Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Text and photo by Luca Pagliari
b/w silver fiber print

I am losing you, i feel you slightly sliding away, suspended by a frail thin thread
and you swing, and wait, expecting me to begin weaving again
but i’m old and tired and i can’t make it anymore

i struggled all the way down, and learned the impossible, i learned to unlearn


Sunday, September 26, 2010


An old re-post from 2007:

Before I was only flying. Now I am finding natural borders.
Borders can be beautiful


I saw these basic "rules" of the Huna philosophy some years ago. I was struck by the thoughts expressed in such a simple and free way, that had been through my mind many times already.

To see how much you influence your life, sometimes even unaware of it, is really powerful. I think we often see life as something "coming to us" or something "happening to us".
How often we give all of our "power"up to the world and exist as mere reactions to others.
We forget how much we create of our lives through our own perceptions and our ways to deal with things.
Just some thoughts on a rainy day
~ Aasa


IKE (ee-kay) - The world is what you think it is.
MAKIA (mah-kee-ah) - Energy flows where attention goes.
MANAWA (man-ah-wah) - Now is the moment of power.
MANA - All power comes from within.


Huna is an old shamanic tradition. It can be thought of as a non – exclusive spiritual teaching based on human psychology in Hawaii. The engine that drives Huna energy is one we all possess, our own breath. Through use of breath, the Huna philosophy says that we can clear blockages and release fear. Huna is an ancient teaching that offers a philosophy of life with simple but strong techniques of manifestation. Archaeological research traces Huna back to the earliest reaches of civilization, with the first historical presence traced through hieroglyphic images to ancient Egypt.

"Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing."
~ From "The prophet" by Kahil Gibran

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Without words...

...we understand no-mind;
without shape, we understand true nature.

With relaxed mind, we grasp the meaning of Tao;
with the boundless Way, we understand truth.

The Great Way shines in our heart;
with wisdom we may understand its nature.

Comprehending the diverse keys of the profound and glorious Tao,
we are as buddhas and will come to know the abode of the immortals.

Tao is within us all...

With many voices it has but one beautiful song;
many aspects but only one essence.

Though we are not bound, we are always connected.

Buddhahood is meditation;
with constant attentiveness our mind travels far;
into the highest hills and all over the world.

Elusive, delicate - we see the cosmos is empty as well as full.
Nothing beyond, Nothing in hand,
Beauty, Spirit, Tao - all one...

~The Book of the Heart: Embracing the Tao

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Look at the stars...

How small our lives seems then

Our troubles

We can just laugh, and not take it all so seriously

Life is funny...

Veg(etari)anism vs. eating animals?

Now, I have always been asked, when telling people I am vegetarian, my reasons WHY? I normally resond: "ooh, well, it is a lot of blah, I will tell you later" I figured after 17 years, later has finally come ;-)
So, let me first get this streight. I hate preachy moralism. I am not presenting this to change you. I am presenting this to give out some information that changed me. And that I found very valuable and important enough to make some life changes on my own. We all contribute to things in our own way and make our own choices. But they are better made if we are informed. From that point we can make the conscious choices that are the best for our lives. So this is my strongest reason for making this post.
I will mostly present most of this straight out in facts and research, which I find to be explanatory enough themselves, and which I also generally prefer to read in case like this myself.

- Aasa

First of all, before you read my list, I want you to try a thought experiment. Imagine first your favourite kind of animal, an animal you know that you like, or your own pet, whichever is closets to you. Then apply the treatments discribed belove to this creature. Then after you have read this list, answer this question; Would you object to these procedures if they were done to the animal you had in mind? Is there any good founded reasons to give one species a different treatement than an other? What justifies this difference?*

Contributing to climate change
According to the UN, the livestock sector (animal farming) is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, around 40 percent more than the entire transport sector—cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships—combined.

Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folae, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals. Vegetarian diets are often associated with a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower overall cancer rates.
Despite some persistant confusion, it is clear that vegetarians and vegans tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores. Studies also show that in parts of the world where milk is not a staple of the diet, people often have less osteoporosis and fewer bone fractures. The highest rates of osteoporosis are seen in countries where people consume the most dairy foods. (Be aware that the food industry often give other information for the benifit of distrubuting their products)
Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for all individuals during all stages of life cycle, including pregnancy, latactation, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Destroying of species
Fish: Modern industrian fishing lines can be as long aas 75 miles - the same distance as from sea level to space. These fishing lines does not only take in the fish they are aimed for but also many other species.
The average (shrimp) thrawling operation sweep up fish, sharks, rays, crabs, squid, scallops. They throw 80 - 90 % of the sea animals it captures overboard, dead or dieing, as bycatch: typically about a hundred different types of fish and other species.
For every ten tuna. sharks and other predetory large fish that was in our oceans fifty to a houndred years ago, only one is left.
Many scientists predict the total collapse of all fished species in less than fifty years.

When it comes to meat it is an other issue, where species are drastically altered into creatures that cannot live a natural life, for the benift of consumerism. They normally also loose the ability to walk, even stand upright and reproduce. (In factory farming animals are reproduced through artificial insamination.)

Farmed animals in the United States produce 130 times as much waste as the human population—roughly 87,000 pounds of shit per second. The polluting strength of this shit is 160 times greater than raw municipal sewage. And yet there is almost no waste-treatment infrastructure for farmed animals.
Conservative estimates by the EPA indicate that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has already polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in twenty-two states.

Factory farms

- Of the meat on the market "99.9 percent of chickens raised for meat, 97 percent of laying hens, 99 percent of turkeys, 95 percent of pigs, and 78 percent of cattle come from factory farms. (Not family driven farms)”

1. produce highly infected animals
Scientific studies and government records suggest that virtually all (upwards of 95 percent of) chickens become infected with E. coli (an indicator of fecal contamination) and between 39 and 75 percent of chickens in retail stores are still infected. Around 8 percent of birds become infected with salmonella.... Seventy to 90 percent are infected with another potentially deadly pathogen, campylobacter.
Chlorine baths are commonly used to remove slime, odor, and bacteria. This clorine baths also stay in the meat. It is allowed for up to 11% of the meats full weitgh to be the substance of clorin bath.

2. Has as a main goal is to keep profits up and costs down. Ethic considerations are not part of this equation.
Animals are bled, skinned, and dismembered while conscious. (As an example: In America, where the USDA’s interpretation of the Human Methods of Slaughter Act exempts chicken slaughter, the voltage is kept low–about one-tenth the level necessary to rend the animals unconscious.) This is common presedure and only one example out of many on unethical treatment of living creatures in factory farming. (And not as many would think, exceptions)

3. use antibiotics to raise sick genetic mutants in crowded, filthy conditions
In the typical cage for egg-laying hens, each bird has 67 square inches of [floor] space [or less than ¾ the size of a sheet of typing paper]. Nearly all cage-free birds have approximately the same amount of space.

4. contribute to the creation and spread of new viruses (influenza)
Breeding genetically uniform and sickness-prone birds in the overcrowded, stressful, feces-infested, and artificially lit conditions of factory farms promotes the growth and mutation of pathogens. The “cost of increased efficiency,” the report [by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, which brought together industry experts and experts from the WHO, OIE, and USDA] concludes, is increased global risk for diseases.

5. contribute to antibiotic resistance (MRSA)
In the United States, about 3 million pounds of antibiotics are given to humans each year, but a whopping 17.8 million pounds are fed to livestock—at least that is what the industry claims. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has shown that the industry underreported its antibiotic use by at least 40 percent.... Study after study has shown that antimicrobial resistance follows quickly on the heels of the introduction of new drugs on factory farms.

6. violate the human rights of their employees
Illegal aliens are often preferred, but poor recent immigrants who do not speak English are also desirable employees. By the standards of the international human rights community, the typical working conditions in America’s slaughterhouses constitute human rights violations.

