Archive for 2010-10


02010-10-31 @ 13:10

Halloween. Day of the dead:

Last year the magazine Monocle ran a brief interview with Susan Wiigh Mäsak is a biologist who has invented a new, ecological burial method that is proving instantly popular. Mäsak’s system, called “promession”, turns a body into powder using a combination of deep freezing, vibration and freeze drying. It took her 10 years to perfect the process. The powder is buried approximately 20cm under the ground in a corn starch case and is absorbed into the soil between six and 18 months later. Several countries, among them Sweden, South Korea, Canada and Germany, have expressed interest in the system.

I mentioned this years ago in the old Diary. This is the post from 2005. I also wrote about burials in 2002.

Why is promession better than a traditional casket burial or cremation?
With those [traditional] methods, people’s bodies either rot or are burned. Many people find promession more appealing and less frightening [than something like cremation]. It’s a nice thing to imagine giving new life after your death – to a flower, for instance. It’s also important that we humans don’t destroy nature. Casket burial affects the groundwater negatively and cremation creates problems with emissions.

Is it expensive?
Not more expensive than the other methods. Also, there are no remains left in the ground just a year and a half after the burial, whereas in a traditional casket there are remains even after 25 years. That’s an important factor in places where there is little space available for graves.

Where will the first promession facilities be?
The Swedish town of Jönköping should start next year, and South Korea has ordered equipment for 10 facilities. There are 10 million people in the capital, Seoul, alone, and they need graves where it doesn’t take decades for the bodies to disappear.

Four Years Ago

02010-10-31 @ 05:10

Playing guitar for the kids at the Zhechen monastery college.


02010-10-29 @ 09:10


02010-10-28 @ 14:10

A fox in London (photos)

40′ of rough footage of Bowie and NIN in 1995 (vimeo)
I love the first song.

All companies are closed when it comes to their core business
And everything else is just propaganda!

Some people like taking their time (vimeo)
X-ACTO blades instead of photoshop. Nice.

Park Project – (source)
I like this.

The following two links are for users of Apple’s Safari browser, which is my browser of choice:

Ghostery is a Safari Extension. It detects third party page elements on a website, shows companies tracking you behind the scenes, and controls your interactions with those companies by blocking scripts, images and iframes.

I also use this Extension, which shows YouTube videos automatically in the html5 format. Also works with Vimeo.

Bullitt Update

02010-10-27 @ 15:10


02010-10-27 @ 12:10

Eric Butler – Software Developer in Seattle WA
It’s extremely common for websites to protect your password by encrypting the initial login, but surprisingly uncommon for websites to encrypt everything else. This leaves the cookie (and the user) vulnerable. HTTP session hijacking (sometimes called “sidejacking”) is when an attacker gets a hold of a user’s cookie, allowing them to do anything the user can do on a particular website. On an open wireless network, cookies are basically shouted through the air, making these attacks extremely easy.

Does that mean that anyone sitting in Starbucks with a laptop can sidejack cookies from customers who are updating their Twitter or Facebook account? If that sounds cool to you, Firesheep is a free Firefox plugin, it’s open source, and is available now for Mac OS X and Windows. Linux support is on the way… Who needs Big Brother when the populace can spy on each other!

Senegalese Bike Tricks (YouTube)

The scariest sentence I’ve read today

Ektopia: PeaceBOMB Bracelets and Direct Link

I thought so, and said so a few weeks ago. Having a big website is sooo five years ago:

How to disappear (almost) completely
For new artists, any discussion of a band name is likely coupled with a domain name search to make sure the URL is available, since they are constantly being told how to have an effective online presence. But there is an interesting phenomenon emerging: in a world where all information is a click away, some artists are choosing to be deliberately difficult to find on the Internet.

Racing up Pikes Peak (Vimeo)

Drummers immitate drummachines and painters immitate jpg glitches

Tuesday Repeat

02010-10-26 @ 12:10

This is a repeat from last year:

This is the unreleased version of Alegria Arabe from 1995/96. I recorded two versions of this piece and then decided that they weren’t different enough to both be on the Opium album.

