Monday, June 28, 2010

Haiku - I the only stone that moves

Zen garden
i the only stone
that moves
June 25 at 9:48pm · Comment · Like
Miyuki Takada, Gina Oceguera, Mike Keville and 16 others like this.

Mumtaz Kader wonderful ♥
June 25 at 9:50pm · Like ·

Marc Di Saverio perfect
June 25 at 10:10pm · Like ·

Anne O'Neil another little gem :) - thx John
June 25 at 10:36pm · Like ·

Peggy Johnson cool one!
June 25 at 10:38pm · Like ·

James Hannan Kurdish poem "Do not hate the stone because it does not move nor dismiss the water because it flows." Soy como soy/I am as I am.
June 25 at 11:34pm · Like ·

Howard Robertson Nice. I like it.
Saturday at 3:43am · Like ·

John Potts
hello little stone!
are you discrete
in lichen?

— jp
Saturday at 7:02pm · Like ·

In the Shadows of the Partial Lunar Eclipse

in the shadows of the partial eclipse
a copter crash, tremor and a sultan who wants
a bridge to singapore

Saturday at 9:50pm · Comment · Like
Gillena Cox, Gina Oceguera, Stephen Woods and 7 others like this.

John Tiong Chunghoo KUALA LUMPUR: On the June 26, Malaysians will be able to observe a partial lunar eclipse starting from 7.22pm to 10.20 pm.
In general, lunar eclipse will occur when the Moon passes the Earth's shadow during full Moon said the National Space Agency in a statement today.

The eclipse will start at 4:57 p.m. when the Moon starts to pass the penumbral...
See More
Saturday at 9:51pm · Like ·

Carole Ann Borges Nice!

John Tiong Chunghoo today's tragic news

american killed in copter crash in Sarawak
See More
Saturday at 9:57pm · Like ·

Carole Ann Borges One world, too much tragedy lately.
Saturday at 10:00pm · Like ·

Nhut Nakata Sorry to hear about the tragedy!
Saturday at 10:04pm · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black I got up to watch it as the moon was setting but the sky was cloudy.The full moon is in capricorn so according to astrological forecasts we can expect more earthly activities.
Saturday at 10:14pm · Like ·

ernadette Myers one world so much tragedy the lonly tears
Saturday at 10:44pm · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo haiku

partial lunar eclipse
from the fully lit temple
reverberating prayers
Saturday at 11:22pm · Like ·

Madeleine Ann Eugenie McMahon J- At once 'real' and 'surreal'! You reached ME!
Sunday at 12:19am · Like ·

Anne O'Neil Love the emerging haiku from the shadows of the partial eclipse to the reverberating prayers
Sunday at 1:15am · Like ·

James Hannan "I have sought you in the light of the stars; but you are ecliptic; and I see only the shadow part"
Sunday at 1:59am · Like ·

Anne O'Neil Illuminating
& revealing shadow
both are true
Sunday at 2:16am · Like ·

James Hannan I am yin, you are yang
Or perhaps you are yin
It seems we are neither
Sunday at 5:34am · Like ·

John Potts Get a grip, James, or, rather, not.

— jp
Sunday at 8:11am · Like ·

Robert D. Wilson trimming it a bit, John, i found this cool tanka

eclipse, a copter crash,
tremors . . . ...
See More
Sunday at 12:07pm · Like ·

John Potts
be careful little dragonfly
the moon is full

— jp
Sunday at 5:31pm · Like ·

James Hannan Firefly not dragonfly
Sunday at 8:20pm via Email Reply · Like ·

John Potts

"It was during a sunny yesterday, here in rainy England, and a little blue dragonfly was skimming the water beside where we were having a picnic (with strawberries!). I knew there was a full moon that evening and so advised this beautiful creature to be wary of where it might choose to bivouac, come twilight; and this for fear of predation by nocturnal hunters. Also (as my daughter shook her head at my antics,) to not be fooled into thinking it was day in the brightness of any moonlit pond. However, a dragonfly nipping out of bed for a quick midnight snack in such a setting is, clearly, a beguiling image."
be careful little dragonfly
the moon is full

— jp
Sunday at 9:12pm · Like ·

James Hannan I understand. Yes, a beguiling image.
Sunday at 9:14pm via Email Reply · Like ·

John Potts Fairy snuff, James. A true haiku. A real event. SHASEI. Thing is, dude, you need to DEEPEN into a haiku. Give your robot a chance to switch off so your right brain can kick in with some primary visual thought. Jumpin' the gun is not the way to respond to a haiku. Especially a world beater like this one! No worries though, we all had to learn that, right Matsuo?

