Need a New Years Resolution? Wanna do something simple that can help the environment and reduce general suffering in the world?
Eat less meat.
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 18% of Green House Gases are attributed to raising animals as food (New York Times). When you think about it, this makes sense. Vast amounts of land are cleared of trees for animal containment. These animals in turn will eat much of the food on the land and fart it out in the form of Carbon Dioxide (it’s crude but true!).
You don’t have to go 100% cold turkey into the Vegetarian Lifestyle to make a difference (or I guess I should say no turkey).
Even committing to eating less meat in your day to day life can help.
One simple thing you can do is to start having a Meatless Monday (or a Tofu Tuesday if you prefer).
Or you can commit to buying your meat from more local based, small farms at the Farmer’s Market.
Most Americans eat too much meat anyways – consuming an average of 200 pounds a year. That’s about 67 Telephone books!
Most sources say that you only need to eat 5-6 ounces of protein a day (that’s about the size of a deck of cards). Yet the average American eats twice that amount (Huffington Post). The ideal diet is composed of high amounts of fruits, veggies, whole grains and a small amount of lean meats (with a focus more on poultry and eggs than red meat). Reducing your consumption of meat (red meat in particular) can increase your lifespan, reduce your weight and improve your overall health.
You are what you eat. Would you rather be a pig or a lean bean?
Happy Yule to you and to all
With the nights long and the days small
Eventually the sun will bring brighter days
To end the darkness, cold and malaise
Until then stay warm with a good mead or ale
And let the love of family and friends prevail
For the light of the sun king will return to Earth
Bringing renewal, fertility, growth and rebirth
If you truly are worried about the Apocalypse let me give you some advice on what you can do. Collect all your valuables together: your gold, cash, ipods, etc. Then bring said valuables to my house and deposit. You won’t need such items in the coming Apocalypse, right?
I kid, I kid. People around the country are getting their panties in a triple knot because today marks the end of the Mayan Calendar. That must mean the end of the world, right? No! When the calendar on your fridge comes to an end, does that mean the world is over? Or does that mean it’s time to get a new calendar.
The fact of the matter is most of the Mayans alive today, in modern day Guatemala, are not panicking in the slightest over the so called “apocalypse.” For many Mayans, this is actually a time of rebirth. When better things will come in the following year. Check out the link below to a great video about modern day Mayans.
9 Out of 10 Dwarfs Approve of This Movie.
The significant thing about this movie to me wasn’t just the dwarf battles, the beauty of the elves, or the godly power of wizards. The most powerful thing to me was that in a world full of magical, mythical beings, it is the simple folk who are the heroes. Tolkien chooses Bilbo Baggins, a mere hobbit, to be his protagonist. Bilbo leaves behind a domestic life of worrying about his doilies and when he’s going to eat second breakfast – to running from Orcs, finding treasure, dining with elves, and exploring the depths of Goblin infested mountains.
Why does Tolkien choose a Hobbit for his hero? Gandalf explains:
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of everyday kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”
In triumphing over evil, we often think we need some kind of superman to step in and save the day. That we need the most powerful of armies or the most famous individual. But sometimes the most effective thing, can be a simple act of everyday kindness and hospitality. Even you – yes little old you – can make a difference! How many would be suicides or shooters were prevented by someone who had enough love and kindness to be that person’s friend? How many times has your life been saved by that friend or neighbor who took the time out of their day to help you out?
This movie is a reminder to me that we can’t forget the everyday, simple kindness of folk. That perhaps, the modern evils of our time reflect a more isolated society where people take less and less time to help one another out – let alone even know their neighbor’s name. There has been a loss of kinship and brotherhood in this “every man for himself,” “me first,” “consume as much as you can”generation.
It was ultimately the hoarded wealth of the dwarf king Thrór that lured the dragon Smaug to destroy his kingdom. Smeagol too is broken down into a pathetic and lonely creature as a result of his obsession with his precious – the ring. As values shift towards self ascension and money, the world ultimately gets subsumed by a great evil. Maybe we should be a little more like the hobbit and less like a Smeagol in our every day lives.
A collection of 11 different tales from Welsh Prose.
A great read for anyone interested in Celtic Mythology, History or Arthurian Legend.
The Circle of Tengerism is a source about Mongolian and Siberian shamans.
Yes, you are correct, that is Ravi Shankar teaching George Harrison of the Beatles how to play sitar.
