bird songs.)

When I am in my bed, (it rests on 6" risers, so I can rest 28" above the puddles of sound), I can adjust my perceptions to alter the sounds infiltrating my place of repose. Traffic sounds from Lake Boulevard can be transformed into the the sounds of waves washing the shore. Loud peoples voices become barking coyotes and calling crows. You get the idea. I can adjust the volume and the perception in my mind to where I can sleep through it.

I find it hard to sleep through
excessively loud trucks, honking horns, and, the most egregious nemesis of my circadian rhythms; Back-up Beepers!

We generally assume
that those purposely annoying devices are there to prevent people from getting backed over by a reverse moving vehicle. They are not there for the protection of others, they are there for the protection of the vehicle owner. If I have a back-up beeper and I run over some one while going in reverse, it's not my fault! I gave you fair warning, you can't sue me. The beepers are there to protect the insurance companies.

Every dump truck, school bus
, (one of the local school districts finally got a bus with seat belts for the kids), delivery van, and piece of rolling machinery has got an exponentially louder beeper than the next one.

This is particularly laughable
when it comes to garbage trucks. The back up beeper has to be louder than the already deafening machinery of the truck. This becomes a series of ironic jokes when you remember that the garbage trucks are scheduled to pick up our garbage while we sleep. This way they don't disturb us by blocking traffic.

Do back up beepers work?

The New York State Department of Health, after investigating an industrial accident, concluded that back-up beepers were completely ineffective: "Often, people who work near back-up beepers have become accustomed to their sound and desensitized to their use as warning signals."

I got the above information from Noise Free America, .
They have some interesting stuff about everyday noise makers that I found interesting.

Examining the effect of reflections in double pane glass.

So here I am with more noises to write about, and some good stuff to record it with. What ever shall I do?

Today's Relatively Appropriate Video;

City Crows -BBC

We are clever animals, too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

On Thin Ice

Global Warming Survival Skills

Inuit people in Alaska are reverting to traditional dog sleds instead of modern snow machines as the icy region warms.

Travel is safer with sled dogs.

"People go out on their snow machines, fall through the ice and are never seen again,"says Patricia Cochran, an Inupiat native of Nome, Alaska. "But our sled dogs will tell you when the ice is not safe ... "

Horsing Around

After a visit from Hollywood hairdresser.

Tiny Alcoholic

Taming of the shrew?

The Pen-tailed Treeshrew is one of the currently known seven wild mammals that actively and consistently (if not chronically) consumes mass quantities of alcohol.

This picture could explain the name, "Pen-tailed".

Because treeshrews are not
the same as shrews, and are indeed distant relatives of our own species, they may indicate that consumption of alcohol in the evolutionary line that lead to humans may have occurred, and it may be why today we are still fascinated by alcohol. Because the treeshrew resembles early primates it is no far leap to guess that perhaps an ancestor of our own relied on alcohol naturally created in nectars, and indeed chimpanzees and gibbons eat fruits and nectars today, which can easily ferment.

However in humans
, the ability to tolerate such high levels is no longer present, and it can cause disease and even death.

More Baby Stars Found

Stars forming in the Orion Nebula. (image-UKIT/SST)

Astronomers have completed the most wide-ranging census of baby stars in and around the Orion nebula, and found a stellar nursery that's both chaotic and crowded.

The new Aptera

The guys test drive the new Aptera in S.F.

Neat Green Gadgets
A couple of Earth Day gadgets to do my part. There was very little Earth Day news, in the news today.
Air Cleaning Light Bulb

Solar Charger Bags

Manly men's bag

For the lady who likes to charge.

Composed of biodegradable materials, each bag contains a flexible solar panel on the outside, which connects to a lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack hidden in a pocket. The bags also include adapters for you to plug your iPod, USB-powered device or cellphone into the battery pack to keep your gadgets juiced while you bask in the sun. (GreenLoop, from $330 to $500)

Dolphins Best Friend?

Is that a Portuguese water dog?

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Talk to The Animals -Louis Armstrong

We Are Animals Too

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today In Space

Dodging Space Garbage

Space shuttle avoids debris when possible.

Impacts occur regularly on shuttle flights. Wired Science obtained the Hypervelocity Impact Database, which revealed that in the 54 missions from STS-50 through STS-114, space junk and meteoroids hit shuttle windows 1,634 times necessitating 92 window replacements. In addition, the shuttle's radiator was hit 317 times, actually causing holes in the radiator's facesheet 53 times.

Where Bankin's Funner!

I had to check this out. It's for real.

Redneck is currently offering a 3.1 percent yield, with no minimum deposit, on balances of up to $35,000 (1.65 percent on balances exceeding that) in its mega money market account. That’s considerably better than two of the biggest online banks' money market offerings, ING Direct’s 1.5 percent APY or HSBC Direct’s 1.65 percent.

River Fun

Follow that goose.

We will land here.

Fearless Phil.

Fearless leader.

Fearless follower.