Audio MP3

The 320kbps mp3 can be downloaded here.

The FLAC version can be downloaded here.


02010-10-25 @ 10:10

Shaolin Bronze Men (photo)

Modern cash register (photo)

The Real and ONLY Reasons Why Fans File-Share Music (thanks for the link SM)

Journalism and Politics
I read the article in the NYT and was surprised at the tone, and then I came across this.

Early Eighties:

MacBook Air 11.6? –
In the room with him are enormous speakers, probably the best turntable that existed at the time, some records, reading material, a sitting mat, a teacup and a hundred thousand dollar Tiffany lamp. Somewhere else in this gigantic empty house is a bed and a kitchen where the tea is made.

Chinese High-Speed Train (photo)


02010-10-23 @ 08:10

Ottmar is part German-Tibetan according to Dave, which is a very interesting mix. Talented too.

That was one of the last things I read on Twitter, a while ago. I like it. A good rumor.

Rode the Bullitt to Mellow Velo on Wednesday morning. David brought out an enormous ape-hanger handle bar and we took a photo of me holding it in place.

Then we moved on the real candidates, and there were several. All so similar. But only one in black, and that one turned out to be perfect, in combination with a new stem. Added nice cork grips to that, which is a cool detail. David was going to mount everything right away, but we noticed that the cables for brakes and the shifter were just a little too short for the new bar, and so the bike will be ready on today.

I am thinking of trying a new bar on the fixie, also. In the mid-Seventies I had a bike with racing bars turned up – so that the ends of the bar pointed forward. It was a popular thing then, and is a very comfortable position, but I haven’t seen anybody with that style in years. David claimed that there are some messengers in the movie “Quicksilver”, who have upturned bars, but that was decades ago, too.

A Friday morning of autumn colors, after the rain, and a fine walk to Downtown Subscription. The coffee was decent and the chile in the croissant was nice and spicy for a change… On the way home I entered a well known Native American art gallery on Canyon Road and saw a beautiful garment mounted on the wall. For a brief moment I thought it was made from human skin, but the sign said that it was a parka made from walrus intestine, sewn together with grass. While I was still wondering whether I was looking at a piece of art or a functional item of clothing, the gallery person came over and confirmed that it was indeed functional. He showed me photographs of the garment being worn in the great white North, and explained that it was water-proof and large enough to be worn over sweaters or fur. It was meant to be tied over the opening of a kajak. It was hard and somewhat brittle now, but one only had to spray some water on the material and it would become soft and pliable. Once the fabric had absorbed a certain amount of water it would once again become water-proof. I asked him how old the item was, and with a smile he said, not so old, from circa 1950.

How many items of clothing survive sixty years? It was marvelous to see. If the price tag only wasn’t $9,500… I tell you, I’d buy this garment before I’d spend that kind of money on a painting or photograph.

I read “100 Days of Solitude”, which I enjoyed very much, in which a woman describes her schedule of doing 1000 full bows a day – in addition to sitting and walking and cutting wood… so of course I did 108 (good Buddhist number) full bows on Wednesday and again yesterday. Man, do I feel the front of my thighs now, especially when walking up the stairs. Why go to a gym, when I can work out while, hopefully, creating some merit. My mind is trying to argue in favor of having a bowing-rest-day, but I don’t think so… (I did do another 108 on Friday afternoon)

Spent much of Friday organizing photographs and working on a new slideshow for the upcoming solo performances next month.

Hello there! (photo)

Eyewitness: Bhutanese landscape | World news |
Mount Jomolhari, around 7,350 metres high, seen from Chilela, a pass situated between the Bhutanese valleys of Paro and Haa, bordering Tibet and Bhutan. Ascended only six times, access restrictions imposed by the Bhutanese government forbid climbers from the mountain.

Direct link to the beautiful photo.