— jp
Sunday at 9:35pm · Like ·

Haiku - Symmetry of the Shells

spiralling symmetry of the shells
against my ears
a sea of symphony
Yesterday at 1:50am · Comment · Like
Gina Oceguera, Sridevi Datta, Angela Ling and 17 others like this.

Muhammad Rafique Farooqi my walk on seashore
Yesterday at 1:56am · Like ·

Christine Michael That's very well written... [via Celcom SMS]
Yesterday at 2:30am · Like ·

Dianna Crowley Adams One of the best of the best, John!
Yesterday at 2:44am · Like ·

Pamela Busch Beautiful word picture!!
Yesterday at 3:55am · Like ·

Ariel Peter Pan is so Hot

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Ariel, so hot.
Yesterday at 4:51am · Comment · Like
Gina Oceguera and Mike Keville like this.

John Tiong Chunghoo Ariel's song:
Yesterday at 5:02am · Like · 1 person ·

James Hannan At first I thought somehow that this referred to Ariel the sprite in Shakespeare's The Tempest. But after I listened to the song, I realized it was not. Peterpan huh, the boy who always is a boy! Also I Googled him and see that there is quite a sex scandal involving him. With the Internet nothing is secret and nothing is sacred.
Yesterday at 7:54am · Like ·

Christa Sihombing so hot....
Yesterday at 8:14am · Like ·

Gert Sønderby The internet regards secret as an invitation to dig - sacred as a malfunction to be ignored. This is by design.
9 hours ago · Like ·
James Hannan Ah yes, by design. But by whose design? The Internet creators. The Internet
Humans in general. Specific kind of humans. Or other kinds -muckrakers, buckmakers - which can easily be named. Perhaps as we say all of the above.
3 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

Gert Sønderby The internet was originally created by DARPA - one of the US Dept. of Defense's research sections. It was intended to survive a nuclear holocaust and serve as a command and control network for the US military 'after the bomb'. As such, it is all but unkillable.

The attitude to secrets and holy cows and censorship - that's emergent behaviour. And a fine bonus, too, I feel.

James Hannan Thanks but yes, I know that. As a matter of fact I and much of my family worked or work with the DoD. Military & paramilitary & Intelligence
Community . ARPA - Advanced Research Projects Agency. D = Defense. DoD = Dept of Defense.
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

Robert D. Wilson Remember, artificial intelligence is already being accomplished. Someday in the future, computers will be able to think and reason.
And exceed the intelligence of humankind, BUT not infallible. In the wrong hands, we could be hosed:: our identities, bank accounts, personal information erased, altered, and for what purpose. That is the scary part. W Science has to be careful. What good came from the inventing of atomic weapons?
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo between the computer that is controlled by us and a computer that can think and act on its own is just a "button". my friend, that is very real. wonder who would be the first to fix that "button".
2 hours ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Well look on the bright side if computors become intelligent enough they could go to work for us and bring home the bacon..samething with robots
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo what if they decide otherwise...Lorraine....dont forget they think on their own...divorced from our influences.
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo it is same like God giving us all the free will.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Their only as good as the informantion implanted.It's the same way with us.
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo yes of course....
John Tiong Chunghoo yes of they can wage a war with us.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Gert Sønderby Re. good from atomic weapons: Atomic energy. A mostly-clean source of power that stems from the same processes first used to blow shit up. It's part of a solid strategy for solving the energy conundrum we face today: How to wean ourselves of oil. The answer clearly is not to get hooked on uranium - that will eventually run out as well - but to use it to get free of oil so that we can develop the other sources: Solar, hydro, wind, and fusion.

Once fusion arrives (call it 2040 or so) our energy woes are mostly done with. Hydrogen will never be in short supply, and as long as there is hydrogen, fusion will provide power no matter where we are.

