Sexual assault survivor, cancer survivor, liver transplant recipient. Diagnosed high functioning Schizoaffective Disorder. Uses Zen Buddhism, poetry and essay writing, researching ancient history, literature, myth & folklore as coping strategies.
“The winter is so beautiful, and yet it can be so hard sometimes that it makes me cry happy-tears thinking about the summer. This winter has been extra hard. Crazy amounts of snow and extreme cold weather for over 3 weeks. It takes a lot of energy to keep up the normal life. But it also gives a lot of energy with all the beauty that the winter brings. It’s a love-hate relationship.
In this video I share glimpses of what I’ve been up to for the past month. Both the struggles, but also all the beautiful moments. I also share some behind the scenes of my previous video, when I went on a road trip to the very North of Sweden to record some footage.”
Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the human population in secrecy, hiding their true nature in order to evade pursuit from the authorities. Ghouls have powers including enhanced strength and regenerative abilities – a regular ghoul produces 4–7 times more kinetic energy in their muscles than a normal human; they also have several times the RC cells, a cell that flows like blood and can become solid instantly. A ghoul’s skin is resistant to ordinary piercing weapons, and it has at least one special predatory organ called a kagune, which it can manifest and use as a weapon during combat. Another distinctive trait of ghouls is that when they are excited or hungry, the color of their sclera in both eyes turns black and their irises red. This mutation is known as kakugan (“red eye”).
The story follows Ken Kaneki, a student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, his date who reveals herself as a ghoul and tries to eat him. He is taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that he underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul. This was accomplished because some of Rize’s organs were transferred into his body, and now, like normal ghouls, he must consume human flesh to survive. Ghouls who run a coffee shop called “Anteiku” take him in and teach him to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul. Some of his daily struggles include fitting into the ghoul society, as well as keeping his identity hidden from his human companions, especially from his best friend, Hideyoshi Nagachika.
The discovery of a dismantled stone circle—close to Stonehenge’s bluestone quarries in west Wales—raises the possibility that a 900-year-old legend about Stonehenge being built from an earlier stone circle contains a grain of truth. Radiocarbon and OSL dating of Waun Mawn indicate construction c. 3000 BC, shortly before the initial construction of Stonehenge. The identical diameters of Waun Mawn and the enclosing ditch of Stonehenge, and their orientations on the midsummer solstice sunrise, suggest that at least part of the Waun Mawn circle was brought from west Wales to Salisbury Plain. This interpretation complements recent isotope work that supports a hypothesis of migration of both people and animals from Wales to Stonehenge.
In the oldest story of Stonehenge’s origins, the History of the Kings of Britain (c. AD 1136), Geoffrey of Monmouth describes how the monument was built using stones from the Giants’ Dance stone circle in Ireland. Located on legendary Mount Killaraus, the circle was dismantled by Merlin and shipped to Amesbury on Salisbury Plain by a force of 15,000 men, who had defeated the Irish and captured the stones. According to the legend, Stonehenge was built to commemorate the death of Britons who were treacherously killed by Saxons during peace talks at Amesbury. Merlin wanted the stones of the Giants’ Dance for their magical, healing properties.
This 900-year-old legend is fantasy: the Saxons arrived not in prehistory, but only 700 years before Geoffrey’s own time, and none of Stonehenge’s stones came from Ireland. Yet the fact that Stonehenge’s ‘bluestones’ derive from Wales—far to the west of Salisbury Plain—has led to speculation that there may be some truth in Geoffrey’s pseudo-history. Moreover, at the time Geoffrey was writing, this region of south-west Wales was considered Irish territory. One possibility is that the bluestones did indeed derive from a stone circle in west Wales, which was dismantled and re-erected as Stonehenge. A similar conclusion was reached a century ago by geologist Herbert Thomas, who established that the spotted dolerite bluestones at Stonehenge originated in the Preseli Hills of west Wales, where, he suspected, they had originally formed a “venerated stone-circle”
Today in 1571 – Benvenuto Cellini, Italian painter and sculptor (b. 1500)
Here’s one of Cellini’s masterpieces: Perseus with the Head of Medea (1545-1554). The sculpture is thought to be the first statue since the classical age where the base included a figurative sculpture forming an integral part of the work.
The Farm is the oldest and biggest intentional community, at its peak in the 80’s it had over 1500 members. It is an intentional community that fostered spiritual growth, world peace and ecological harmony. Today the Farm has about 175 residents.
It was founded in 1971 by Stephen Gaskin and 320 hippies from San Francisco. Gaskin and friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four month speaking tour across the US. Along the way, they became a community, lacking only in land to put down roots. After returning to California, the decision was made to buy land together. Combining all their resources would finance purchase of only about fifty acres in California. Another month on the road brought the group back to Tennessee, where they checked out various places that might be suitable to settle. They deciding on property in outside of Summertown south of Nashville. After buying 1,064 acres for $70 per acre, the group began building its community in the woods alongside the network of crude logging roads that followed its ridgelines. Shortly thereafter, an adjoining 750 acres were purchased for $100 per acre.