Hm, I bet there is less trash at the bottom of Mount Jomolhari than around Mt. Everest (I prefer the Tibetan name Chomolungma)

According to estimates, there are nearly 120 tons of litter and 120 dead bodies on Mt. Everest.

120 tone of litter!!

Joshua Ramo discusses how his favorite teacher changed his life (YouTube)
John Braman was director of Upaya a few years ago and is a friend of mine.

If a person can’t parallel-park they should not receive a driver’s license. If a person doesn’t know the First Amendment they should not be allowed to run for a public office. And no, it doesn’t matter which party they belong to. Maybe we should develop a “driver’s license” for politicians. If you can’t answer a few basic questions, you don’t get to run.

Friday Link Drop

02010-10-23 @ 08:10

Reusable Spray Bottle Could Disrupt Home Cleaning Market

The Art of DE — a film by A. SAUVAGE (Vimeo)

Portugal Plans the First “City with a Brain”

List of Natural Phenomena

Crash Gif

The vehicles from Zero History (Photo Gallery)

Sewing a pair of jeans (YouTube) and Roy Denim website and Loom Chatter on Roy Denim jeans

There Are 5,000 Janitors in the U.S. with PhDs
…and 18,000 parking lot attendants with college degrees.

I don’t think that is so ominous. It just means that many kids, or their parents, feel they have to go to college, when their talents might be better served in a different way. An electrician, plumber or baker makes more money than a parking lot attendant. And with the money saved by not going to college, one can almost buy a small bakery…

Pythagoras Switch (Video, Japan)
(Via Spoon & Tamago)

2012 Time for Change – Theatrical Trailer (YouTube)
Time for Change website

Angry Beamers – not surprising.

Facebook Blocker
(Via Swiss-Miss)

Bowler hats are cooler than baseball caps.

Here is a quote to start your day:

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
– Eleanor Roosevelt


02010-10-21 @ 18:10

The Bullitt is still in the shop, and it looked like rain, so I drove my car to have breakfast with Jon.

The clouds created a perfectly round grey lid that covered the town, above a bright turqouise sky, much more dramatic and brilliant than what these photos can reproduce. Or perhaps a giant spaceship out of a puffy non-reflective grey material hovering above Santa Fe.

October > Halloween > Skull-art on the walls of Counter Culture.
I like skulls. They are what will be left of us, at least for a little while, when everything else is gone: the beauty and the ugliness, the bright or dull personality, the silly beliefs, the stupid righteousness, the plastic surgery, the clothes, the attitude, the lifestyle, the fears, the chatter, the hair… I think skulls are cool. Tibetan monks, including the Dalai Lama, frequently meditate on death, and visualize their bodies decomposing. Embrace it or fear it. Attachment is futile.

In the evening, rain turned into hail:


02010-10-21 @ 07:10

I posted a simple note to the Diary, which will also be included in the next list mailing. The nicest thing I can say about the CFF woman in charge of the concert, is that she may be inexperienced. The concert could have brought twenty or thirty grand to CFF, but she messed up. We will not work with folks like her again, that is, amateur promoters who don’t seem to have a clue. I will prefer to make a monetary donation to a cause, rather than be made to look like a fool by an idiot calling me a star and blaming me for a cancellation. Here is my statement:

My apologies to those who were looking forward to seeing our performance at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque last month. When my manager found out that the promoter and beneficiary of the benefit concert, CFF, had not even informed the media of the concert two weeks before it was supposed to happen, had not bought any advertising, basically had done none of the things that they had promised and agreed to… she cancelled the show. The only people who had purchased tickets up to that point were people who had found out about the concert through our mailing list or from this Diary.

We are not a cancel-happy group. In over twenty years of touring we have cancelled only three shows.


02010-10-21 @ 07:10


02010-10-21 @ 06:10

My apologies to those who were looking forward to seeing our performance at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque last month. When my manager found out that the promoter and beneficiary of the benefit concert, CFF, had not even informed the media of the concert two weeks before it was supposed to happen, had not bought any advertising, basically had done none of the things that they had promised and agreed to… she cancelled the show. The only people who had purchased tickets up to that point were people who had found out about the concert through our mailing list or from this Diary.

