All posts filed under: people

Saga Dawa at Mt Kailash, Tibet

Today you can see this photo I took of Robert Thurman standing in front of Mt. Kailash in the San Francisco Chronicle, accompanying a great interview with Robert by David Ian Miller, “Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman on Why the Dalai Lama Matters,” about his new book, Why the Dalai Lama Matters. In the picture, Robert stands near the Tarboche flagpole at the outset of our kora (circumambulation) around Mt Kailash. Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Bön traditions all revere Mt Kailash as the axis mundi – the center of the world. From it flows 4 major rivers that feed Asia: the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and Karnali. Thousands of pilgrims arrive each May and June, but this year China has delayed the pilgrimage season and limited the number of participants, restricting all foreign visitors during the Olympic torch relay in that region. After four days trekking around the mountain and reaching an altitude of 18,600 ft, we arrived back here in time for the Saga Dawa festival, celebrating the birth and enlightenment of Sakyamuni Buddha. On this …

G1G2 Pt. 2: Postcard from Haiti

What a delight to receive this picture from Waveplace showing the new owner of the OLPC laptop I donated last month. Here’s a movie of the kids’ first experiences with laptops. Looks like a beautiful group of students and teachers (and fresh green classrooms). Hope you have fun and enjoy learning with your new computers! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program.

NextCity: The Art of the Possible

Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, Speedbird, Urban Computing and its Discontents, and the upcoming The City is Here for You to Use, moderated an excellent panel discussion that included Christian Nold (who we loved at Pop!Tech), Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, and J. Meejin Yoon of MY Studio and Howeler + Yoon Architecture. Here are the notes I took during the talk.

@Everyone – Open Social on Earth… Come Play

One minute I’m checking messages in Facebook, the next I’m frolicking through olive orchards in Sardinia with John Borthwick wearing an astronaut suit. Oh what a world we live in… More compelling than Scrabulous, Unype is a Facebook social network application that lets people see, chat and Skype with each other in Google Earth. Unype works with the Open Social API, so you can interact with people from Facebook, Ning, Orkut, hi5 and more to come. See Twitter messages and Upcoming event overlays too. You can mark up your favorite places and share recommendations, videos and 3d models. There’s also a fun geography quiz game where you answer by flying to the correct place. Highly recommended for Miss Teen USA contestants, and such. . Unype Unype Blog Enter Unype directly through Facebook

Kenro Izu: Bhutan: The Sacred Within

Kenro Izu, “Druk #131”, Taksang Monastery, Paro, Bhutan 2003 Kenro Izu: Bhutan, the Sacred Within November 2, 2007–February 18, 2008 Rubin Museum of Art 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011 What a treat to hear Kenro Izu talk with Owen Flanagan at the Rubin Museum of Art in conjunction with the opening of his exhibition of photographs, “Bhutan: The Sacred Within.” Kenro Izu’s been exploring and photographing sacred sites both natural and manmade for decades. To look at his landscapes of sacred places around the world is to enter them; you can almost smell and taste the air inside the image. In “The Sacred Within,” he turns his lens to the essential element that makes a place sacred: the people that revere it and hold it in their hearts. Out of all the places he has photographed, Bhutan has especially captivated him, drawing him back six times over six years. Izu writes in the introduction to his accompanying book, Bhutan, “Traveling many years, I have not yet seen a place as peaceful as …

The Principles of Uncertainty with Maira Kalman

Mocha cream cake from Maira Kalman’s mother’s bakery on Johnson Avenue in Riverdale, NY (see p.246-247), served at a celebration for the release of The Principles of Uncertainty at the NYPL. Do you engage with pleasure, curiosity, fun and celebration (with time for naps) in the face of the tragedy of the day? Do you want to? This is the book for you. Maira Kalman’s delightful new release, The Principles of Uncertainty, turns out to be a heavy book. Mostly physically. Kalman says it’s because the book is extensively inked: “all the colors are in there.” Even if you’ve been following this year-long illustrated journal at the New York Times, the high-resolution images of her gouache paintings are undeniably gorgeous in print. (Even more so in person at the Julie Saul Gallery through November 24, 2007.) Aside from the inherent pleasures of the portable printed format, the book offers a few bonuses to those already familiar with the images: A pull out “Map of the United States” by Kalman’s beautiful mother, Sara Berman, with instructions …

Poptech2007: Oceans in the Balance: Marcia McNutt

Enric Sala, Claire Nouvian and Marcia McNutt in Penobscot Bay, off the coast of Maine. (More photos from Pop!Tech 2007) On a Wednesday session preceding the Pop!Tech conference last week, a group of participants sailed from Camden, Maine through Penobscot Bay on the Appledore schooner with Marcia McNutt, Claire Nouvian, Enric Sala and Ted Ames. Ames, Nouvian and Sala talked about sustainable fishing and ways to encourage resilient ecosystems. Then McNutt spoke up. With dark sunglasses and a hooded black coat shielding her against the wind, the President and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute looked a bit like the grim reaper as she offered a vivid analogy to understand the impact of bottom trawling and tuna farming: “We clear-cut a forest to catch a deer. Then we feed the deer to tigers, and finally, we eat the tigers.” We’re not just taking the fish out of the ocean, but we’re also destroying the ability to regenerate habitat. Even if we stop trawling the ocean, it may not recover. While the imagery of …

Oceans in the Balance: Ted Ames

Ted Ames smiling and sailing on Penobscot Bay, off the coast from Camden, Maine. (Photo by Emily Davidow; more photos from Pop!Tech 2007) Sailing from Camden through Penobscot Bay on the Appledore schooner, Ted Ames, the only lobsterman to receive a MacArthur Genius Grant, shared insights on the waters he knows so well with a small group of Pop!tech participants. Ames pointed out that the waters we were sailing through had been fished hard and continuously for the past 300-400 years. He shared some big fish tales, showing pictures of a 92 year old halibut over 300 lbs caught in these waters. They used to be rich in cod, winter flounder, haddock, salmon, turbot, orange roughy and other species, supporting 3000-4000 fishermen between here and Canada. The stocks collapsed 12 years ago from here to Canada, and they haven’t come back. Ted knows that fishermen know a great deal about the areas they fish and set out to gather fisherman’s ecological knowledge and map it on a GIS system. They gathered ecological data from when …