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    Ode to invention, Maira Kalman

    Steve Zeoli posted a link to the work of Maira Kalman in the NY Times today, in this case an enlightening graphic celebration of the inventiveness of Benjamin Franklin. This post was part of a series - "The Pursuit of Happiness (2009)" - a year long exploration of American History and democracy beginning with a story on the inauguration of Barack Obama.

    Here is the NY Times article -> Can Do

    I am looking forward to checking out more of her work, especially the illustrated Michael Pollan book.


    CNN occupy wall street

    I had missed the interesting social experiments Ruskofff describes, the local media is adopting its usual superficial view.

    CNN: Occupy Wall Street is not a Protest but a Prototype

    “Occupy” is anything but a protest movement. That’s why it has been so hard for news agencies to express or even discern the “demands” of the growing legions of Occupy participants around the nation, and even the world. Just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, occupiers may want many things to happen and other things to stop, but the occupation is not about making demands. They don’t want anything from you, and there is nothing you can do to make them stop. That’s what makes Occupy so very scary and so very promising. It is not a protest, but a prototype for a new way of living. (Via Douglas Rushkoff.)


    Solvay Conference 1911

    Mark Bernstein: Going To Conferences

    Bernstein illustrates his argument by describing the photo below, which brought to my attention that so many these famous scientists were contemporaries.

    There’s a picture in the lobby of the Hotel Metropole in Brussels of the attendees at the first Solvay conference in 1911. Madame Curie is sitting next to Henri Poincaré; they’re both examining a paper and it’s more interesting than the group photo. Behind them, a shockingly young Al Einstein is paying more attention to the photographer. Nernst is there, and Rutherford, Lorentz, Planck, de Broglie, Brillouin, Langevin...


    How to accomplish more by doing less

    Rings true to my own experience How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

    It's not just the number of hours we sit at a desk in that determines the value we generate. It's the energy we bring to the hours we work. Human beings are designed to pulse rhythmically between spending and renewing energy. That's how we operate at our best. Maintaining a steady reservoir of energy — physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually — requires refuelling it intermittently

    Stress isn't the enemy in the workplace. Indeed, stress is the only means by which we can expand capacity. Just think about weightlifting. By stressing your muscles, and then recovering, you gradually build strength. Our real enemy is the absence of intermittent renewal.



    Shakuhachi festival world masters concert

    Just returned from a concert that was the major public event of the 5th World Shakuhachi Festival. This gathering was a rare opportunity to see and hear some of the worlds foremost players and was an extraordinary experience.  Tonights concert featured pieces played on Shakuhachi, Koto, Shamisen and harp. A musical and accomplished Australian Aboriginal welcome ceremony was performed by Matthew Doyle. A mass playing of Temuke by the festival participants was a highlight.

    All the performances were excellent, Riley Lee was superb however it was the Ajikan (meditation on the letter A) played by Living National Treasure Reibo Aoki that was the most absorbing. He had a powerful presence that brought a deep stillness to the auditorium.


    Notebooks and Manifestos

    I have love notebooks, especially interesting quirky ones that help me feel creative.
    My latest notebook is the Makers Notebook from Make magazine. Its modelled after a lab book with graph paper pages. Solidly bound and with loads and useful (and just plain weird) data in the back pages. Included in the book are two manifestos, The Makers Bill of Rights and a Crafters Manifesto. Here is an extract

    People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can't see.The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

    One of my other favourite notebooks are Moleskins - these are fantastic and come in many great formats. Lots of magnificently illustrated moleskins can be found at moleskinerie and at their Flikr pool (here).  This photo is taken from the Logan Wines Cellar Door in Mudgee.


    Dividing camels

    The traditional teaching stories of the Sufi's are often intriguing. One of my favourites is known as Dividing Camels. I originally came across it in Idries Shah's book Thinkers of the East.

    There was once a Sufi who wanted to make sure that his disciples would, after his death, find the right teacher of the Way for them.

    He therefore, after the obligatory bequests laid down by law, left his disciples seventeen camels, with this order:

    'You will divide the camels among the three of you in the following proportions: the oldest shall have half, the middle in age one-third, and the youngest shall have one-ninth.'

    As soon as he was dead and the will was read, the disciples were at first amazed at such an inefficient disposition of their Master's assets. Some said, 'Let us own the camels communally,' other sought advice and then said, 'We have been told to make the nearest possible division,' others were told by a judge to sell the camels and divide the money; and yet others held that the will was null and void because its provisions could not be executed.

    Then they fell to thinking that there might be some hidden wisdom in the Master's bequest, so they made inquiries as to who could solve insoluble problems.

    Everyone they tried failed, until they arrived at the door of the son-in-law of the Prophet, Hazrat Ali. He said:

    'This is your solution. I will add one camel to the number. Out of the eighteen camels you will give half--nine camels--to the oldest disciple. The second shall have a third of the total, which is six camels. the last disciple may have one-ninth, which is two camels. That makes seventeen. One--my camel--is left over to be returned to me.'

    This was how the disciples found the teacher for them

    Here is a sufi comic version from Arif & Ali's Blog

    Dividing Camels


    More on chicken tractors

    Since my post about chickens which mentioned the Linda Woodrow inspired chook dome. I have noticed that people are searching in google for information about chicken tractors. This post provides a few more links to information on this subject.
    The Chicken Tractor gallery has over 140 pictures with many different types shown. As the construction skills required are very basic, a good picture will often be enough for you to build your own using materials to hand.


    Commercial Chicken Tractors

    before Permaculture they were generally just known as moveable coops or arks)

    General Chook Matters

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