Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Letting Go of God (TED Talk)

Julia Sweeney (TED Talks); Crystal Quintero, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Letting Go of God by Julia Sweeney
God Said "Ha!" (amazon.com)
(TED, Jan. 16, 2007) Julia Sweeney (God Said, "Ha!") performs the first 15 minutes of her 2006 solo show "Letting Go of God." When two young Mormon missionaries knock on her door one day, it touches off a quest to completely rethink her own Christian beliefs.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor ["Enlightenment" by a Stroke of Insight], Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore, and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics, and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks at  ted.com/index.php/talks/top10.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Stagecoach: Little Nas X: "Old Town Road"

Genius.com; Seth Auberon, Sheldon S., Pfc. Sandoval, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Fear of a black planet?
Lil Nas X joked about his debut album consisting solely of “Old Town Road” remixes, but it’s starting to look like that may not be too far from the truth. He reunited with Billy Ray Cyrus on Sunday, the last night of the 2019 Stagecoach country music festival (on the same grounds as the Coachella Fest but a week later) to perform his mega hit song live for the first time during Diplo’s set, and the DJ and producer debuted his own remix of the track, too.

Is there anything that black culture can't make better? Music (electric guitar ala the Grandmother of Rock 'n Roll, rock of all genres, the blues, jazz, gospel, punk ala Bad Brains), sports, mathematical innovations (Islam), ruling Europe (Moors)… It's about time country music got a rebuild and much needed improvements.

Although Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus were in the studio together when they recorded it, they have yet to perform it together live. That changed as the two linked up onstage for a performance of their hit song, which has spent three weeks and counting at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart (after being removed from the Country chart for what seem like racist reasons as we previously reported).

Diplo, who is in the midst of a pivot to country music, took the opportunity to share his remix of the single, too. Lil Nas X is also expected to drop a remix with Young Thug, which he teased earlier this month... More

MudFlood, Egypt, Hidden History (video)

Static in the attic, April 22, 2019; Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
#MudFlood Egypt, Introduction to the Reset

Sunday, April 28, 2019

AOC: "Knock Down the House" (Netflix, May 1)

Knock Down the House (official trailer)
(Netflix, April 22, 2019) Follow the stories of four inspiring women who took on history in the 2018 midterm election. Watch Knock Down the House, only on Netflix, May 1, 2019.

ABOUT: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 130 million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause, and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Netflix online

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Songkran: Happy Buddhist New Year! (4/28)

Ashley Wells, Crystal Q., Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; LAist.com
Western tourists love super-welcoming Thailand, the jewel of Buddhist Southeast Asia.
What's a Spring Festival without some innocent water splashing? Have fun Thai style.
Songkran New Year Festival
The Buddha, Sukhothai, Thailand
Thailand follows the oldest form of Buddhism, called Theravada or the "Teaching of the Elders," the "elders" (theras) being the enlightened direct disciples of the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, often referred to as Shakyamuni, the "Sage (muni) of the Shakyians (Scythians)."

The Thai New Year coincides with the arrival of spring -- as in most parts of the world for most of history, including the West -- and Songkran celebrates goodwill, love, compassion, and thankfulness.

Why is it called "Songkran"?
Songkran 2019 (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty)
(Wiki) The term Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit saṅkrānti. It refers to the traditional New Year celebrated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Sri Lanka, parts of Northeast India, parts of Vietnam, and Xishuangbanna, China. It begins when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, as reckoned by sidereal astrology. It is related to the equivalent Hindu calendar-based New Year festivals in most parts of South Asia, which are collectively referred to as Mesha Sankranti. More

Thai Town, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Remember to throw lots of water at people. It won't be Songkran unless it's very wet.
The Thai festivities celebrated at Los Angeles' Wat Thai included a water blessing at the Buddha statue by Buddhist monks and nuns, as well as chanting, building sand pagodas and castles, classical Thai music, prayers, dance, arts and crafts -- and, of course, Thai food. It was earlier this month at the large Thai Buddhist temple in North Hollywood. Sunday's celebration in Hollywood's Thai Town will be much, much bigger. It will be a mile long:
  • Please come.
    Songkran Festival/Thai New Year (FREE)
  • Sunday, April 28, 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Hollywood Blvd. between Normandie
  • and Western Ave., in East Hollywood
A one-mile stretch of L.A.'s Thai Town will be closed off to traffic for the 14th Annual Songkran Festival. The day features a parade starting at 10:00 am, Muay Thai boxing, a beauty pageant, folk dancing, live jazz, and cultural demonstrations. Lots of Thai foods will be available from local restaurants and food trucks. More

Sri Lankan monk visits LA (April 25-28)

Volunteer Y (Buddha's 4 Noble Truths), Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly

It's amazing. The volunteer (Y) has organized a few talks by a Sri Lankan monk in the Los Angeles area -- La Puente, Pomona, and Pasadena. Half are in Sinhalese, but the others are in English on the Abhidharma ("Higher Doctrine"), meditation, and general Dharma topics. The flyer has all the information and contacts. All events are FREE. The goal? That all beings learn and apply the Dharma to end suffering.

Sri Lankan New Year, LA, changed (Apr 28)

Bhante, Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara; CC Liu, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

New Year message (LABV)
The Sunday Dhamma School leadership and congregation of the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara have decided to cancel the Sinhala/Hindu New Year Festival this year.

It was scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2019 at the Pasadena temple due to the brutal terrorist attack that occurred on Easter in Sri Lanka.

Instead of the festival the devotees and monks are planning to have a memorial service before the Dharma Program, which had been scheduled earlier for the same day.
Sri Lanka is a teardrop off the tip of India.
In addition, donations that the temple will be receiving for the New Year festival will be sent directly to Sri Lanka to help the victims of this senseless terrorist tragedy. This is a public invitation that the temple is open to all. May all blessings be with you.
  • Sunday Dharma Talk
  • Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara
  • 920 N. Summit Ave., Pasadena
  • L.A., CA 91103 (626) 797-6144
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