Perhaps even enough power to make some of the more outlandish plans for saving the climate work - not that the -climate- needs help, in and of itrself - but we do, elsewise the climate will mess us up. :-)
2 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan AI is much more difficult than the sci-fi writers suggest. I worked at
the Harvard Computing Center on Automatic Translation of Russian to English. Sounded rather straightforward at the begnning. But not so. Then when I
was with the government and later as a contractor I was also involved in related endeavors. Of course the Intelligence community has probably progressed much further but since so many of my family are "in it" I rather doubt it. Further of course but "much" - ???
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black That would be something now wouldn't it.I think my computor is out to get me because it acts irraticly and aggravates me to no end..I'm waiting for the day when ''we" go a few rounds and then it pops off with" I'm just playing with your head' I hope it doesn't get that idea..I guess I had better come up with a name for and its companion"Mouse" hahaha!!!
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo My friend, we are still far from it. Your computer is nothing but still just a toy.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black But it knows how to tick me off!!!!
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo hahaha that's why it is just a toy.
2 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan There is a greedy saying in the business world: "Whoever has the most toys
at the end wins". Toys are undefined and the end is unspecified.
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo James you did not get the point. sorry.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Tinkebell was the name of the fairy in Disney's PETER PAN.Ariel was the name of the mermaid in Disney's LITTLE MERMAID.
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Ariel is the boy in the Indonesian pop group Peterpan whose overidding libido everybody in the Malay Archipelago can drool over through one touch of their little handphone.
2 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan Yes - I found that out after I listened to the video and then Googled him. Peterpan huh?
I wish him good luck. Or maybe I don't.
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

James Hannan Thanks. I am very familiar with Peter Pan in all its incarnations and even more so with
The Tempest seeing myself as Prospero.
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

James Hannan Tinker Bell is also the ISP address of one of my best friends - not on
2 hours ago via Email Reply · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black I never heard of this version.The poet Percy Byshe Shelly was nicknamed Ariel.When it comes to information on the internet: Knowledge is power and wisdom developes from knowledge and experience.As James toy reference implies using a well known quote I might add that it isn't the amount of the toys someone has but its how these toys are used.I like the internet because of its wide range of knowledge on the information highway but my little toy computor better start behaving and cooperating with me or its going to go flying out the window followed by the mouse with its wireless tail tucked behind it.Is there such a thing as computorcide?
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Lorraine you sure are a "great computer" with all our inbuilt humour.
2 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan Hmmm. I know what the Malay Archipelago is. I know what/who Ariel is in
The Tempest. I saw the video. I know that this Ariel is the lead singer of the group Peterpan. I am very familiar with Peter Pan the book and movie. I know about the sex video. And one touch of the hand. Is that it? Perhaps.
Can you explain it perhaps in guarded terms. Perhaps a word game!!! Maybe I
did get it? Maybe I should find the video online!Maybe....
about an hour ago via Email Reply · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo
about an hour ago · Like ·

Robert D. Wilson The future is beyond comprehension. The time will come when labor will be done by robotics and those who previously served as laborers will become unvalued and useless, forced into a form of exploitation to eat, etc. The computers will eventually be buttonless, self sufficient, virus unable to stop. We created atomic power and it's waste lasts for centuries. Pray that they don't pull the button on us. Or, if the educated and rich can control computers and have no need to work, they will atrophy and become jabbabthe huts having no need for appendages, travel, etc.
56 minutes ago via Email Reply · Like ·

James Hannan " touch...of their little.." I guess that is it. I saw and heard him.
As Prospero I prefer the sprite Ariel in the Tempest but still I enjoyed
it a lot and I must see the sex tapes. Well, not must but I may.
48 minutes ago via Email Reply · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Robert,if the 2012 prophecies come true we won't have to worry about the future.
45 minutes ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black John when it comes to celebrity behavior bad behavior sells copies.And keeps them in the public eye.I just read the article.The fact that it was an Islamic group that imposed the anti--pornographic laws based on their religious views--well doesn't that say something to you??Michael Jackson,Marilyn Monroe and various other well known personalities were no saints..there are scandals all the time..look at Tiger Woods recently, but to imprison these young people just because they feel their youthful urges doesn't make them bad..just makes them normal human beings.I'm very open minded and understanding but the authorities can just pull the video off the internet and TV.It's too bad that freedom of expression and pursuit of one's happiness isn't allowed by their strict rules imposed on others.Are Ariel and his girlfriend Moslem??What is taboo for one religious group is generally allowable for other people.The saying goes: Different strokes for different folks.This is where conflicts begin and I see this one becoming a moral and political hot potatoe.Maybe Ariel and his girlfriend should apply for political asylum and come to the US.
28 minutes ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Lorraine, Indonesia is the world largest muslim country and aerial and his fling are both very muslim.
10 minutes ago · Like ·

