Archive for November, 2007

Harry Potter Personality

Posted on November 30, 2007. Filed under: Games, Musings |

Given the way my blog’s been going lately, this just figures…

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

Thank you (I think) to duskman‘s mindful meanderings for posting the quiz. I’m actually fine with the character and the description. Before the Potter saga, my favorite wizard was Merlin (still is), or “The Merlin” depending on who or what one reads. I also like Gandolf. I don’t have a long silvery beard in any case (can one be a good wizard without?) yet I’m happy to putter around casting spells, researching new ones, and believing the best of everyone for as long as possible. How about you?

and then there is…

Find out what heroes character are you at!

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Water, Creativity, and Empathy

Posted on November 29, 2007. Filed under: Culture, Science, Spirituality |

I’m participating in a “water intention” experiment, taking place on Friday (in most time zones). This is in conjunction with IONS–the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I have a lot of respect for the scientists and researchers at the Institute. I think they represent the future of science and the frontier of consciousness exploration. For a one minute summary of why they do what they do, please visit

Here is a summary of the water experiment. I don’t have any magical expectations of this, but I’m very curious to find out if they get measurable results. Some other controlled studies would need to be done in the future if so:

This Friday, November 30, at 5pm GMT, thousands of Living The Field participants will be taking part in an experiment to measure the change in ‘photonic’ emissions of water when loving intention is sent to it. We’ll also measure ‘grosser’ measurements like pH. To sign up for the Water Intention Experiment, and to receive your free “Powering Up” exercises written by Lynne McTaggart, please visit:”


And finally, for those of you not interested in the water experiment, or in addition to it, I offer this short film from the nice people at Monday9am. I’ve had moments of creative disconnection as described in the video, and I have felt such love and compassion for the human condition at such times. Also, this guy used to play with Queen, and I’ve enjoyed Queen since I first heard the theme and incidental music for the The Highlander, a favorite movie/television program about immortal humans with large swords!

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Fun and Thoughtful Smaller Games

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: Games, Music |

I wasn’t planning to write another Adventure Game post so soon, but some very nice smaller games have come to my attention recently, and I really like them all, so I thought I’d share information about them.

The first one is a charmer from the wonderful Deirdra Kiai, who just released her latest major game last month. Surprise! A new one. If this is indicative of things to come, I’m for it. Pigeons in the Park is a conversation. That’s it. There are two characters sitting on a park bench. They wear identical sweatshirts, slacks and shoes–except for the color–but have never met until they find themselves on the same bench. (The park must be across the street from the local Old Navy store 😉 ) So what’s the point? You, as the player choose the direction the conversation will take. You decide how much each character will reveal to the other; how much you want, or don’t want, to listen to what each says; and, to some extent, the topics of conversation. The game is an exploration into human interaction, and how the words we choose can determine our direction. Some of the conversations are quite funny, others poignant. I’ve played all the angles I can think of, but usually it helps me to leave this kind of thing alone for a few days, and then come back for some fresh perspective.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that game designer and musician Rikard Peterson, whose delightful game Frasse and Peas of Kejick was the subject of a previous gaming post, plays the trumpet for the game’s soundtrack. Ms. Kiai’s groovy jazzy soundtrack is great, and conveys just the right mood of laid-back anticipation for the story. The score also has a vibes solo I love. It’s just terrific, though, that we have a real (and “real good”) trumpeter in the background, YaHoo!

While I’m posting about smaller games, and Deirdra Kiai’s in particular: She made a little flash game some time ago that’s worth your attention. In When We Were Kids, you get to be a young child in school, and must deal with the consequences when your “GameBot” is snatched by an aggressive child. Your teacher is not much help, so what do you do? Ms. Kiai’s psychological and sociological insights come into play here. I want to be nice. I always want to be nice. Can I really go through life that way? What if the bullies get me first?

