Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tashi Delek!

Tashi Delek! Today is the Tibetan New Year, Losar. That is the traditional New Year greeting in Tibet.

I converted to Tibetan Buddhism over ten years ago, but I'm not going to discuss religion. What I want to point out is something really amazing about the Tibetans.

In 1959 China invaded Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama with many monks and nuns escaped Tibet over the Himalayan Mountains. Some traveled on horseback, but many walked over the Himalayan Mountains into India and Nepal.

At the time they went into exile, Tibet was very isolated from the rest of the world. If you watch the movies Seven Years in Tibet and Kundun, you'll get an idea of how technologically illiterate they were.

Here's the amazing thing, they have embraced 21st century technology more thoroughly than any group that I know. Back in the late 90's when the internet was young, many of the Tibetan teachers, organizations, and centers had websites with information and teaching on it. And now here we are in 2011. They still have their websites with even more stuff on it including classes that you can take online which wasn't available ten years ago. And you can find them on facebook, twitter, and youtube.

Here's the Dalai Lama's website, facebook, twitter, and youtube channel.

Amazing. Simply amazing considering how many US businesses and organizations still don't have basic websites.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Today I attended the Southern Sprints, an indoor rowing regatta raced on ergometers (rowing machines).

For those of you who aren't familiar with the sport of rowing, it is one of the most physically challenging sports you can participate in. It's difficult to describe so take a look at this video:

The majority of the power for a stroke comes from the legs, then the back and arms.

I rowed back in high school. I really enjoyed the feel of rowing a boat and would like to do it again. So, I've been talking to Tim Edsell about adaptive rowing which is rowing for people with disabilities, and he asked me to come down and watch the adaptive rowers compete.

There were three adaptive rowers competing in two events, 1000 meters and 500 meters. They were only using their arms and shoulders on the ergometer. The other rowers were using their arms, trunk, and legs for a distance of 2000 meters. As I watched Tim, Laura Schwanger from Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing, and Dani Sapiro of Jacksonville, Fl row their race using only their arms and shoulders, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with awe. I KNOW how hard it is to row when one is perfectly healthy and can use one's legs and back. These three were doing it with only their arms and shoulders. I'm not sure that I could do that.

They're heroes in my book. A inspiring example of not giving up and living life to the fullest NO MATTER WHAT.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NASA - Day of Remembrance

Today, January 27, is NASA's Day of Remembrance for Apollo One, Challenger, Columbia and all astronauts who gave their lives to space exploration.

NASA - Day of Remembrance
(You have to click twice on the remembering XXX astronauts to get the slide show to play.)

Growing up in Brevard County, the space program was a huge part of my life and my friend's lives. When I was a kid, we watched the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo rockets blast off on the television, then ran outside and watched the rockets soaring overhead. So much has changed since then. Now you can get tickets to see the shuttle launch at the Visitor's Center. You can follow the astronauts on Twitter and Facebook. It's become so common place that we tend to forget how dangerous it was and still is.

So, thank you to those brave men and women who gave their lives to space exploration.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rubber Ducks

I don't remember why I went looking for a place that sells rubber ducks online, but I did. Holy smokes, was I surprised at what I did find: big ducks, little ducks, traditional ducks, celebriducks. You can even buy a "quacker bouquet" of rubber ducks. Who knew that rubber ducks came in such a wide variety?

With some vaque idea of buying a jumbo duck, plopping it in the hottub, and taking a picture of it, I clicked on the page for the jumbo rubber ducks. I do believe that there is a typo in the description for the jumbo ducks: "From 5' to a whopping 18' tall..." An eighteen foot tall rubber duck would be as tall as a two storey house. It would be the size of a small yacht. Imagine a rubber duck the size of a small yacht floating in your local harbor.

It boggles my mind.