Archive for April, 2013


Review of the garden mysteries

Anthony Eglin's picture

Now that i’m into  my third Eglin mystery , I think he is more of a passionate connoisseur of the  arts of nature – as he says in one of his novels  ” Along with all the obvious sensual rewards of spending time in these places of beauty, tranquillity, and seclusion, there was often the dividend of meeting the inspired gardeners responsible for creating these Edens on Earth “ – so this is a novelist who is more into the research part than the mystery – he does build up a fairly good mystery to his credit – but it is glaringly obvious that he does his research well – that would be an understatement – inexhaustible research is the word i guess –  i mean if  you are interested in knowing about gardens or  Viticulture or as in the one i’m reading now – expeditions  – with a good dose of the whodunit – go no further than eglin . Talking about his detective – Lawrence Kingston is  a retired professor of botany and amateur sleuth.   He is an old school dapper english gentleman type , who is into solving crossword puzzles in the Times – we come across anagrams  frequently – which lead me thinking – Eglin is   ( well not exactly an anagram) in the word english -silly but couldn’t help it – he writes so extensively about the english countryside and food ‘n’ all. I thought  ” lost gardens” was much better than ” Water lily cross” . But i didn’t like the way eglin keeps inserting these references to his earlier mysteries – kingston solved this few years back  etc. ….. Will be blogging excerpts soon..

Of bad days and boxes

The entire last week was really bad  ………………i hope there is some verdict  about counselling/seats before the courts go on vacation.

But it has also made me  see the difference the regular practice of meditation makes and its high time i resume my practice after a loooooooong break. But at the end of the day there’s nothing like a  a chat with a good friend ,   a good book , a christie , readin’ up some good blogs , a little of tumblin’ and a horror flick  to lift up  one’s spirits. LIFE !!!!!!!

It also lead me to thinking – may be out of context or not – of how we tend to live in and look through from boxes  – boxes we have inherited and more importantly , those which are self-made , to get out of the boxes we get at birth , we don’t break through them ….rather build larger ones in their place , making our vision more blurry . Does it  mean that we spend our entire lives  either trying to really  break free from them or be free momentarily by escaping and hiding in building new boxes around us ?????????? The big question box !!!!!!!!!

 

 

aseaofquotes:Diana Rowland, My Life as A White Trash Zombie

“There is nothing like a good book to put you to sleep with the illusion that life is rich and meaningful.”Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

lindsayolohan:That’s scaryparadoxically-free :  feel like frowning in a sea of sadness today……………

Living Creed - Good Life ProjectBy Anne Emond

http://www.diycouturier.com/post/47249603128/21-tips-to-keep-your-shit-together-when-youre

So that was that !!!!   now onto blogging excerpts from the novels read………….

http://business.time.com/2013/04/17/dont-multitask-your-brain-will-thank-you/

The ability to juggle work is a standard job requirement.

Researchers have another name for this supposedly desirable skill, however: chronic multitasking.

If this sounds more like an affliction than a resumé booster, that’s because research has shown again and again that the human mind isn’t meant to multitask. Even worse, research shows that multitasking can have long-term harmful effects on brain function.

In a 2009 study, Stanford researcher Clifford Nass challenged http://www.coroflot.com/alankar_vishal/InfoGraphics262 college students to complete experiments that involved switching among tasks, filtering irrelevant information, and using working memory. Nass and his colleagues expected that frequent multitaskers would outperform nonmultitaskers on at least some of these activities.

They found the opposite: Chronic multitaskers were abysmal at all three tasks. The scariest part: Only one of the experiments actually involved multitasking, signaling to Nass that even when they focus on a single activity, frequent multitaskers use their brains less effectively.

https://i0.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvnx8g23i81qzg7rxo1_400.jpg

Multitasking is a weakness, not a strength. In 2010, a study by neuroscientists at the French medical research agency Inserm showed that when people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task.

This suggests a two-task limit on what the human brain can handle. Taking on more tasks increases the likelihood of errors, so Nass suggests what he calls the 20-minute rule. Rather than switching tasks from minute to minute, dedicate a 20-minute chunk of time to a single task, then switch to the next one.