A fascinating game about moral choices is Move or Die a dialog-driven online flash game from ZAPdramatic. I have the aforementioned Deirdra Kiai to thank for steering me towards it. She felt it was similar thematically to her own Chivalry Is NOT Dead. In this game, you are a car passenger with a brother and sister who have different perspectives, to say the least. While driving too fast during a “discussion” with her brother, the driver hits something in the road, and finds the “something” is a “someone”. What to do now?

Thanks to fellow blogging buddy nylusmilk for posting a link to The Goodhue Codex–another nifty online flash game. Took me about an hour, but I’m slow! It is an interactive library mystery game, brought to us by the Los Angeles Public Library, Rooney Design, and Sky’s the Limit Interactive. Very fun, and somewhat fulfilling. You are a library patron using one of the public computers, when suddenly your cell phone rings…This game has it all: dialog, puzzles (even a timed puzzle, ugh!), mystery, history, adventure, a maze (oh no!) and a satisfying conclusion. A particularly nice feature is the game gallery exhibit in the library, where one can play several puzzle games. We’re allowed to go there anytime, and play as often as we like. This is not a complicated, long or hard game. You are given advice and help when needed. It kept me very entertained, and I really liked the look of it. Crisp, clean, and colorful, the game library is a pleasant place–except for the mystery, the ancient artifacts, and the…

If you come across any little gems like these, please let me know. In the meantime, happy gaming.

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Coffee and Chocolate on a Sunday afternoon

Posted on November 25, 2007. Filed under: Culture, Games |

A lot has been published recently on the health benefits of tea, coffee, and chocolate.  I’m still not sure how to evaluate conflicting studies:  Are these substances good for us?  I use them all, occasionally–certainly not to the level of addiction.  That’s why, when I took the coffee addiction quiz below, I was surprised that I came up 52% addicted.  I don’t even have it every day!

I am 52% Addicted to Coffee

I figured if I’m going to use a substance, I should at least know something about it.  I received the following from the fine folks at Fine Living:

How much do you know about Coffee

And, I’ve always thought a little chocolate with the coffee is a wonderful taste sensation (along with all those yummy antioxidants–or not, depending on what studies I read), and they had a quiz for that, too:

How much do you know about Chocolate?

I’ll meet you at the coffee shop.

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Melancholy Moon: A Quiz, A Song, and a Poem

Posted on November 23, 2007. Filed under: Musings, Spirituality |

I seem to have “moon on the brain” lately, since I keep posting about it.  This is the third in a row, but this one also stemmed from brooding about a fellow blogger’s post from a couple weeks ago.  BlogBud cjwriter had one titled  “Is the glass half empty or half full?”  He was trying to make the point that we don’t need to choose either optimism or pessimism, but that we are unique individuals comprised of different combinations and points of view.  We tend towards extremes of identification in our culture, and one wonders how that came to be.  Most responders to cjwriter’s post agreed that the question is not helpful, and we refused to be judged on how we might answer the question in any given moment.

My response included an observation that I often found myself melancholy, and that I didn’t see this word melancholy as either optimistic or pessimistic, or good or bad.  More as “deeply feeling”, I think.  When I am feeling melancholy–which is far from all the time–I get quite introspective.  I wonder why things are, and if they need to be that way.  I’m in no mood to change anything.  I’m just taking a look at what is, without bubbles and frills, but also without doom and gloom.  And it seems many falsely equate melancholy with gloom, or even depression.  It is far from that, in my view.

Having been haunted by this contemplation for over a week now, I began to feel it was time to move on to a frothier state of mind, for a change.  Than I began to get “moony” and started to contemplate the moon instead of melancholy.  Now here I am with both.

A few days ago I was clicking around in the blogthings quizzes.  Sometimes other bloggers will refer to one, and they’re a bit like candy.  When I finish one, I have a few more.  I came upon one called “What Temperament are You?”  I had just finished posting on a quiz about ones “musical personality”.  Since “temperament” is a musical term (one I’ll have a lot to say about in a future post) as well as a psychological one, I of course clicked on it right away.   Below are my results:

You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.Given enough time alone, it’s easy for you to find inner peace.You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

What Temperament Are You?

