Last week (8/20) my friend and I went to the Grand Teton Music Festival to hear Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. For a hike we went to Lupine Meadows which was mostly up hill for 2 miles at least it seemed like it. The elevation was over 7,000 ft. We found out about Delta Lake which is one of the lakes at the end of this trail and is hidden near the base of The Grand Teton and is fed by the Teton Glacier. That hike is 5 miles one way reching an elevation of over 9,000 ft. My goal is to reach that lake next year and camp out over night nearby. I'll have to exercise for a month or two to prepare. At the concert they had a party with free food and wine because it was the last concert of the season. You get to talk to the world-class musicians. I talked to the 19 yr old soloist violinist Simone Porter. Charming girl. She played on a 1745 Guadagnini violin. We talked to the Musical Director. What a nice gentleman. We asked him if they were planning anything for the total eclipse next year on Monday 8/21 at Jackson. We recommended from 2001, the Blue Danube and Thus Spake Zarathustra followed by The Planets. He laughed and said there was a housing problem for the musicians that late in the season. They will have a limited orchestra so he was thinking of doing Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. He did say they are going to do The Planets the week before. We asked him about any Mahler concerts which is what we always go down there for. He said they are still thinking about that. Jackson and the Teton Village are expecting 40,000 people for the eclipse. Editor
The Glue Holding America Together Is No Longer Binding-8/16 Zero Hedge, by Ben Tanosborn -- Often cited as an important reason for US success as a global power, our diversity has finally come home to roost, and it’s taking a destructive, cruel toll. A unique magic glue that we somehow thought would keep myriad groups in America working at unison with a common goal forever, has unhardened, lost both its adhesive properties and cohesive strength, leaving us with a divided America. No; not as a simplistic two-part nation, but as a fragmented Humpty Dumpty beyond the conservative-liberal political fray. Almost two centuries ago, French political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville in his book “Democracy in America” (1835) not only gave us a sociological perspective on America’s equality and individualism but what might be construed as a study on economic success. His travels in 1831 along geographically-expanding America, in the midst of an agrarian evolution, as well as an industrial revolution, gave him an insight that we might consider preluding today’s globalization. Tocqueville saw a surging nation without any apparent geographical borders [that could be readil by enforced by other nations]; a very rapidly increasing immigrant population fleeing the economic woes in Europe; and the lack of commercial barriers (duties) imposed by small governmental units. And within a century of Tocqueville’s travels, the United States did become a miracle, colossus-nation that combined an enormous contiguous land mass; a productive large population; and a government which provided 80-plus percent of the population with what could be described as reasonable socio-economic mobility and, yes, freedom.
By virtue of these gigantic, multi-faceted economies of scale, the United States was able to create a sizeable economic middle class, and thus become the microcosmic model for later multi-nation common markets and our present “big bang” globalization – what is becoming the ultimate global economy of scale, although we may still be a generation or two away from reaching its apex. It was this economic advantage over most other countries in the world that created a much higher standard of living, the glue that kept the diversity that was America united. The United States of America became an economic and geopolitical success, a phenomenon of modern times that some social scientists described, and most politicians exploited, with an illusionary and adulatory jargon that bred self-pride and patriotism: American exceptionalism, the American dream; now fading mythical terms.
As globalization is starting to show a leveling impact throughout much of the world, the more advanced economies are left with the irrefutable reality that their middle class will have to subsidize, at least in part, the increase in the standard of living of the surging, less-advanced economies. That although globalization has a synergistic effect, such effect is small relative to the transfer of productive wealth in the middle classes; and that transfer has affected the United States, quantitatively and qualitatively, far more negatively than any other advanced economy. And “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” as 80+ percent of our population has been, or will be, thrown by our Tweedledee-Tweedledum career politicians, and America’s imperial power-elite, under the bus.