20 minutes ago · Like ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Well I just looked up the scandal on line.WHOEVER downloaded the video is in violation of privacy and had no right what so ever to invade these young peoples' bed room.Moslems are allowed 4 wives if they can support them.Sex isn't illegal...if it wasn't for carnal knowledge most life forms wouldn't be in existence.It's the Yin and Yang of the universe..opposites that complete .As long as they are consenting adults then their private business should stay behind closed doors.The only time sex is illegal if it's child pornagraphy or a case of rape.
4 minutes ago · Like ·

Why company fails

Many companies flounder because they spend too much time talking about their own weaknesses rather than their strenghts. They forget that stressing on strengths will eventually rub out weaknesses because strengths inspire confidence and confidence in any undertaking works miracles.
2 hours ago ·
Comment · Like
Sunah Mogasoa, Angela Ling, Peggy Johnson and 6 others like this.

Amir Hafizi Well said, John Tiong!
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo A few who work in an environment where the blind is leading the blind discovered they have a lot to gain from talking about other people's weaknesses, so day in and day out they capitalise on that until everythng goes down the drain including their own career.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Jo Ann Massey Miller So very true... I also feel that often the leadership in companies fail to talk to the people that actually do the work....and therefore make uninformed decisions..
2 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo The truth is most of them are taken for a ride... if you know what i mean.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Marc Di Saverio I tend to agree John

hn Tiong Chunghoo i am seldom wrong in my observation.
about an hour ago · Like ·

Jerome Thompson Courage begets strength, fear begets weakness.Ultimately courage begets SUCCESS, fear begets FAILURE.
about an hour ago · Like ·

James Hannan "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave one only suffers death but once." Shakespeare
15 minutes ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo sorry it should be flounder instead of flaunder
10 minutes ago · Like ·

Friday, June 25, 2010

Haiku on American freedom

I love freedom
fifty stars of

Obama's haiku

10,000th road project
the president's handshake warms up
the way to our recovery

respect your papa
president with runaway papa
tells Americans

Haiku on Michelangelo's Sculptures

Lorenzo de Medici tomb
frivolous as life
the nake carvings

Lorenzo de Medici tomb
cold and quiet as stone
the man in thought

Michelangelo's Moses
every inch the marbles shine
bright as commandments

Pope Julius II
Michelango's genius
carved in rocks...

dead christ on mary's lap
the world's sins.

michelangelo's naked boy
real as his

Michelangelo's Mother and Child
heavy on the lap
the way of God

Michelangelo's David
pride weighs heavy
on the shoulders

Michelangelo's cross carrying Christ
a trophy
in his hands

Michelangelo's Angel with Candlestick
lighting it up
for the good new

auguste rodin's pense
eyes clothed with
tenderness of the face

Haiku written last week

zen garden
i the only stone
that moves

between North
and South Korea
a river of tears

why are we still around after so long?
because one minute of God's
is a zillion of ours

why cant man see God?
because he cannot survive a zillionth
of his second

Pride Month
looking at everybody
in the eyes when talking...

rustic mill
the sound of water and
clothes washing

longest day
celebrating it with Fifa
football matches...

michelangelo's naked boy
as real as his own

Michelangelo's rebellious slave
in the stone
he is cast

Michelangelo's rebellious slave
from the stone
his longing for freedom

Michelangelo's Saint Paul
one small step
in the direction of Christ

Michelangelo's Saint Peter
even from the stone
the softness of his look

Giuliano de Medici tomb
a disciplinarian of a million
other things

Giuliano de Medici tomb
a disciplinarian hard
as stones

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pudu Jail Haiku

Pudu Jail
as the wall crumbles
my lips ramble "et tu brute"

8 hours ago · Comment · Like
Michael Stevens, Madeleine Ann Eugenie McMahon, Frankie Lau and 8 others like this.