We are not a cancel-happy group. In over twenty years of touring we have cancelled only three shows.

Last Week

02010-10-21 @ 06:10


02010-10-20 @ 09:10

With the sort of access and connectivity we have now, we can seamlessly circumvent any resistance to our desire by pursuing a reasonably close substitute for what we were originally after, or by opening ourselves to something easier among the many alluring diversions begging for our attention. Such are the productive pleasures of convenience, translating inclinations into results without fuss or rumination. Who has the discipline to choose frustration? But lurking beneath the surface of this fantasia of frictionless desire is a desperate fear of boredom, a sinking sense that surplus gratification is snuffing out our very capacity to conceive of wishes. We are in danger of conquering wishful thinking, leaving ourselves only a dull, insatiable hunger for distraction.


The question, then, is how do we keep alive the possibility of difficulty? How do we find resistance when digital media efface it? How do we shake the superficial self when it reaps more immediate rewards than ever

From Love Worth Fighting For. It’s a good article on the subject and I encourage you to read the whole piece. Who has the discipline to choose frustration. Indeed. That statement is true, in the context of love as well as in the context of studying a musical instrument or any other craft.

Interview: Trent Reznor discusses The Social Network soundtrack

Tuesday Link Drop

02010-10-19 @ 09:10

swissmiss | Distraction
One of the more embarrassing and self-indulgent challenges of our time is the task of relearning how to concentrate. The past decade has seen an unparalleled assault on our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think, without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine, has become almost impossible.


The need to diet, which we know so well in relation to food, and which runs so contrary to our natural impulses, should be brought to bear on what we now have to relearn in relation to knowledge, people, and ideas. Our minds, no less than our bodies, require periods of fasting.
Alain de Botton on Distraction

Finished reading The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears, on Sunday and started One Hundred Days of Solitude yesterday. No. that’s not One Hundred Years of Solitude… this is a book by a woman, who spent 100 days of a snowy New England winter in a tiny cabin in the woods, adherining to a schedule of sitting, walking, chanting, bowing and chopping wood. She had no contact with the outside world. Great example of a distraction-diet, fasting for the mind. Goes well with the Distraction link above..

Water Droplet Bouncing on a Superhydrophobic Carbon Nanotube Array (video)

Uncomfortable looking restaurant, designed by famous movie set designer.

The Desk (video)

Man on a motorcycle in Cuba (photo), riding through a storm. (source)

Autumn poem, found on neobohemia

one word he utters,
one word I respond;
the autumn deepens

Weekly Words of Wisdom:

When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready.
– Tibetan Buddhist nun and author Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron

Those words can easily be adapted for musicians or calligraphers.

Go over and pet the camel, son… It’s an experience you’ll never forget.” (source)

Thinking only goes as far as that which it can understand.
– Lao-tzu

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt
– Wittgenstein

The Urban Speaker


02010-10-19 @ 09:10

Monday Repeat

02010-10-17 @ 09:10

This is a repeat from last year:

Here is another Lava track. This one has the unromantic title Reel 2 Song 1. Such a pretty piece deserves a nicer title, a more evocative title… well, pretty except for the freakout towards the end.

Audio MP3

You can download the 24/48k FLAC here.

The 320kbps mp3 file can be downloaded here.

And here is an edit of the same piece:

Audio MP3

You can download the 24/48 FLAC here.

You can download the 320kbps mp3 here.


02010-10-10 @ 11:10

Despite its artistic pretensions, its sophistication, and its many accomplishments, humankind owes its existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
– Anonymous

We’re all downstream.
– Ecologist’s motto adopted by Margaret & Jim Drescher, Windhorse Farm, Nova Scotia

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

This Concrete Canvas building is totally brilliant

Water is the new oil (Newsweek)


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