The worst socio-economic woes are still ahead, as the magic glue slowly disappears and we are left naked in our diversity… each group pulling in a self-serving direction, keeping us fragmented without common, mutually-beneficial goals; and, what’s worse, with a government concerned with one-fifth of the population, letting the other four-fifths join their pariah-peers in the world. Now that there is little magic glue left to bind us, to keep us strong, we are left with a political-economic life preserver: our vote. Except that the life preserver appears as the ultimate joke, offering two undesirable options from which to choose: a deceiving, chameleonic neoliberal woman; and an insane, ignorant bully-man. Yet, these two characters, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have been given monopolistic imprimatur by a corporate press that appears more interested in entertaining buffoonery than addressing the political crises that beset the United States in aspects that will determine its very existence: crisis in a flawed foreign policy; crisis in the economic well-being of its people; crisis in a racial divide that is continuously unaddressed; and crisis in the very future of this nation as it tries to compete, non-militarily, in a very competitive world. ... The lie foisted upon us by the progressive liberals through the government mantra, "Our strength lies in our diversity," is now coming to fruition. It has always been, "Our strength lies in our unity." Editor
August Astrology-8/12 Richard Nolle, Mars Max is in force all month long, and regulars know what this means: an ongoing higher than usual level of murder and mayhem, of fires, crashes, clashes and explosions. This has been in force since February, as attested by the headlines and your own experience ever since then. I’m not saying that nothing of the kind happens absent a Mars Max, of course. But I’m pointing out what should be obvious: the level of intensity definitely increases during Mars Max. Practically speaking, this intensity applies at all levels of human conflict and belligerence, from interpersonal friction like arguments and fights and assault and murder; to social and collective violence like terrorism, revolutions and war. Remember: martial derives from Mars, and during Mars Max the Red Planet and Earth are in their close approach phase. Being closer, Mars is bigger and brighter in our night sky – and in our lives as well. I won’t belabor the point in this little forecast. If you’re up for a solid backgrounder, see my article on 9-11 and its connection to Mars Max in the September issue of Dell Horoscope, the world’s leading astrological magazine; or my free online article on Mars Max. (If you already have a copy of the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights, see the Mars Max section on pages 11-18.) Meanwhile, practically speaking, what Mars Max calls for is care and caution, cool and calm. Steer clear of conflict as best you can, and watch out for "the other guy". People are more hasty, impulsive and reckless during the Mars Max – and particularly at points during the cycle when the Red Planet makes notable alignments in the sky above. This month, this happens around August 11 (when the Moon aligns with Mars and Saturn, as it did last month on the night of the Nice truck terror attack) and from the 19th through the 31st (during which time Mars and Saturn remain within a few degrees of their exact alignment on the 24th). Another notable cycle this month is the third Mercury Max cycle of 2016, in effect from August 16 through September 28. Here again, this is another perigee cycle: the close approach between Earth and Mercury, in this case. Like other Max cycles, this one includes a retrograde interlude; in this case, when Mercury catches up and passes our home planet, the little Sun-grazer appears to slow and then halt is apparent motion, and then spends a few weeks appearing to move backwards in our sky. ...
The Voynich Manuscript-6/24 Yale University Press, Edited by Raymond Clemens; With an Introduction by Deborah Harkness
Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the “Voynich Manuscript,” the world’s most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book’s language has eluded decipherment, and its elaborate illustrations remain as baffling as they are beautiful. For the first time, this facsimile, complete with elaborate folding sections, allows readers to explore this enigma in all its stunning detail, from its one-of-a-kind “Voynichese” text to its illustrations of otherworldly plants, unfamiliar constellations, and naked women swimming though fantastical tubes and green baths.
The essays that accompany the manuscript explain what we have learned about this work—from alchemical, cryptographic, forensic, and historical perspectives—but they provide few definitive answers. Instead, as New York Times best-selling author Deborah Harkness says in her introduction, the book “invites the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery.”
Greta Garbo Statue of Integrity-7/14 Atlas Obscura, Just like the renowned recluse would have wanted, this statue is all alone, deep in a Swedish forest. ... The reason I posted this is because I've only come across one person with the same sun, moon and ascendant sign as myself. It's the famous recluse Greta Garbo.