His second tip: “Don’t be a sucker for email.” The average professional spends about 23 percent of the day emailing, studies show. Inspired by that statistic, Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, and her colleague Stephen Voida infiltrated an office, cut 13 employees off from email for five days, strapped heart monitors to their chests, and tracked their computer use. Not surprisingly, the employees were less stressed when cut off from email. They focused on one task for longer periods of time and switched screens less often, thereby minimizing multitasking.

Mark and Voida encourage business owners and their employees to check emails a few scheduled times per day and turn email notifications off the rest of the time. Adds Voida: “Quick questions are often better asked face to face or by phone, where they don’t add to the huge amount of email we’re already dealing with.”

Gift of Grandparents

“I miss him still today: his long, whiskery eyebrows,
his huge hands and hugs, his warmth, his prayers, his stories,
but above all his shining example of how to live and how to die.
Bear Grylls, Mud Sweat and Tears

I hope the day isn’t far off for an exhaustive online library tracing the roots of Indian film melodies ….both old and new…..to carnatic raagas and folk music….the folk songs of India are a dying tradition , and its futile to google the raaga on which the song is based , because nothing  turns up even after 20 pages of searching…….doesn’t really matter to me …….but makes a lot of difference to traditional music aficionados like my dad .

A rare musical library in town – The Hindu.

The collection is a treasure trove for classical music lovers.

They can read articles, books, journals on Carnatic music and listen to rare audio and video recordings of renowned musicians, thanks to Saptaparni, which launched ‘Swara Raga Nidhi’ – Musical Archives library on Ugadi. “The inspiration for preserving the treasures of our Carnatic music came from the late Palagummi Viswanadham,” says Rajani Vakkalanka of Saptaparni and adds, “The maestro didn’t want the books to be confined to individuals and book shelves. He would say, ‘We have this treasure, it should not end with us. It should go to people and we should pass it on to the next generation.” “One can sit in a peaceful atmosphere here amidst books and continue reading. The ambience creates the mood,” he says and adds, “It is a humble start. We don’t want to be greedy and accumulate thousands of books.”

If you are done with reading, one can even listen to the audio recordings of legends like M.L. Vasantha Kumari, Voleti Venkateswarlu, Srirangam Gopalaratnam and M.S. Subbulakshmi amongst others.

“There is a big collection of rare recordings in the form of audio cassettes. We are in the process of digitising these audio tapes and it is quite a big project,” smiles Rajani. Nevertheless, some recordings have been digitised.

A user-friendly software SMILE (Saptaparni Musicals Interactive Library and Encyclopaedia) installed by Chamarthi Radhakrishna, a retired scientific officer at Thumba helps music lovers to listen to the recordings. “At present we have the recordings of Carnatic vocalists and instrumental artistes. We will eventually have the Hindustani music recordings too,” says Anuradha Reddy who signs off, “We have taken a small step and hope to take it positively forward.”

First knew about   sander about 6 or 7 yrs back  , when i started getting interested in  the concept of minimalism . Sander after a break has been collaborating with UNIQLO since a few years. Anywayz , her designs  , to me symbolize the concept of minimalistic design in fashion – clean ,simple cuts and austere lines – a soothing visual treat…..

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Designer Jil Sander

Few pieces from the  master of minimalism ……..The Queen of Clean

jil sander

http://www.gq.com/style/profiles/201102/jil-sander-j-minimalism

Celebration

Excerpts from  http://laughingsquid.com/paolo-soleri-italian-born-architect-known-for-his-arcological-principles-1919-2013/     and  http://www.arcosanti.org/

What is arcology ? ‘ –a combination of ‘architecture’ and ‘ecology’– Soleri’s most visible arcological project is Arcosanti, an experimental dwelling in the Arizona desert.