7. change or ignore regulations in order to make more money
High-speed machines commonly rip open intestines, releasing feces into the birds’ body cavities. Once upon a time, USDA inspectors had to condemn any bird with such fecal contamination. But about thirty years ago, the poultry industry convinced the USDA to reclassify feces so that it could continue to use these automatic eviscerators. Once a dangerous contaminant, feces are now classified as a “cosmetic blemish.” As a result inspectors condemn half the number of birds.

Animal intelligence:
*Now, if you followed my advice above you have thought about your favourite pet/an animal species you like put into these situations. Did you feel it would ahve been different if it was your pet in these situations? If yes, what makes this difference? Is it because the pet is known to you? Is this reason good enough? So, does your cat or dog deserve higher moral treatment than any other species? At least if you willingly eat a chicken there could be no objection to eat a cat or a dog, by logical sense. Or do you think your pet is more intelligent than the animals that we use for food?
In this light I would like to give a few fact about animal intelligence:
Generations of farmers have know that clever pigs will learn to undo the latches of their pens. Gilbert White, the British naturalist, wrote of one such pig, a female, who, after undoing her own latch, "used to open all the intervening gates, and martch, by herself, up to a distant farm where a male was kept; and when her purpose was served" - a great way of putting it - "would return home by the same means."
Sceintist have documented a pig language of sorts, and pigs will come when called (to humans or one another), will play with toys (and have favourites), and have been observed coming to the aid of other pigs in distress. Dr.Stanley Curtis, an animal scinetist, empirically evaluated the cognotive abilities of pigs by training them to play a video game with a joystick modified for snouts. They not only learned the game, but did so as fast as chimpanzees, demonstrating a surprsing capacity for abstract representation. And the legend of pigs undoing their latches continues. Dr.Ken Kephart, a colleage of Curtis`s, not only confirms the ability of pigs to do this, but adds that pigs often work in pairs, are usually repeat offenders, and in some cases undo the latches of fellow pigs.
Did you know that fish build complex nests, form monogameous relationships, hunt cooperatively with other species, and use tools? They recognice one an other as individuals (and keep track of who is to be trusted and who is not) They make decisions individually, monitor social prestige and vie for better posistion (to quote from the the peer review journal Fish and Fisheries: "They use Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punsihment and reconciliation") They have significant long term memories, are skilled in passing knowledge to one generation through social networks, and also pass information generatinally. They even have what the scientific literature calls "long-standing "cultural traditions" for particular pathways to feeding, schooling, resting or mating sites."
This are just a few examples.

I will contontinue to update this list as I gather more facts.
Thank you for taking interest


- Much of the information is taken from the book "Eating animals", by Jonathan Safran Foer. A book that is really worth the read. And if you thoguht you knew a lot about the food you are eating, it might surpirse you on many accounts.
:-) Aasa


(If you have any good link suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments section)

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer's Controversial New Book, Eating Animals
Avoiding Factory Farm Foods: An Eater's Guid

Meet your meat, documentary on facory farming
Clinical research articles
Vegan Helath study, by Michael Klaper MD
Cancer and the vegetarian diet, by William Harris MD
Vegan health study/Institute of Nutrition Education and Research

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Words are lumpy, little things that crowd and control our lives.
Its is strange how much we let them pull us in different directions. Can words really cover what we want to express?
So often I have seen words create barriers, in an attempt to get them to bring somebody closer to each other. And how often is not a word for me, something totally different for you?
Have you ever felt trapped behind words? Or just not found the right words to express yourself, maybe because it just didn't exist or cover what you felt? Of course there are other methods than words to express those thing, but that is not my point :-)

We live in different meanings and carry different encyclopedias in our minds. My "independence" might have all different feelings stuck to it and mean something totally different than yours.
Maybe we all should be born with a manual and a dictionary for each person?