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Shakespeare at 400, Jack London at 100: Genius Lives-6/29 Huffington Post, by Jonah Raskin -- In William Shakespeare’s comedy, “As You Like It, a traveler named Jaques waxes poetical in lines that have achieved literary immortality. “All the world’s a stage,” he says. “And all the men and women merely players;/ They have their exits and their entrances,/And one man in his time plays many parts.” Three hundred years later, Jack London, another melancholy traveler, might well have spoken nearly the same lines and meant them to be about himself. Indeed, he once observed that he had half-a-dozen different “selves” and proved it in a short, brilliant life that spanned the end of the nineteenth and the start of twentieth century. A writer, vagabond, sailor, farmer, public speaker, playwright, playboy, war correspondent, and a Bernie Sanders-like socialist, Jack London was born John Griffith Chaney in San Francisco in 1876. He died in Glen Ellen, California in 1916 at the age of 40. (London ran for mayor of Oakland twice and twice lost.) Around the world this year, theatergoers and thespians, are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare in 1616, his age unknown. There’s another big literary anniversary afoot, as well. In 2016, fans of Jack London, one of the most popular American authors of his day, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of his death. Both anniversaries are well worth celebrating. Indeed, if Shakespeare’s plays illuminate the Elizabethan Age better than the plays of any other writer, Jack London’s novels, including “The Iron Heel,” illuminate the Gilded Age and its aftermath better than most of the novels of his contemporaries, including those of Henry James. To many, it will sound like hyperbole, but to the faithful London was the Shakespeare of his day. Like the Bard, he wrote tragedies as well as comedies. Like the Bard, he was exceedingly prolific; in 17 years be wrote more than 50 books. Like Shakespeare, he created immortal character: Buck, the dog who devolves into a wolf; White Fang, the wolf who evolves into a dog; Wolf Larsen, the brutal sea captain who reads Shakespeare and analyzes his most famous character, Hamlet. There’s also Martin Eden, the sailor who becomes a famous writer. And perhaps London’s best character of all: himself. As the literary critic, Alfred Kazin famously observed, “the greatest story Jack London ever wrote was the story he lived.” For one hundred years, biographers have tried repeatedly to capture his elusive identity and to fix the nature of his nature as well as the nature of his art. Dozens and dozens of biographies have been written about him, including “The Mystery of Jack London” by his friend Georgia Loring Bamford. ...
The Mysteries and Myths of Jack London-6/29 Valley of the Moon Mag., January 26, 2016, Vol. 2 Issue 1; It is hard to imagine another twentieth-century writer who engenders as much myth, mystery and mystique as Jack London. And if you live in the Valley of the Moon, he is not only a literary monument, he is our literary monument, even as—by anecdotal estimate more than researched fact—a substantial percentage of our Valley’s population doesn’t know him, can’t place him, can’t name a single one of his books. There may not be another American writer about whom, simultaneously, so much and so little is known. He was a man so full of contradictions that virtually every line of inquiry into his life, his literature, his loves and his legacy leads in both the right and the wrong direction. Any inventory of his works, his passions, his women, his adventures and his prodigious output could fill pages. But the list should at least include the following:
He was, reportedly, the first American writer to earn a million dollars.
He wrote 50 books and uncountable numbers of articles, short stories and essays and has been translated into 70 languages. Several of his books have never gone out of print.
He was a bona fide adventurer and a very capable sailor, who taught himself celestial navigation from a book on board his custom-made ketch, the Snark, on his way to Hawaii.
He was a political radical, a socialist firebrand who championed the working class from which he came, while living a life of relative luxury and privilege. There is great irony that a plaque commemorating London’s birthplace in San Francisco is now affixed to a Wells Fargo bank building at 3rd Street and Brannan. And Mark Twain, the writer to whom London was most often compared, dismissed Jack’s socialism with the remark, “It would serve this man London right to have the working class get control of things. He would have to call out the militia to collect his royalties.”
Jack London was a true pioneer when it came to farming, experimenting with sustainable practices that drew derision from local farmers but proved visionary in hindsight. He was also dedicated to animal rights and became a vocal critic of the abuse heaped on circus animals.
He was an accomplished photojournalist, taking some 12,000 photos from his coverage of the Russo-Japanese War, the slums of London’s East End, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and his Pacific voyages aboard the Snark.
He was almost certainly born out of wedlock, his probable birth father denied paternity and he was partially raised by a black, former-slave wet nurse who not only sustained him as an infant, but who loaned him $300 to buy a sailboat so he could, at the age of 16, become an oyster pirate on San Francisco Bay.
He had only an eighth-grade education and for much of his life he struggled with a sense of social inferiority. And yet he was handsome, bold and charming and was repeatedly infatuated with women, who flocked around him. He had affairs during his first marriage, and probably during his second to Charmian Kittredge, with whom he was deeply in love. He is now considered an early feminist, in part because he admired strong, independent women.