John Tiong Chunghoo The oldest prison in Malaysia torn down last night:
8 hours ago · Like ·

Gina Oceguera wow more than 100 years!!!interesting......
7 hours ago · Like ·

Gurcharan Singh Anand woh all dungens should be raised good.....
7 hours ago · Like · 1 person ·

Monday, June 21, 2010

Haiku - Man the Real Alien

the real aliens
on earth

Yesterday at 11:28am · Comment ·LikeUnlikeSharifah Aini, Bao Nguyen, Frankie Lau and 22 others like this.

Arnie Tahir hmmm ...just got 2 agree...:)
Yesterday at 11:30am ·

James Lee Jobe Well said, John.

Yesterday at 11:33am ·

Elizabeth Patrick Large statement to accomplish with six simple words.....excellent, John!
Yesterday at 11:54am ·

Muhammad Rafique Farooqi it is true, .......
Yesterday at 11:54am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo many animals have been driven to extinction and now earth is begging the reckless aliens, not to do any more harm, not to suffocate her. each day her fever rises a little.
Yesterday at 12:03pm ·

Adrian J Nyaoi how very true, and very poetically put.
Yesterday at 12:12pm · LikeUnlike · Rolef von Swedenborg I would think that extinction is in the Natural order of Life...
Yesterday at 12:25pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Rolef, that is not something very nice to know some animals were hunted until they are no more.
Yesterday at 12:31pm ·

Rolef von Swedenborg Yes of course some animals were but also cataclysmic evolution has eliminated species Humanoids included and we as a people were not responsible. That is what I meant.... Humans are not responsible for every tragedy.
Yesterday at 12:35pm ·

Madeleine Ann Eugenie McMahon I disagree. We may well be, and too frequently are our own worst enemy, we are in the chain of existence beings endowed with free will...with the capacity of discerning right and wrong. Therefore, it is with humanity that responsible stewardship belongs. Let's be responsible and make choices for all life.
Yesterday at 1:08pm ·

Adrian J Nyaoi extinction is the the natural destination of all form of life; but I would not want to blamed for speeding up the the journey
Yesterday at 1:13pm ·

James Harwood It's a far more complex issue than we think - we have destroyed the habitat in which the Giant Panda can survive, yet we insist on keeping the last few remaining pandas alive in captivity. We can try to be individually responsible, but do we REALLY have the power to stop this kind of thing?
Yesterday at 1:15pm ·

Adrian J Nyaoi Life is not an infinity. It has an ending. We as human; through our interference with nature bring that ending nearer.
11 hours ago ·

Rolef von Swedenborg What I meant is that Humans are not responsible for every life form that has gone extinct. Yes, we have done a lot of things and in the context of spiritual evolution it is something we can learn from. I do not think it is a good idea to trash Humans .. We do not need to have another extinction happening (humans)
11 hours ago ·

Muhammad Rafique Farooqi earth has its immune system i think it is working, by raising the temperature ,earth quakes tusnami, tornados, in order to eradicate infestation of human on its surface....... ultimately we are responsible for this due to our unfriendly behaviour towards Eco system........and we know earth will finally get rid of man
11 hours ago ·

Adrian J Nyaoi not all form of extinction are due to human act; many in the past were due to natural disaster. But of late human play a major role in speeding up that process. Not taking the blame is akin to hiding the head under the sand.
11 hours ago ·

Muhammad Rafique Farooqi we will disappear like any unknown method.....
11 hours ago ·

Rolef von Swedenborg We do not know what is going extinct except for the larger animals. Things are evolving also and we are finding new species at the same time. Life is wonderful, many things to learn and see.
11 hours ago ·

Maya Lyubenova it's not only about the extincted species - look what we are doing to ourselves - men to men are like aliens from different universes
11 hours ago ·

Adrian J Nyaoi For all known species we know most that are threaten; not just large mammals; The fact that new species are discovered also means that some would have been extinct before they were discovered. Life is wonderful; enjoy it well we can.
the killing between man and man just show that we are not different from other species where domination by the stronger member of the species may result in killing others who put up a fight.
11 hours ago ·

Maya Lyubenova it seems that the end of the human zoo is near:

Adrian J Nyaoi that is a bit pessimistic

Maya Lyubenova well, it depends, on the point of view :~D
11 hours ago ·

Rolef von Swedenborg Life has been around for a long, long, long, time and will be around for a long time to come ..We are just at the Kindergarten level and maybe we need to change our diaper.. :-)
11 hours ago ·

Gert Sønderby Humanity is not alien to Earth - we evolved here just as did all other species on the planet. What we are, is -different-. We can think in the abstract, build tools (and what tools!) and that makes us the only species who can truly adapt any environment to us, as opposed to adapting to it.
As a consequence, humanity as a species is causing a mass-...

extinction-event, possibly similar in magnitude to the one that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, and have been for several tens of thousands of years. Nowadays, it is reaching a crescendo, with us shifting the climate and composition of the air and sea, rather than merely hunting animal species to extinction.