Gaskin and friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four month speaking tour across the US. Along the way, they became a community, lacking only in land to put down roots. After returning to California, the decision was made to buy land together. Combining all their resources would finance purchase of only about fifty acres in California. Another month on the road brought the group back to Tennessee, where they checked out various places that might be suitable to settle. They deciding on property in outside of Summertown south of Nashville. After buying 1,064 acres for $70 per acre, the group began building its community in the woods alongside the network of crude logging roads that followed its ridgelines. Shortly thereafter, an adjoining 750 acres were purchased for $100 per acre.
In 1983, due to financial difficulties and also a challenge to Gaskin’s leadership and direction, the Farm changed its agreement and began requiring members to support themselves with their own income rather than to donate all income to the central bank.This decollectivization was called the ‘Changeover,’ or ‘the Exodus.’
In the nineties, with the community back on solid ground, The Farm returned to its original purpose of initiating social change through outreach and example. The Ecovillage Training Center was established as an educational facility in new technologies such as solar energy, bio fuels, and construction techniques based on locally available, eco-friendly materials.
Gaskin’s wife, Ina May Gaskin and the midwives of the Farm created The Farm Midwifery Center, one of the first out-of-hospital birth centers in the United States. Family members and friends are commonly in attendance and are encouraged to take an active role in the birth.
“Gaskin, a longtime critic of American maternity care, is perhaps the most prominent figure in the crusade to expand access to, and to legalize, midwife-assisted home birth. Although she practices without a medical license, she is invited to speak at major teaching hospitals and conferences around the world and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Thames Valley University in England. She is the only midwife to have an obstetric procedure named for her. The Gaskin Maneuver is used for shoulder dystocia, when a baby’s head is born but her shoulders are stuck in the birth canal.”
~ New York Times
The Farm Community – Beliefs and Agreements
The Farm Community is comprised of many individuals, each with their own vision and ideas about spirituality as it applies to their daily life. It was founded on the principle that we respect all religions and practices. There are many basic agreements that were telepathically understood, however in an effort to avoid the creation of dogma and ritual, no formal document exists that defines the spiritual beliefs of The Farm.
Some years ago, several members of The Farm Membership Committee endeavored to create such a document, researching through previously published books and materials to identify statements that could still ring true for most members of the community. Although we make no claim that it represents every person completely, we present it here to give you some concept of our original beliefs and agreements.
As a church, we live in community and our reverence for life has always been central to our ways. Within The Farm Community, people could live together and pursue a spiritual path that includes, but were not limited to, the following common beliefs and agreements:
We believe that there are non-material planes of being or levels of consciousness that everyone can experience, the highest of these being the spiritual plane.
We believe that we are all one, that the material and spiritual are one, and the spirit is identical and one in all of creation.
We believe that marriage, childbirth and death are sacraments of our church.
We agree that child rearing and care of the elderly is a holy responsibility.
We believe that being truthful and compassionate is instrumental to living together in peace and as a community.
We agree to be honest and compassionate in our relationships with each other.
We believe in nonviolence and pacifism and are conscientiously opposed to war.
We agree to resolve any conflicts or disagreements in a nonviolent manner.
We agree to keep no weapons in the community.
We believe that vegetarianism is the most ecologically sound and humane lifestyle for the planet, but that what a person eats does not dictate their spirituality.
We agree that livestock, fish, or fowl will not be raised in the community for slaughter.
We believe that the abuse of any substance is counterproductive to achieving a high consciousness.
We agree to strive for a high level of consciousness in our daily lives.
We believe that the earth is sacred.
We agree to be respectful of the forests, fields, streams and wildlife that are under our care.
We agree that the community is a wildlife sanctuary with no hunting for sport or food.
We believe that humanity must change to survive.
We agree to participate in that change by accepting feedback about ourselves.
We believe that we, individually and collectively, create our own life experience.
We agree to accept personal responsibility for our actions.
We believe that inner peace is the foundation for world peace.
The Rök Stone is one of Sweden’s most interesting rune stones. A man called Varin erected it in honour of his dead son’s memory in the 9th century. The stone stands beside Röks Church on the plains of the province of Östergötland. Its complicated web of stories continues to baffle scholars.
The Rök Stone stands two and a half metres above ground and around one metre beneath ground. The boulder of pale grey, fine-grained granite probably originates close to where it was found. The surface is strewn with runes; there are around 280 on the front and 450 on the back side. The stone engraver composed the placement of his text so brilliantly that a person standing upright can read the meandering runes. The stone is now protected by a pyramid-shaped roof in the outdoor museum that was established in 1991.
