Andy Borowitz has hit a home run with this funny and telling satirical piece. He skewers North Korea and the NRA in a single blast. Well done, Andy Borowitz. No wonder dictators and tyrants fear writers and poets most. Read it here.
Singapore and Malaysia Dharma-friends! I'm going to be giving a series of Dharma-talks in English in Singapore from March 9th to 13th, 2013. The venue is the Ta Pei Buddhist Centre on Lavender Street and the time is 7:30 to 9:30 PM. On March 16th there will be a special Interactive Dialogue for Young Adults from 1:30 to 3:30 at the same venue. The hosts of the events are the Buddhist Union. On March 10th at 10:30 AM there will be an opportunity at the Buddhist Union to Take Refuge and receive the Five Precepts. Admission to the lectures is free and for more information, please call the Buddhist Union at 6241 9419.
The topic of my lectures will be "The Exhortation to Express the Resolve For Bodhi," an essay written in the Ching Dynasty by Venerable Master Xing'an. (1685-1733), an enlightened Patriarch of the Pure Land School. This may be the first time this essay has been explained in English in Singapore. I emphasize clarity and simplicity, and relevance in my talks, so my wish is that listeners will feel that they have grasped the essentials of the author's intent in writing this powerful and moving work. My teacher in religion, the later Venerable Master Hsuan Hua valued this essay highly and encouraged all his disciples to study it. All are welcome!
Most popular SuperBowl adverstisement for 2013 went to Dodge Ram Pickups "God Made A Farmer" with narration by my childhood super-ego, Paul Harvey. A moving video, with great use of still photography, and pretty hard to find fault with as a work of art. Until, that is, you consider it in the context of the reality of farming in the 21st century in the United States. We have gone from 90% of the population on the land two centuries ago to 1% (yes, that's one percent) of the population growing our crops these days. And the lack of Hispanics in the photos, hello?
So the good folks at Funny or Die put together an alternative verson of the ad, emphasizing truth over as they call it, "shameless heartland pandering. " Plus, it's hilarious.
Ex-tropical cycle Oswald brought flood waters and winds that displaced tens of thousands across Southeastern Australia. Daring helicopter rescues by Australian military teams plucked over one thousand people from rooftops in the Queensland town of Bundaberg last night. Bundaberg received 19 inches of rain in 24 hours. The Australian spirit of rising to the occasion against dangerous odds shone through across the province.Read about it here. Queensland went from near drought to raging floods in a matter of days.
In spoken Australian, "no drama" means, "you're welcome," or "no problem." The weather today continues to be dramatic. School classes cancelled at Bond University here in the Gold Coast for the second day!
Oh me oh my. So much rain and for such a long time! This is my front yard; yesterday it was a dry gulch. Today it's a torrent. Video clip taken from my covered porch at 4:00 PM on Sunday, January 27, 2013, the full moon day. The rain has been pounding down for two days straight.
Catastrophic weather in Queensland tonight! Here's the Brisbane Times' account in progress. Widespread flooding like 2009, and again like last year's floods, which brought along scary, pounding rainstorms. The Monastery lost our concrete bridge last year and this year it may turn out to be even heavier. Two tornadoes hit just thirty miles from here. Dams at flood tide, helicopter rescues of families stranded in rapidly flooding pickup trucks ("utes" for "utility vehicles). The incesant drumming on my roof tonight is uncanny. Think I'll cross my legs and go back and meditate a while longer. Video to follow!