We are not just the disease, however, but also the cure. Stewardship of the Earth, as in, taking active control of and protecting the resources of our planet, is a notion that is gaining traction with a lot of thinkers. The next few centuries will be crucial. We're headed for the fall of an empire - the West's dominance is coming to an end, and may do so drastically, but in so doing it may actually open the door to a new paradigm of resource use. We shall see what time tells us.
10 hours ago ·

John Potts Scientists believe life on Earth was seeded by extreme elliptical comets! These loop all over the Milky Way - transmitting organic material incubated in nova.

the last
pit stop...
— jp
9 hours ago ·

Gert Sønderby Um, no. They don't. All it took was the presence of a number of chemicals, and a lot of time, both of which were abundant back then.
This is an excellent primer on the subject:

Primordial soup...

Fat forms a bubble of chemicals
Life is created

Also, novas generate elements that would otherwise not be present in our universe. They do not, however, generate organic material, or even comets (which are thought to form during the accretion of the solar system IIRC).

In the beginning
There was only hydrogen
Novas changed this.

Dying stars
Created all solid matter
We are star dust.
8 hours ago ·

John Potts Yes, comet elipticals, sling shots all over Creation! Do some research, check Astonomer Royal, Fred Hoyle to start with. The primordial soup has been a problem since it was first conjectured - not enough time. Think about it, one universal organism. The imminent deity.. MULTIBEING!

all around my plate
fierce crab retro-engineered
red wine tastes like rust...

— jp

8 hours ago ·

Peggy Johnson Excellent John;
God is probably scratching his head thinking the same thing :)
7 hours ago ·

Gert Sønderby "Mainstream evolutionary biology rejects Hoyle's interpretation of statistics, and supporters of modern evolutionary theory, such as Richard Dawkins, refer to this as "Hoyle's fallacy"." - wikipedia page on Fred Hoyle*.

Hoyle was not even a biologist, but an astronomer, and a fine one indeed. But just like Dawkins can make sense about biology and ...
See More
spout utter nonsense about religion, so Hoyle could be a prominent astronomer without much clue about biochemistry.

To let the haiku for rest for a minute:

There once was a prominent physicist
Who did not believe the biologists.
They showed he was wrong
And that should have been all
But he keeps getting callled by creationists!


7 hours ago ·
John Potts

Yes, the universe as a functional hole. How else could it be? Of course we have many other mediums of transmission of universal intel - starlight, for an obvious interseller gossip facility! Then, the smaller things . . .
in the primordial pond
not just ducks...


— jp
6 hours ago ·

Pamela Busch

Fevered earth
reflects our
fevered minds
5 hours ago ·

John Potts This is why haiku!
5 hours ago ·

Kathy Earsman Quite right, John.
4 hours ago ·

Sandy Hyndman Hey love this John..and I am one of them ..Nanu Nanu..thank you so much for this posting xxxx
3 hours ago ·

Pamela Busch Fevered earth
reflects our
fevered hearts . . .

Su Huo Soon i still US to be human beings and the aliens......animals , virus and bacteria
15 hours ago · Like ·

John Potts
Feeling alienated is a common problem in the modern world. BUT. This is just a mental construct. The reality is that we're all embedded in the matrix of the tissue of the universe - and ever more shalt be thus!
the moles are lively...
See More
14 hours ago · Like ·

Kathy Earsman Gert, I was speaking tongue-in-cheek re humans being alien. Of course we are of this Earth. Well, of this solar system anyway; the iron in our blood comes from long dead suns ... we are 'built of chemicals distilled in constellation's bowl. But yes, we are 'alien' in that we have the power to destroy life on this planet.
I talk your language, Gert, as one of the vast band of people around the world preparing for peak oil and climate change. We are also witnessing, as you say, the collapse of international economies and trade. Big trouble ahead, not in a hundred years, folks, but now.
14 hours ago · Like ·

John Potts Cheery old ʇɐq, innit?