There is also some other interesting phenomenas about words. If you have friends who tell you how good friends you two are. Have you ever noticed that they often behave like less friends, that the ones that actually don't tell you this so often. Maybe sometimes words can function as band-aid for bruised friendships. At least it seems that it can be an expresison for a wish about how things could be.
I think this is very often the way words are used. As expressions for wishes, or hopes for how things should be. We affirmate, compliment, and dream.
Words can unite, make love and wars
I guess it is important to not forget that words are just sounds, and the people behind them don't always mean exactly what you make out of those sounds.

Well, I am wishing all of my readers a splufigially, smengastic day in the sun.
Lots of warm thoughts from Norway

Friday, September 17, 2010

Elephant art
Hoax or truth?
Judge for yourself

Not many poeple know that elephants can be quite the artists.

Pictures which were are claimed to be painted by elephants have gone on display at an Edinburgh gallery.

An art
graduate brought the paintings from Thailand to the Gallery They include "self-portraits" by Paya, who is said to be the only elephant to have acomplished paintings with his own likeness.

Paya is one of six elephants whose keepers have taught them how to hold a paintbrush in their trunks. They drop the brush when they want a new colour.
Mrs Khunapramot, from Newington, said: "Many people cannot believe that an elephant is capable of producing any kind of artwork, never mind a self-portrait.
"But they are very intelligent animals and create the entire paintings with great gusto and concentration within just five or 10 minutes - the only thing they cannot do on their own is pick up a paintbrush, so it gets handed to them.
"They are trained by artists who fine-tune their skills, and they paint in front of an audience in their conservation village, leaving no one in any doubt that they are authentic elephant creations."

Elephant painting

Mrs Khunapramot reveals that it took about a month to train the animals to paint. Elephant expert Dr Joyce Poole, who has studied the animals for 30 years, said she owned an elephant painting but had not come across animals painting their own images.

The Oslo-based scientist said: "I have seen elephants painting, but it was very free-flow.

"It's certainly capable of drawing an elephant, and could be trained, but might not really understand what it was doing."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I think I am in love with The Muppets

What Muppet are you?

You are Animal.
You are completely nuts, but fun to be around.
Drums, Women, Food.
Drums, Women, Food.
"Louder!", "Food now!" and "Want Woman!"
"The Musicians' Guide to Drums, Women & Food"
An appetite.

You are Gonzo the Great
You love everyone, and still you get shot out of a cannon on a regular basis. Oh, and you are completely insane and have a strange fascination for chickens.
The Great Gonzo, Gonzo the Great, Just Plain Weird
Tapdancing blindfolded on tapioca while balancing a piano on his nose, backwards, five times fast.
"From Here to Eternity...with no brakes."
"Touched By An Anvil"
- "No parachute? Wow! This is so cool!"
- "But you act ludicrous.
Gonzo; Of course I do, I am an artist"

Take this quiz!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book recommendation

I want to make a book recommendation. I don`t do it often...only if I have read a book I find truly amazing, that abselutely aught to be shared with others. While reading this book I was actually looking forward to go to bed at night, just to continue reading.

The book is taking place in New York, brilliantly told in the voice of a nine year old boy, who has lost his father in a tragidy, and is in his own way trying to find him again.
It is written very much like a thought pattern, where we meet more than one person. Following these people we are lead deep into their world, maybe even deeper than they even can see themselves. It tells of the fragility of being human, of being alive, of relating to each other and to our own self and our pain. And it also tells of love. Not a clichee love or a fairt tale love, but the love between different people, a mother and a son, a grandmother and her grandchild, of siblings and of lovers and the very human and difficult way we handle our love with.
This book feels most of all honest and deep in its reality, and that is what touched me most of all. A peculiar and different voice that finds its way in to you.
The book has a title that discribes it very well;"extremely loud and incredibly close" and that is exactly what it is. You will never forget this read!
- Aasa
Link: Buy it.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close