Arcosanti is an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability

Cosanti, The Gallery, Studio & Residence of Italian Architect Paolo Soleri

In nature, as an organism evolves it increases in complexity and it also becomes a more compact or miniaturized system. Similarly a city should function as a living system. Arcology, architecture and ecology as one integral process, is capable of demonstrating positive response to the many problems of urban civilization, population, pollution, energy and natural resource depletion, food scarcity and quality of life. Arcology recognizes the necessity of the radical reorganization of the sprawling urban landscape into dense, integrated, three-dimensional cities in order to support the complex activities that sustain human culture. The city is the necessary instrument for the evolution of humankind.”                          —Paolo Soleri

Roadtrip 2002

We put solar panels on a single family home but can’t change the impact of inefficient construction or the consumption inherent to moving around the suburbs. We buy hybrid cars but must drive in the gridlocks of daily commutes. We buy “green washed” products but continue the same hyper consumption that sprawl mandates. These improvements produce a “better kind of wrongness.”

Soleri suggests instead of reformation, we need reformulation of the way that we think about living and design for habitats that get to the root of the problem. Do we have enough land and other resources to sustain the current types of development? Does green consumerism get to the root of the problem?

Arcology seeks to embody a “Lean Alternative” to hyper consumption and wastefulness through more frugal, efficient, smart, yet elegant city designs. Leanness is inherently obtainable via the miniaturization intrinsic to the Urban Effect.

 

LINKS

  • http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/       India’s largest online and mobile platform for young people to talk about issues of importance and seek action on them.  Youth Ki Awaaz also runs  India’s first and only mobile platform for youth opinions that needs no smart phones or apps, goes beyond internet penetration and empowers people to share their opinions, and also take action by simply calling up 09310952952 and recording their opinions or report issues within 60 seconds.
  • http://www.selfgrowth.com/              Articles on  Self Improvement
  • http://laughingsquid.com/                 Found it somewhat similar to twistedsifter.com – blog featuring interesting art, culture & technology………
  • http://www.designsponge.com/       Design blog featuring DIY tips , weekly design obsessions , artists , textile designers etc. nice pics

Excerpts from     Does Mindfulness Stress You Out?.

What Is Mindfulness?

………….“We are not trying to actively achieve a state of deep relaxation or any other state for that matter, while practicing mindfulness… But increasingly, by opening to an awareness of how things actually are in the present moment, we often taste very deep states of relaxation and well-being-of both body and mind.”

Perhaps it’s helpful to list a few terms that point to the essence of mindfulness:

  • Awareness
  • Presence
  • “Being” rather than “doing”
  • Quieting the mind
  • Stillness
  • Attentiveness
  • Non-judgmental noticing

Mindfulness is not a modern spiritual movement. It’s not a new-age fad. It’s simply you at your most natural state of being. It’s a practical everyday phenomenon that you’ve already experienced without even labeling it. Have you ever just stared into the flame of a flickering candle? Or the intricate petals of a flower? Have you watched the twitching nose of a sleeping puppy? That was mindfulness. It required nothing of you other than to be there.

Then Why Does The Concept Stress Me Out?

There’s a lot of pressure to be perfectionist in our pursuits. Perhaps you’ve read a book or watched the news and internalized someone else’s idea of what it means to be mindful. Maybe you tried it a few times and determined that your experience didn’t match up with their description of what it should feel like. So you got frustrated and you quit. “It’s too hard.” “I’m terrible at it.”

I’m here to say that you’re not terrible at it. You don’t have to subscribe to a method, you don’t have to attend a retreat, you don’t have to spend any money, and you don’t have to expect a certain outcome. That statement will threaten a lot of people- the money makers, the retreat schedulers, the devout practitioners of a certain faith. Frankly, I don’t care. I’m not a shareholder.

So How Should I Approach It?

Like I mentioned earlier, try staring into a gently flickering flame. Pick a flower and explore its perfect imperfections. Engage your senses by smelling the flower, feeling its petals, noticing how your feet come into contact with the floor, the entire experience of just being in that moment.

………….Your mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be involved with right or wrong. It doesn’t have to feel a certain way or produce a certain result. Maybe it will have certain results – and you can simply notice those as they arise. In that moment.

YOGA

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What’s your yoga style?
( source : http://www.yogatrail.com/blog/whats-your-yoga-style/ )