Varin’s contemporaries must have perceived the Rök Stone as a literary and artistic masterpiece. A rune stone carver with a distinct sense of form and ornament has created the decorative text. He also appears to have been a learned poet, familiar with mythic tales and conceptions of the period. It seems like he wanted to put the reader’s acumen and education on trial. Nowadays, scholars agree about how to read the Rök Stone, but not on how to interpret it. The stone consists of convoluted legends, obscure myths and various epics, as well as accounts of Varin’s own family history.
The monumental size and rich ornamentation of the Rök Stone suggests that the man called Varin belonged to an influential family. Furthermore, the appearance of Thor, a pagan God, in the latter part of the text, could be an effort to give a divine legitimacy to Varin and his family. In that sense, the stone served as a memorial of a lost son, as well as a status symbol for the family.
Detail of miniatures of cats catching mice, mice stealing eucharistic wafers, and (below), an ancestor of Keyboard Cat: a later marginal doodle of a cat playing a stringed instrument; from a bestiary, England (Salisbury?), 2nd quarter of the 13th century.
Detail of a miniature of a nun spinning thread, as her pet cat plays with the spindle; from the Maastricht Hours, the Netherlands (Liège), 1st quarter of the 14th century.
Now this is the weirdest one by far. (The story, of course, is bogus.):
Alexander the Great, whose fictional explorations of the natural world were retold throughout the Middle Ages, included a cat, along with the cock and the dog, as his companions in a proto-submarine. Here, the animal was not merely a pet, but a natural rebreather, purifying the air so Alexander would not stifle in the enclosed space. The dog was more unfortunate, chosen as an emergency escape mechanism: water, medieval readers were assured, would expell the impurity of a dog’s dead carcasse. If Alexander encountered danger, he had only to kill the dog, which would be expelled to the surface, bringing Alexander with it. As for the cock – everyone knows how valuable they are for telling time with their crows, a useful function underwater, out of sight of the sky.
Recording Studio: Columbia Recording Studios / Studio A, New York: August 6 and 7, 1963
The melody of “With God on Our Side” closely resembles that of “The Patriot Game,” a song written by Dominic Behan, a songwriter fighting alongside the IRA (Irish Republican Army). Its title explicitly refers to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Based on St. Paul’s teaching, the lyrics radically questioned American history and, beyond that, all wars of the last century. The message was clear: if you believed the history books, the nations that triumphed were those that supposedly had God on their side. “Oh the history books tell it / They tell it so well / The cavalries charged / The Indians fell / The cavalries charged / The Indians died / Oh the country was young / With God on its side,” Dylan sang.
Surely, Dylan condemned those who claimed divine intervention to justify their murderous missions—who were, at the same time, those who wrote history. Did the Yankees have God on their side when they defeated the Confederates? The songwriter recalled a few facts that obscured the official discourse. The lines “Though they murdered six million / In the ovens they fried / The Germans now too / Have God on their side” let us understand that Germany, twenty years after World War II, was now on the side of freedom, under the benevolent influence of the United States. Then in the second to last verse, Dylan forced the listener to take sides concerning “That Jesus Christ / Was betrayed by a kiss / But I can’t think for you / You’ll have to decide / Whether Judas Iscariot / Had God on his side.” Once again, the criticism stung: it was addressed not so much to religious congregations as to political leaders and opinion makers who carried out wars in the name of God.
Recording Studio: Columbia Recording Studios / Studio A, New York: April 23, 1963
Bob Dylan wrote “Masters of War” during the winter of 1962–63, right after the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. He sang “Masters of War” in public at Gerde’s Folk City for the first time on January 21, 1963, and published the lyrics soon after in February in Broadside (number 20) along with drawings by Suze Rotolo, two months before the official recording session with Columbia.
Ironically, when the readers of Broadside read the lyrics and when the public at large discovered it, the repercussions were considerable. Very rarely—perhaps never—had Americans ever heard such a bitter and determined condemnation of war.
For many people, this was a misunderstanding. “Masters of War” is not an ode to pacifism—even if students quickly turned it into a hymn against American involvement in Vietnam, but rather an aggressive attack on the warmongers, on those who have vested interests in seeing the world explode into conflict and, as the song says so eloquently, “hide behind desks.” The songwriter was alluding to the American military-industrial complex, which was first denounced by Dwight D. Eisenhower himself in his farewell address from the Oval Office on January 17, 1961. In an interview granted to USA Today on September 10, 2001, Dylan was explicit: “[‘Masters of War’] is not an antiwar song. It’s speaking against what Eisenhower was calling a military-industrial complex as he was making his exit from the presidency. That spirit was in the air, and I picked it up”