Great fun on the river today. We went under the Sundial Bridge. People on the bridge took lots of pictures of us. Maybe I will see them, one day.

I kept my camera in the dry bag. Since losing the Olympus camera to a damp trunk, I didn't want to take a chance of getting the Sanyo wet. I will have to get a Kayak camera for the next trip. It was beautiful on the river.

Golden Frog

Panamanian golden frog.

I found these
pictures in the "China View"-on line news.

Strange Statue

Santa Fe (Photo Source:

I don't know what is stranger; The pictures, or that I got Panama and Santa Fe pictures, from China.


In keeping with Dodging Space Garbage, I heartily recommend the DVD, "Wall-E".

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Stardust - Artie Shaw


Friday, April 17, 2009

My Life Is

Like It's Supposed To Be

International Space Station. March 25, 2009 (NASA)

Here on Earth
Spray Paint Space Painting

This was done with cans of spray paint!

Cosmic Art Show
This guy is good!

It Just Gets Better
I got an email from Jimmy Sakuma that had this link;

It's a video that uses the song, "Stand by me". The members of the, "Band", are people all around the world, that have been filmed while they add their part to the song. It brought tears of joy to my eyes to see and hear a dream come true.

In the 1960's, I imagined
going around the world and playing music with people in different countries, in towns and villages, sharing the the common language of music. This video, and the foundation that produced it, takes that simple idea and raises it to a level that reaches even deeper into the heart and soul of the worlds people.

I still imagine jamming, "live", with people around the world. Fred Mitchell and I continue to experiment and research ways to accomplish this dream.

Here In America

Photo of high speed train in some other country.

From Scientific American
President Obama outlined his vision today for high-speed rail service in the U.S, identifying 10 corridors in heavily populated regions around the country – from the Pacific northwest to the gulf states – for the laying of hundreds of miles of new tracks.

The stimulus bill that passed in February set aside $8 billion for the initiative. The Federal Railroad Administration will begin awarding grants late this summer after a competitive bidding process amongst rail companies.

We can start catching up to the rest of the world.

Here in Redding

The Sundial Bridge before the tea party. 4/15/09

I made a little video about the Fox News Tea Party.

Friday 4/17/09

Flowering plant at Creekside Gardens. 4/17/09

I went to a local nursery to get an aloe plant for my medicine cabinet. What a delightful place.
Pictures, HERE.

Sandi went with me to the nursery and to OSH, where I got a new, and hopefully, longer lasting, umbrella.

New umbrella from inside sliding screen door. 4/17/09

Time For Breakfast
A healthy, Happy Phil, breakfast, at 4:00PM. 4/17/09

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Lazy Bones -Mills Brothers

Relax-Enjoy God's gifts

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day

Now What?

LED streetlights in Tokyo.

Those energy saving
butterfly streetlights would be great in Pacific Grove.
I wonder if they come in monarch?

Save Birds and Energy

Blinking lights saves energy and birds.

Currently the law requires
the red lights on towers to be steady. Birds, traveling at night, navigate by the light of stars and planets. The steady lights on towers can confuse them and many birds are killed when they crash into towers and power lines. Scientists have found that simply making the lights blink, can eliminate 70% of bird deaths, and save money from reduced energy use.

Some things have to be believed to be seen.
- Ralph Hodgson

The Philippine Tarsier

(Tarsius syrichta)

I recently got some new pictures of weird animals from Jo Anna, (Thanks.), and among them was this little primate. I tracked him down to an article that warned of this animals imminent extinction. Of course I had to know more. What I found was an example of the, "world information drought", that began around 1999-2000. The Philippine Tarsier Foundation was last heard from in 1997. I found a report from Wikipedia that was dated, Feb. 1, 2009, but it contained the same information as the 1997 report.

Cost Of War on Pirates...
3 Bullets

What our new military used to stop the pirates.

"For Mr. Obama, the episode ended successfully with the precision takedown of three pirates with three bullets and the recovery of Captain Phillips generally unharmed."

The wasteful military actions of the past, may be coming to an end. Instead of using a 125 million dollar cruise missile, the Obama armed forces achieved success with 3 bullets. We may salvage our economy yet.

Bullets per casualty:

  • WWII- 25,000
  • Korean War-100,000
  • Vietnam War-200,000
  • Iraq/Afghanistan-250,000
  • Somali Pirates-1

I think we are on to something.

If you wish to be happy,
God is there to show you the way.

If you seek unhappiness,
you are on your own.

- Happy Phil

Nanontech Makes

Wood Planes Fly Again


Nanotubes bringing back wooden planes.

The first airplanes were made of wood, and the next airplanes may be as well.

Researchers in Canada have unveiled plans for a factory that will use nanotechnology to extract cellulose from wood and use it to form composite materials for airplanes. It's not so implausible when you consider that Boeing and Airbus are using significant amounts of carbon composite materials in their latest programs.

If "con" is the opposite of "pro,"

then what is the opposite of progress?

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Tea for Two -Lester Young

It's Good to Be Alive