He was, by modern standards, a white supremacist, if not a racist, who publicly extolled the superiority of the white race and shared the prevailing contempt for Japanese immigrants, using the term “yellow peril” as the title of a 1904 essay.
And yet, he wrote a story in 1910, called “The Unparalleled Invasion,” that described a far future time—set between 1976 and 1987, in which China with its enormous population starts taking over the world. In response, nations of the West retaliate with biological warfare and dozens of infectious diseases. But in the face of this fictional scenario, London also wrote that despite a hypothetical threat from China, “It must be taken into consideration that the above postulate is itself a product of Western race-egotism, urged by our belief in our own righteousness and fostered by a faith in ourselves which may be as erroneous as are most fond race fancies.”
That said, he also lionized a Hawaiian leper as “a magnificent rebel,” and when he covered the heavyweight championship fight between black boxer Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries, known as the Great White Hope,” London wrote that what won the fight “was bigness, coolness, quickness, cleverness, and vast physical superiority … Because a white man wishes a white man to win, this should not prevent him from giving absolute credit to the best man, even when that best man was black. All hail to Johnson.”
More paradox and contradiction.
The quality of London’s literature is still endlessly debated. Jack is widely quoted as having said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” And, indeed, there is at times a club-like quality to his prose, as if he were just pounding it out to generate another royalty check.
He himself admitted that writing had ultimately become simply a means to buy more land and improve the quality and size of Beauty Ranch. ...
Our Lady of Fatima, 1917-2017 – Why 100 Years Matters-7/1romancatholicman.com, by Fr. Richard Heilman,
Pope St. Leo XIII’s Vision:
According to legend, exactly 33 years (span of our Lord’s life) to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:
The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.”
The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?”
Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”
33 Years Later
On Sunday May 13th, 1917, the children were pasturing their flock as usual at the Cova da Iria, which was about a mile from their homes. They were playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. The lady spoke to them and said: “Fear not! I will not harm you.” “Where are you from?” the children asked. “I am from heaven” the beautiful lady replied, gently raising her hand towards the distant horizon. “What do you want of me?”, Lucia asked. ” I came to ask you to come here for six consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, at this same hour. I will tell you later who I am and what I want.” It was Mary’s final appearance, on Oct. 13, 1917 (exactly 33 years, to the day, after Pope Leo XIII’s vision), that became the most famous. An estimated 70,000 people were in attendance at the site, anticipating the Virgin’s final visit and with many fully expecting that she would work a great miracle. As everyone gazed upward, and saw that a silvery disc had emerged from behind clouds, they experienced what is known [as] a ‘sun miracle.’ Not everyone reported the same thing; some present claimed they saw the sun dance around the heavens; others said the sun zoomed toward Earth in a zigzag motion that caused them to fear that it might collide with our planet (or, more likely, burn it up). Some people reported seeing brilliant colors spin out of the sun in a psychedelic, pinwheel pattern. The whole event took about 10 minutes. With these apparitions at Fatima, God asked for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all of the bishops of the world. Our Lady of Fatima said that if the Consecration of Russia was done, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. However, if the Pope and the bishops did not obey the request, Our Lady said that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church and of Holy Father, the martyrdom of the good and the annihilation of nations. ...
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell, satan and all the other evil spirits, who roam through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
If you build it, will they come? Huge $100m life-size Noah's Ark (complete with baby dinosaurs aboard) prepares to open as Kentucky’s newest tourist attraction-6/28 Daily Mail,
• Full-sized wooden replica of the ship is to the become the main attraction at a US amusement park to open in July
• Inside the ark will be several exhibits featuring Noah and his family, along with information about the Holy Bible
• Realistic models of around 30 pairs of animals - including two juvenile T-Rex - will also be on the ship
• The huge structure, which will be the largest timber-framed building in the world, is costing more than $100million
• Ken Ham, who came up with the idea, wants the ark to be the focal point for an amusement park in Kentucky
• Devout Christian, from Australia, hopes ark and story of Noah will warn people not to pursue modern 'evils'... Editor: Noah's great, grand daddy was Enoch. They liked to call a little place in the Atlantic called Atlantis, home.
