Saturday, January 31, 2009

Google and Names

I saw the game described this morning by my facebook friend Cory. Take your first name, and put it into a number of common phrases, like:

"Stuart needs"
"Stuart looks like"
"Stuart likes"
"Stuart wants"
"Stuart does"
"Stuart hates"
"Stuart can't"
"Stuart is"

Then Google the phrase, in quotes, to find the #1 context in which it appears on the net.

For example, right now if I Google "Stuart needs", the top site is by prisoner Stuart Pomeranz, which uses the phrase thusly: "...he knows people who know people who know Stuart and they all think Stuart needs his ass kicked a few more times."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Zen Video etc

The TV show Roadtrip Nation visited the San Francisco Bay Area last year. They interviewed some local luminaries, including Political Analyst Michael Parenti, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings... and Zen Master Bon Soeng of Empty Gate Zen Center (where I've practiced for decades). ZMBS' clip is below.

In this new year, Empty Gate just might follow through on our resolution to get more Zen on video. Bill filmed last Wednesday's evening program. Before ZMBS' talk and Q&A, I gave an intro talk, rhapsodizing about the 2004 indie film Zen Noir. (In most meditation schools, such talks start off with stories from sacred scriptures. We haven't got any of those in Zen... but Netflix provides plenty of alternatives.) The talks are on YouTube in 4 parts, the first of which is embedded below.

It's been a month since I last posted. First, I was on pre-holiday vacation with my mother and some friends. It was good to hang out with them, there were some cool sites and a fun morning snorkling, and it was kinda good to be away from the Christmas hoo-hah. Since then I've been busy with my new contract with Gap. It's going real well, but considering these uncertain times, I'm making extra efforts to be especially productive... and less snarky in my attitude. I'll be happy when the economic crisis is over, and I can return to normal.

Thanks to those who posted comments during this time. In the Abortion Politics comments, Doug offers some sane thoughts, and a link to an audio of a Zen talk discussing politics and abortion. In the comments to Adi Da Dies, Morgan writes of his positive view of time spent with Da. It's great that Morgan, who spent years close to Da, has offered a different perspective here in such a thoughtful way.