Saturday, June 28

We Must Act Now!
... or must we?

Michael Crichton is a writer. He wrote Jurassic Park and Twister (among lots of others). He's not an ecologist, and nor is he an environmentalist. Still, he brings one of the sanest counter-arguments I've ever seen to the "Save the Planet" attitudes (in short, "stop thinking we understand what we're doing").

If you believe that the fact he's not working in these fields is the most important issue here, feel free to look up argumentum ad hominem.

Friday, June 27

incredible kung fu ...

... or actually, some prestidigitation.

Close Up Magic Trick of Shaolin Kung Fu Finger (Revealed) - video powered by Metacafe

Taken from here.

ooops! did I break

So ... I've been learning from Collective Intelligence ... and this morning I made a script to get links from, score their top users in regards to how similar their tastes are to mine, then recommend me links they preferred, that I haven't bookmarked ...

In short, it's a recommendation system (yeah ... buy the book!).

Either way, I omitted the time.sleep(4) between failed requests to the api and I ... kind of started getting this:

danone@utnapistix:~/work/python/CollectiveIntelligence$ python
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 51, in
    del_data=buildPostersDict(<tag>, <user>)
  File "", line 43, in buildPostersDict
  File "", line 8, in initializeUserDict
    for popular in get_popular(tag=tag)[0:count]:
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/", line 786, in get_popular
    return getrss(tag = tag, popular = 1)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/", line 774, in getrss
    return dlcs_rss_request(tag=tag, popular=popular, user=user, url=url)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/", line 414, in dlcs_rss_request
    rss = http_request(url).read()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/", line 261, in http_request
    raise PyDeliciousException, "%s" % e
pydelicious.PyDeliciousException: HTTP Error 503: Service Temporarily Unavailable guys, if it was me that caused a denial of service on your website, I'm sorry!

Thursday, June 26

Joshu's Dog

A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'

Joshu answered: 'Mu.' [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing' or 'Nay'.]

Mumon's comments: To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.

Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

(Koan from The Gateless Gate, by Mumon)

So ... what is nothing?

Monday, June 23

the tao circle ... of defects

To become whole, accept your defects.
When you accept your defects, you then have none.
Still, if you think you have no defects, you are not whole.

Let me expand that ...

As you evolve, you get the (somewhat justified) feeling you can do more. You also get the feeling that you're better than before, superior somehow (which in turn is not justified).

Then, you start telling yourself you're a new person, and forget that all the problems you've been having are actually still there, and in the end, you become ... infatuated (?) with yourself.

Or, of course, you can stop all that, by simply remembering your 'darkness', remembering that you still bring all your defects and problems, that in the end, you're nothing special.

So, you have to, on one side accept yourself as you are ("dark side" and all) and see yourself as both "dark" and "light" at the same time.

I guess that's, in the end, the meaning of the tao circle.

Thursday, June 19

code_swarm - Python

This is a visualization of the commit history of python:

code_swarm - Python from Michael Ogawa on Vimeo.

Pretty spectacular!

newest episode: it's the actions of "some soldiers"

Until now, it wasn't there;

It seems it was there, just ... it was the actions of "some soldiers" ...

Sad ... sad ...

Wednesday, June 18

A Philosopher Asks Buddha

A philosopher asked Buddha: `Without words, without the wordless, will you you tell me truth?'

The Buddha kept silence.

The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying: `With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.'

After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained.

The Buddha replied, `A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.'

Mumon's Comment: Ananda was the disciple of the Buddha. Even so, his opinion did not surpass that of outsiders. I want to ask you monks: How much difference is there between disciples and outsiders?

To tread the sharp edge of a sword
To run on smooth-frozen ice,
One needs no footsteps to follow.
Walk over the cliffs with hands free.

(Koan from The Gateless Gate, by Mumon)

Mumon is leading you astray on this one. The outsiders, what are they outside of?

nikon bag

nikon bag
taken in very low light, then converted to BW using google picasa

sleepless at four thirty

It's amazing how the mind works.

I decided I'd sleep at home tonight, as I had some stuff to do (I have to prepare some materials for my first Reiki 1 initiation).

As a result, my mind's been active all night, going back and fro through meditations, almost-speeches (and I'm not that good as to not be boring) and imaginary conversations.

I know it's simple, and I'm not sure why I complicated it so, but I decided that, since I couldn't sleep, I'd start actually working on those materials and get them off my mind.

Also, since I was actually up at four thirty, I caught the pre-dawn light outside ...
four-thirty in the morning

Saturday, June 14


The man pulling radishes,
Pointed the way
With a radish.
Haiku by Issa

Few people believe their
Inherent mind is Buddha.
Most will not take this seriously,
And therefore are cramped.
They are wrapped up in illusions, cravings,
Resentments, and other afflictions,
All because they love the cave of ignorance.

The most important thing is to find out
what is the most important thing.
Shunryu Suzuki

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dharma
see no Dharma in everyday actions.
They have not yet discovered that
there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.

My comment:
My friend said all actions
redefine self.
Same, same.
'This is a reckoning, Mistress Weatherwax,' Tiffany added.[...]And Granny Weatherwax smiled, as if she'd done all that was expected of her.
'Ha! Is it now?' she said. Very well. Come and see me again before you go, and we'll see what you may take back with you.'

Tiffany asking how to take pain away with her hands, Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith

Thus is the true nature of the master: the master never gives, not as such; A master just is. Receiving is then, something taking place within the student, not the master.

Wednesday, June 11

Saturday, June 7

first initiation

Today, was the first time I gave someone a Reiki (2) initiation. It was an interesting experience, and I was both very calm and very excited at the same time (before today, I didn't think you could combine these two emotions at the same time).

Have a nice weekend everybody.

Tuesday, June 3

magnetic fields

Apparenlty, scientists at NASA managed to make magnetic fields visible (and very very spectacular):

Youtube video comment:
Natural magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic, ever-changing geometries as scientists from NASA's Space Sciences Laboratory excitedly describe their

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic, ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?

Animated photographs, using sound-controlled CGI and 3D compositing.

Monday, June 2

Paper (official CCTV music video)

I got the story from /.: The Get Out Clause, a music band in England started locating CCTV cameras around the city, then set up their gig there and started playing.

They, they contacted the CCTV owners and asked for the footage, under the Freedom of Information Act.

Here's the result (and a pretty good one at that):

Edit: or ... well ... apparently not ... well ... not completely.

Sunday, June 1

a god saturday

Yesterday, I did lots of things ... Actually, the only thing I did yesterday was playing some rounds of TF2 in the evening, but lots of things happened, before that, at the reiki meeting.

Now that I think about it, I didn't do much of anything ... and I slept through the trance :)

It was a good Saturday though.