The Lost Tomb of King Arthur-4/11 Graham Phillips identifies a historical figure behind the legend of King Arthur, and searches for his capital city and his long-lost tomb.-- The story of King Arthur is known throughout the world. The fabled Camelot, Sir Bedivere casting Excalibur into the lake and Arthurâ€™s secret burial at the isle of Avalon: these are just a few of the enchanting themes in the ancient saga that historians have long considered to be pure fantasy. Now, in The Lost Tomb of King Arthur, Graham Phillips presents compelling evidence that such legends were actually based on real events. During a quest lasting over twenty-five years, he has followed a fascinating trail of historical clues showing Arthur to have been a living warrior who led the Britons around the year 500. He has discovered that the legendary Camelot, Excalibur and Avalon were based on a real city, a real sword and a real island. And, most astonishing of all, Graham has found what he claims to be the location where Arthur was finally buried. An ancient manuscript still persevered at Oxford University, Graham believes, reveals the whereabouts of King Arthurâ€™s long-lost tomb.
Hidden secrets of Yaleâ€™s 1491 world map revealed via multispectral imaging-9/9 Yale News, By Mike Cummings -- Henricus Martellus, a German cartographer working in Florence in the late 15th century, produced a highly detailed map of the known world. According to experts, there is strong evidence that Christopher Columbus studied this map and that it influenced his thinking before his fateful voyage. ...
War and Peace in the Bhagavad Gita-7/1 NY Review of Books, by Wendy Doniger; December 4, 2014 Issue
The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography
by Richard H. Davis
Princeton University Press, 243 pp., $24.95
How did Indian tradition transform the Bhagavad Gita (the “Song of God”) into a bible for pacifism, when it began life, sometime between the third century BC and the third century CE, as an epic argument persuading a warrior to engage in a battle, indeed, a particularly brutal, lawless, internecine war? It has taken a true gift for magic—or, if you prefer, religion, particularly the sort of religion in the thrall of politics that has inspired Hindu nationalism from the time of the British Raj to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
The Gita (as it is generally known to its friends) occupies eighteen chapters of book 6 of the Mahabharata, an immense (over 100,000 couplets) Sanskrit epic. The text is in the form of a conversation between the warrior Arjuna, who, on the eve of an apocalyptic battle, hesitates to kill his friends and family on the other side, and the incarnate god Krishna, who acts as Arjuna’s charioteer (a low-status job roughly equivalent to a bodyguard) and persuades him to do it.
In his masterful new biography of the Gita—part of an excellent Princeton series dedicated to the lives of great religious books—Richard Davis, a professor of religion at Bard College, shows us, in subtle and stunning detail, how the text of the Gita has been embedded in one political setting after another, changing its meaning again and again over the centuries. For what the Gita was in its many pasts is very different from what it is today: the best known of all the philosophical and religious texts of Hinduism.
The Gita incorporates into its seven hundred verses many different sorts of insights, which people use to argue many different, often contradictory, ideas. We might divide them into two broad groups: what I would call the warrior’s Gita, about engaging in the world, and the philosopher’s Gita, about disengaging. The Gita’s theology—the god’s transfiguration of the warrior’s life—binds the two points of view in an uneasy tension that has persisted through the centuries.
The Gita’s philosophy is basically a compendium of the prevalent philosophical theories of the time, a kind of Cliff’s Notes for Indian Philosophy 101. Drawing upon the Upanishads, mystical Sanskrit texts from as early as the fifth century BC, the Gita tells of the immortal, transmigrating soul, and the brahman, or godhead, that pervades the universe and is identical with the individual soul. But the Gita also introduces two strikingly original new ideas that were to have a deep impact on the subsequent history of Hinduism. First, it offers a corrective to the older belief that the transmigrating soul is stained by a force called karma, consisting of the residues of actions committed within the past life and influencing the subsequent life. The Gita qualifies this belief by asserting that action without desire for the fruits of action (nishkama karma) leaves the soul unstained by such karmic residues.
The other, related idea is that the path of devotion (bhakti) to a god is superior to the paths of action (karma yoga) and meditation (jnana yoga) that had produced a tension between householders (or warriors), engaged on the path of action, and renouncers (or philosophers), on the path of meditation, disengaged from action. Bhakti was a new way to reconcile them. ...