The quizzes sometimes amaze me.  A topic will show itself, and then the results synchronistically fit my current mental state.  I think most of the things it says about me are true, although it makes me seem more of a loner than I really am.  It is true that I delight in my own company and can spend hours or days alone, but I really do seek out others, particularly to share my musical interests.  The last bit of the description doesn’t strike me as very fun, but oh well, at least I’m “wise and patient” according to the gods of quiz.

After the quiz, in fact, just today, I found a poem and a song.  The song is more poignant than aching.  I quite liked it.  The lyrics and the recording are both online.

The Song, in part:

melancholy moon
rising by the hill
that’s where we used to
waste our time
when keeping up with you
was all I could do
and now I’m living my own life

The poem, the work of a fellow blogger, seems to come from a much darker place.  I put myself in the place of the optimist the poet is addressing, and although it appears the poet predicts great disappointment for me in my unrelenting optimism, there is just a crumb of hope near the end.

From the poem, entitled–I am not making this up–Through a Glass Half Full:

You lick your lips to whistle an uplifting tune
Perhaps taking your medicine a little too soon
And find yourself breathing dust from the melancholy moon

When a lot, or a little synchronicity gets my attention, I sit and contemplate its meaning.  These past couple of weeks have seemed to be a time of deep introspection.  I have been feeling good about my life, AND I have feeling that things will soon change dramatically (in a good way, of course).  I think these moods are to calm me down, to get ready for the change.  I always want to honor moods and feelings, without allowing them to overtake me.  Peace to you.

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Lunar astronaut and Consciousness

Posted on November 21, 2007. Filed under: Science, Spirituality |

Yesterday I posted on a moonlight collector and research station. Today, I continue on the Moon theme, with thoughts from a lunar astronaut, who went on to found the Institute for Noetic Sciences. I can only imagine actually walking on the surface of our mystical moon. There are many theories as to why humankind hasn’t been back there. Given the research I reported on yesterday, I wonder what it must be like to bask in the sunlight reflected on the moon, while actually on the moon. Given the atmospheric conditions, we wouldn’t be able to sun/moonbathe with little clothing on, as in the moonlight collector here on earth.  It may be a cosmically transformational experience, though.

In this one-minute video, Dr. Edgar Mitchell gives a short talk on how and why walking on the moon and flying in space transformed his conscious awareness. He is a well respected NASA scientist and Navy Captain who experienced a conscious awakening not explained by science. He realized not all of us would get the opportunity to fly to the moon, as he did (at least not in this decade!) but he knew many of us wanted to explore this “spacey” conscious expansion experience, so he founded the Institute to study the interaction of science and consciousness. His website, and books, explore these topics further. I’ve heard Dr. Mitchell speak, and he is very inspiring. I admire his willingness to go “out on a limb” where fellow scientists often fear to tread. He does say he couldn’t have done anything else. Enjoy!

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Do you have 5 minutes for the Moon?

Posted on November 20, 2007. Filed under: Science, Spirituality, Travel |

I experienced a “moonlight collector” a few months ago, and I still don’t know what to make of it. So, I thought I’d put the details here to see if you might offer some insight. Some friends invited me to visit this array. I live a couple of hours away from the site, and it’s become something of a local phenomenon, so I thought I’d get my moonbath in before the world came to their door. I’ve met the founders of Interstellar Light Applications, and I know some of the people involved. For the most part, these are reasonable business people and scientists, seeing an opportunity to do some research. My experience was much like that portrayed in this 5 minute video report by a local news station. In the video, I particularly enjoy the fellow at the end who “wants to sing”. He wasn’t there the night I was.

