Dispersing Threads

Earlier this week I received an e-mail inviting me to join One Thousand Bloggers, a new blog listing, as one of its first members. The first 100 to sign up get their spots for free, so I decided to give it a shot and see if I’d gain any new readers. There are still some free spots left, so give it a try if you’d like or just take a look at the assortment of bloggers on the wall of 1000. You can see my image in spot #49.

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away, so it’s about time to make plans and get in the spirit of romance. Me? I’m certainly there. Erika Buentello‘s illustration and design shop has a neat freebie that has sent my memories of elementary school Valentine’s Days to the fore, however. Her beautiful Valentine’s Fortune Teller marries class with the silly cootie catchers of our youth. And I can’t forget WHiRR‘s (Girl Loves Robot) robotic mini valentines, which also crawl from that distant past.

Ever wish you could benefit the environment, charge your cell phone and stay fit all at once? You now can! Tree Hugger recently featured an article on Manual Power, a gyroscope-based training device that doubles as a cell-phone charger and flashlight. Why not make use of our bodies’ energy like this more often? I certainly would like to have a set.

Lately I’ve been reading Healing Hands, a new webcomic from Derek Kirk Kim, one of my favourite creators. It’s in the vein of his other works, reflective and
minimalist. At his site you can read many of his brilliant finished works.

Faithful readers will remember that I saw Feist last month, much to my glee. I’d like you all to have the fortune to see her live, but for now you can get a taste with a video performance of “Mushaboom,” a song about a small community in this blizzard-stalled province. It’s most fitting for today.

Lately I’ve been leaving my apartment with a hat and black scarf always with me. I’ve taken a liking to a certain famous scarf that I’d like to have for next year. If I can find enough yarn, my sister Ilea has agreed to knit me a Doctor Who scarf. Won’t that be warm and useful? Who knows when I might need 22 feet of scarf, right?

I’m a proponent of spirituality and science growing together. I don’t believe that there needs to be segregation between the wisdom that both can offer and that both can benefit the practice of the other. The Dalai Lama has been speaking of this often, notably when it comes to the knowledge within the traditions in regards to consciousness.

But the Dalai Lama also emphasized that religion can help science, not just hinder it. In particular, he urged neuroscientists not to discount the role of Buddhist traditions on the brain, specifically meditation. “Try to find reality with an open mind,” he said, referring both to investigations in science as well as to studies in Buddhist thought. “Without investigation, we can’t see reality.”

We can all learn from this approach and take to heart the wisdom imparted by investigation and experience in all areas of our lives.

I took a while to finally get down to reading Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman’s followup to American Gods. It exemplifies Gaiman’s wit and narritive style as well as any of his works and was likely the most fun to read out of all his books I’ve delved into so far.

Neil Gaiman gives us a mythology for a modern age — complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime.

I can’t think of a better introduction to his work or to mythic fiction in general.

Hawksley Workman will be releasing a new album, Treeful of Starling soon and will be performing here in Halifax in March. I’m enamoured with his work and very excited to have the chance to see him perform live again. The following night Sam Roberts will be performing, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to catch both, seeing that they’ve been staples of my playlist for a long, long while. Isn’t “The Canadian Dream” a perfect song for Canada in the midst of such political uncertainty?

Also in the world of music, my first celebrity crush, Lisa Loeb, just released her greatest hits album, has a new reality TV show and a younger sister, Debbie, on the rise.

Other recent musical discoveries I’ve made include Rough Guide to Sufi Music, a collection featuring various Sufi artists, and the music of Newfoundlander Jacinda Beals.

P.S. The story of Gillian Hills is an interesting one. I decided to learn more about her when I found a record she’d released during her prime.

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