— jp
14 hours ago · Like ·

Kathy Earsman 'Tis high time we grew up, and faced reality, innit?
14 hours ago · Like ·

John Potts
rabbi grebe
ye old lobster pot
wove out o' wattery dreams und insect ...
See More
14 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan One alien alone; where are my others; where is my home?
13 hours ago · Like ·

John Potts "Don't lock others out of your heart through fear and vanity - wear it on you sleeve.. NOW!" - anon

— jp
4 hours ago · Like ·

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Obama on Father's Day

be grateful to papa
the President with run away papa
tells Americans

Happy Father's Day 2010

dad's love
tonight my longing runs
the length of the river

13 hours ago · Comment · Like
Gina Oceguera, Nahid Kabiri, Frankie Lau and 21 others like this.

Bette Norcross Wappner very beautiful, john.
13 hours ago · Like ·

JB Mulligan Very nice, thanks.
13 hours ago · Like ·

Peggy Johnson meemories...beautiful John!
13 hours ago · Like ·

Annabel Haldane Nash This is so beautiful and tender, thanks John.
10 hours ago · Like ·

Madeleine Ann Eugenie McMahon In general, the American don't GIVE GIVE A SHIT! For the "DON'T GIVE A SHITS' it's about convenience and expediency :-((((
9 hours ago · Like ·

Carole Ann Borges A lovely and tender sentiment John.
7 hours ago · Like ·

James Hannan Are you focusing in on Fathers' Day, Maem? Or did it just
push a button in this general observation? I would really like to know. And to learn what you are pointng to? Without this info, I really don't "get" it. Jim
7 hours ago · Like ·

Bao Nguyen Yes! Thank you so much! ♥♪♫•*¨*•♪ Happy Father's Day and have a beautiful Sunday!
3 hours ago · Like · 1 person ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Thank you Baosan.
2 hours ago · Like ·

Catrina Heart fabulous haiku John...Happy Dad's Day!!!
2 hours ago · Like ·

Gina Oceguera Oh John I love it!! it touched my heart!!Happy Father's Day!! I still have my Father...God loves me very much...My Beloved TITO is 83!!! and he is a very bright , humble, and healthy guy....Have a magical Sunday!!!!
53 minutes ago · Like ·

Nahid Kabiri ُSplendid! Following the roots of your feelings in the future ,rather than flat inspectaions of the past...
6 minutes ago · Like ·

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama talks about mending roads that create thousands of jobs

united states' recovery
we mend roads to give us
a solid footing

Barack Obama In Columbus, Ohio, to mark this summer’s first Recovery Act milestone—the 10,000th Recovery Act road project to get underway. Listen to live remarks at 12:15 p.m. ET

Mage wappa haiku

mage wappa
mom's love that follows me
to school every day

Art and crafts] This is the traditional lunch box made of Akita cedar, called “Mage-wappa(曲げわっぱ).” “Mage”means “bend”(曲げる), and “wappa” means “circle”(輪), which derives from the process to make the thinly shaving cedar bent in a circular pattern. Originally, it is said that the wood cutters invented magewappa as their lunch boxes. In 1600’s, the feudal lord, Satake Yoshinobu(佐竹義宣) in Akita prefecture suggested samurai warriors to produce magewappa as side job in order to get over poor life. I like magewappa because it is not only beautiful (the food looks tasty!) but also practical. It is breathable material to keep rice tasty: not too wet, not too dry. It is also so light to carry. In addition, it has bactericidal property to keep food well. (Ellie)

Fifa World Cup haiku

barbeque talk
all the hot Fifa matches
we thought we would have won

Firefly River Cruise

firefly river cruise
the glimmer of hope
in their eyes

firefly river cruise
the glimmer of hope
in the couple's eyes

Firefly River Cruise

firefly river cruise
the glimmer of hope
in their eyes

firefly river cruise
the glimmer of hope
in the couple's eyes

Father's Day Haiku

dad's favourite river
tonight my longing runs
its length

Haiku for Today

Newsmen normally dont spread rumours or gossips because they are the ones who have to unravel the truths behind them. So when you encounter a newsman going all out to spread a gossip or rumour, he is basically out to cause injury and nothing else.