Moonlight Collector

To get to the interstellar array one must drive down a long country road, and make a few unexpected turns. The instrument is in an out-of-the way location, way out in the desert, to minimize distractions from city lights. It would be VERY dark out there if the moon wasn’t full. The moonbathing takes place during the 3 or 4 days when the moon is most full, and sometimes weather interferes with a clear moon view, so the days open to the public are limited. My little group each took numbers, and waited in a long line sitting on bales of hay. The hosts gave us bottled water, and lots of encouragement. Only two, or at most three people can go into the moon chamber at a time, and we’re each given two minutes once we’re in. The array is adjusted every few minutes to follow the path of the full moon, in order to give the experiencer as much light as possible:

…The ILA collector is a parabolic non-imaging optical collector composed of 8 mirrored collection panels. At 52 feet high, 60 feet across and weighing 25 tons, this breathtaking device is colossal, yet has the maneuvering capability and precision of a Swiss watch.

I didn’t think of this at the time, but I remember watching re-runs of The Addams Family. Some of the episodes included scenes of the family out “moonbathing” in the evening. I used to love these scenes, with everyone wearing their moon suits, and the adults warning the children against moonburn. I always wanted (well, just a little) to be an Addams, so this adventure proves I have something in common with them. But I digress.

The thing about the moonlight collector is that I probably wouldn’t get a moonburn, given our understanding of moonlight. But…do we really understand moonlight?

Light cast by the moon is 500,000 times less bright than the sun. This light, reflected from the sun, presents a distinctive spectrum composed of more reds and yellows, and possesses a different frequency than sunlight. This specific light spectrum has never been artificially duplicated.

So, as the video explains, scientists have not done a lot about collecting and analysing this kind of light. There has been much research done with sunlight, solar collectors, and solar energy. Moonlight, however, has been considered the “little sister” of the sun, in spite of its place in mythology, science, and religion. An article in Popular Science discusses some of the research.

Here’s what happened to me: My turn came. I walked inside a small metal trailer which had been adapted so that its entire side was open to the air. We were told to take off as much of our clothing as we felt comfortable with, in order to expose as much skin as possible. I was there during one of the few really cool months we have in the desert, and though chilly, I did strip down to a t-shirt. I had brought some stones with me, and took them out of my pocket to hold them in the light. I stood there. I waited. It was very bright and somewhat eerie. I felt a mild tingling sensation, but I’m not sure if that was due to “suggestion”. It was a bit hypnotic–after all, who of us has not gazed at the moon from time to time, and wondered at its beauty? This was sort of a combination of moongazing and being on a spaceship. Or what I imagine being on a spaceship would be like.

The Moon

My two minutes were over quickly, and as quickly, I put my sweater back on. Brrrr. I felt pleasantly peaceful, but not dramatically changed or healed. I hadn’t picked a particular physical condition to concentrate upon while in the chamber, but some of those I was with said they’d had muscle aches before they went in, and no longer had them.

Since then, I have shrugged my shoulders, waited, and wondered.

Look how the pale Queen of the silent night
doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
and he, as long as she is in sight,
with his full tide is ready hee to honor
– Charles Best, 1608

Another local 5-minute video* * *ILA’s website

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What about Intention?

Posted on November 16, 2007. Filed under: Spirituality |

My five-week book group has ended. I feel mostly relief. Of course, I could have left any time I wanted to, but with only a five week commitment, I thought I’d stick it out. Don’t get me wrong, the people were lovely and open-minded. I guess this sort of thing is just not my cup of tea. I mentioned in a previous post on this topic that I would never have joined a group discussing novels. Fiction is a very personal experience for me, and I will not talk about a novel to anyone until I’ve finished it. But, this group was reading a popular “how-to” by a popular author. The author is fine, has a good message, and writes fairly well. So why does it sound like I’m complaining?

The book is a self-help book, one among many thousands. I have enjoyed many such books in the past. I have incorporated the suggestions, ideas, and exercises in some. I have not completely followed the program of any of them 100%, and therefore transformed my life thereby. I used to think that was due to some failing within me: I didn’t follow the program tenaciously enough, or I really didn’t want to change–“Look at me, I’m self-sabotaging”. Or, perhaps, I hadn’t found “THE” book yet.