The long and eventful life of a music legend ended yesterday when Ravi Shankar died at the ripe old age of 92 with his wife and daughter at his side. This man was the lauded godfather of world music. He has also been described as the most contemporary known Indian musician. Ravi’s career took off after he started mingling with the Beatles and soon inspired the “Raga Rock” fever in the west. He found himself playing shows with some of the most famous musicians of the era – including the opening day of Woodstock.
In the 60’s, music (and maybe just maybe a few drugs), worked the magic of opening the mind to a broader state of reality. The inclusion of sitar into western rock music symbolized an increased awareness to Eastern spirituality and ideas. I’m not saying that everyone who rocked out to raga rock instantly understood India. I’m sure there were lots of people who appreciated a good sitar lick who didn’t know the difference between Delhi and a sandwich shop. Yet at a deeper level, began an awakening of a sort of cultural consciousness between East and West.
Music has a power beyond words. Feel the magic of the sitar as you listen to the songs below:
WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU – THE BEATLES
RAVI SHANKAR AND THE BEATLES
RAVI SHANKAR – RAGA ONE
A Potent Vision of America’s Dark Side Via Stoner Rock
Genre: Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Desert Rock
In the 19th century “The Great Game” often referred to Britain’s colonial take over of a great part of the world. Perhaps this video is using “The Game” to refer to the world’s modern imperial power – America. This is a fan made video (not a Truckfighters original). But the images chosen for this video show a darker side to American life. There are many things I love about my country, but I know that it isn’t all prosperity and apple pie. The video is a montage of dilapidated, foreclosed homes, political power, fast-food, environmental destruction and brute military force. While our political leaders tell us all is well, there is a hollowing out of America taking place. This video tells the real American Story.
Below are the 13 rules of life given in the high song of Odin and in Sigrdrifumal, in which the valkyrie gives counsel to Sigurd Fafnisbane. Source: Norse Mythology, or the Religion of Our Forefathers (1875). Containing All the Myths of the Eddas, By R.B Anderson.
- The recognition of the depravity of human nature, which calls for a struggle against our natural desires and forbearance toward the weakness of others.
- Courage and faith both to bear the hard decrees of the norns and to fight against enemies.
- The struggle for independence in life with regard to knowledge as well as to fortune; an independence which should, therefore, be earned by a love of learning and industry.
- A strict adherence to oaths and promises.
- Candor and fidelity as well as foresight in love, devotion to the tried friend, but dissimulation toward the false and war to the death against the implacable enemy.
- Respect for old age.
- Hospitality, liberality, and charity to the poor.
- A prudent foresight in word and deed.
- Temperance, not only in the gratification of the senses, but also in the exercise of power.
- Contentment and cheerfulness.
- Modesty and politeness in intercourse.
- A desire to win the good will of our fellow men, especially to surround ourselves with a steadfast circle of devoted kinsmen and faithful friends.
- A careful treatment of the bodies of the dead
Brought to you by the world’s greatest fusion band.
Genre: World Fusion, African poly-rhythms, Gaelic folk, Middle Eastern Mantras
Location: Melbourne Australia
Yulunga is the leading track on Dead Can Dance’s album Into The Labyrinth. This album was a groundbreaking event for the band, because it was the first album they completed on their own without the aid of guest musicians, as well as the first album to have a major label release in the United States. Into The Labyrinth is the album that put ethnic musical influences at the forefront of the band’s sound.
“Yulunga” itself is a type of spirit dance referred to in the Aboriginal Australian Kamilaroi language.
It is also a rainbow serpent Goddess in an aboriginal dream time legend of the Watagora people. These are the people who lived in what is now “New South Wales.” In the legend they were a happy people who spent their days hunting kangaroo, wallabies, emus and catching eel in what is now called the “Duck River.”
These blissful days came to an end when strangers entered the ancestral lands of the Watagora people. The Watagora warriors made several attempts to defend their land, but all to no avail. So then the Watagora elders made an appeal to the spirits for help. At first there was no answer. The Watagora thought that the Gods had abandoned them. But then a rainbow serpent appeared in the sky and chased the strangers away. You can read the rest of the story here.
The video for this song itself is a breath taking montage of nature and dance (aren’t you glad I posted the HD version?). The footage is from the film Baraka (an experimental documentary film with no plot that seeks to evoke emotion through a cinematic look at different world cultures).
At the end of the video – if you pay attention – you’ll notice that there is just the briefest glimpse of a little girl watching a rainbow shining over a river. Perhaps a symbol that the dance of life will go on.