At this point I feel that if I’m going to completely benefit from such a book, I’ll have to write it myself, and then follow its suggestions! I’m actually quite serious about this, and it becomes my new reason why many of these books do not “work” for me–or I don’t work them. They each were written by a unique individual, and each may have a wonderful program that individual has discovered, made up, or distilled from previous works or teachers.  This program, though, is that of the author’s.  Perhaps a few will find in the method “the” way, and those folks become it’s greatest spokespeople.  But for the majority of the readers, once the inspirational “high” has worn off, they may find there are pieces missing, or too many pieces which don’t fit.  In fact I was reading a review of one such program recently which criticized the work for being merely a compilation of “X, Y, and Z”.

I don’t necessarily see it as a criticism, per se, that “this new guru’s philosophy is ‘merely’ as distillation of Buddhism, Scientology, and Nuclear Physics”, for instance. In a sense, that’s what we’re all doing. Most of us develop our philosophies using ideas from many sources. We use sacred and secular teachings as tools to examine our own point of view. Hopefully we then spend quiet time, meditation, or journaling time to weave those tools and our own ideas into a unique philosophy.

There is great appeal in a “follow the dots” kind of religion or spiritual or psychological practice. We’re told if we connect those dots (“rules”), that at some point the big picture of reality will emerge. If we do it “right” we’ll be rewarded with all the benefits to which the “real rule followers” are entitled.  Our “idol” may be a guru, priest, celebrity, some combination of the previous, or a book: “The” Bible, Koran, or Bhagavad Gita, or “The Latest Self-help Secrets from Well-known person X”.

The only problem with taking this “one-size-fits-all” plan for a dynamic and wonderful life, is that we are individuals. The major religions have denominations, sects, or factions within, some of which believe radically different things. When I became old enough to think for myself (actually, still working on that one!) I realized that none of these philosophies–not one–could possibly hold “THE” truth. If one did, it would be a lot more obvious, surely. So, as I’m choosing to paste together my own philosophy, based on bits and pieces of eastern, western, and, gasp, my own opinions, I can but respect the philosophers who have gone before.

Having said all that, I do have my favorite self-help and spiritual authors.  Of all the dozens I’ve read, a very few stand out as trusted friends and helpers.  This is because they are the ones most closely suited to my particular temperament.  It would take a lot, at this point, to usurp one of these old friends.  But maybe that new book is the one… 😀

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Honest sushi and a shower at the airport

Posted on November 14, 2007. Filed under: Culture, Spirituality |

Last time I shared a video, I didn’t check into the background of the person being interviewed, and a commenter wondered if the man matched the message. This time I did look into what the person has been up to this year, and it turns out he’s launched an innovative hotel concept–micro luxury hotel “cabins” at reasonable prices, located right inside major airports. They can be rented for a few hours by those wanting to freshen up or relax between flights, or booked the night before a very early flight. Your departure gate is just a stroll away. All this after releasing most of the control of another “concept” company–motorized sushi!

I like sushi, and this well known British entrepreneur is entertaining. In any event I do like how he portrays himself in the film. The main message is honesty with oneself, which then leads to finding a path that one enjoys and is good at. Sounds right! He tells us: “I’ve stopped doing things I’m not good at.” That got me to look at some things.

The five-minute video from those good folks at Monday9am can be seen here:


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Kindness Day

Posted on November 13, 2007. Filed under: Culture, Games |

Blog Diva RubyShooz has alerted me to the fact that November 13 is Acts of Kindness day, and this week is Kindness week.  It’s a good reminder for me, because I just never really thought much about this particular quality until recently, and so, unlike those for whom kindness is natural, it is a conscious choice with me.  It is a choice I usually wish to make, and I’m getting better and better at it.

RubyShooz also did a tremendous amount of research on other holidays, remembrance days, this-and-that days, many of which have to do with food.  She has a huge variety, though, so rather than including the “Kindness” links here, I’ll invite you to visit her blog.  I found tons of inspiration there, and days to celebrate I hadn’t heard of.

I particularly like the “bloggers unite in action” type of days, as it feels good to me to join with others in this unique community to, as Gandhi has said “be the change you wish to see in the world”.  That, to me, is an act of kindness.  As you are, Ruby.

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