a bee all out to sting
the newsman who


I am a great admirer of President Obama. This prompted me to visit his childhood school in Menteng Jakarta not long after he was elected president. This was what I found. Enjoy;

Obama childhood school visit
a solitary basketball court warms me up
in the evening chill

Obama childhood school visit
a solitary basketball court warms up
the evening chill

Cheryl Clark Some people might prefer a president with a single-minded American focus, but I'm really happy ours has a global perspective. We're all in this together.
Yesterday at 8:15pm · Like ·

Hadiah Hamzah Malaysian are very friendly.
Yesterday at 8:20pm · Like ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes Sorry ...I do not feel the same about Obama ... he is robbing from us .. and destroying us ... but still yet ....My FAITH is not in man but in the Power of God so I lift mr obama up in prayer
Yesterday at 8:29pm · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Obama becomes my hero because of his superb eloquence.
Yesterday at 8:40pm · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Rhonda you are great. that is the spirit that christians should cultivate.
Yesterday at 8:41pm · Like ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes John, I agree if I truly believe that God is Sovereign how can I not see Obama as part of the plan ??? and the True Spirit of Christ is that Obama is precious in God's sight that not the truth? Yes it is! Therefore I am commanded by scriptures to love him and pray for him ...
Yesterday at 8:48pm · Like ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes It is obtaining the Spirit of Christ toward all humanity .... regardless of sex, race
Yesterday at 9:13pm · Like ·

Carole McDonnell Lovely poem, John.
Yesterday at 9:15pm · Like ·

Frankie Lau jOHN, did u manage to trace his birth cert in that school? I don't really know why ppl are so crazy going after that paper...
Yesterday at 9:40pm · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Frankie, they want to know whether he was muslim when he was registered. He late stepfather was a muslim. When i was there coincidentally there was a magazine which interviewed his family's maid who said that Obama actually was brought up during those years in the muslim faith. So he should know a lot about Islam.
Yesterday at 10:15pm · Like ·

Frankie Lau Thanks for sharing facts, John. That means it would be even better for him as a person...what each of us bECOME would not just happen by accident, yes?
Yesterday at 10:25pm · Like ·

Suleman Pervez Sweet!
15 hours ago · Like ·

Carmen Sterba I heard that Obama went to a Catholic
School in Indonesia. I don't know the
source though.
13 hours ago · Like ·

Carmen Sterba John, your article showing different sides of Jakarta and mentioning both of Obama's schools and his love of basketball, was interesting and balanced.

I found a source from ABC network. About Obama's
schools that you visited. The Muslim one and the Catholic one. One of the many rumors about him was that he attended a radical Muslim school. This article sets it straight by interviewing people at his school:

By the way, he did not grow up with his father and his mother said his father was not religious. Obama's Kenyan grandfather, who he never met, was the Muslim in the family. I don't know about his cousins and half-sister, but after all, they are all normal human beings. I wonder if any president was so vilified before he even began his job. He didn't even have a "honeymoon period" at the beginning of his office.

Americans are as divided as they were during the 1960s, but it's rarely about peace or war. Arguments continue in Congress about national health care is necessary to help the minority people like those in poverty, the disabled and the elderly even the middle class since insurance and hospital care is outrageously expensive. The other half say national health care is socialism. Another topic is whether gun owners should pack (carry) the guns everywhere they want. The arguments for guns sounds like the Wild West to me.
9 hours ago · Like ·

Frankie Lau @Carman, i find you amazing. you prefer to go to the bottom of truth. Brava
9 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo No President in this one decade can afford to have "honeymoon" because the United States is in such a mess. Somebody needs to "oil" America.
9 hours ago · Like ·

Dennis Chua Eow Seong Only China can rule the world. China is the true king of the world. Heehee.
7 hours ago · Like ·

John Tiong Chunghoo this haiku works better I think:

Obama childhood school visit
a solitary basketball court warms up
the evening chill
7 hours ago · Like ·

Friday, June 18, 2010

Land below the Wind

John is glad that he has finally visited most parts of Sabah after last week's sojourn in Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Semporna, and Tawau. He had earlier done Kota Kinabalu, Beaufort, Kudat, Ranau, Poring Hot Spring, Kota Belud among others. Perhaps one day I would climb Mount Kinabalu. It should be quite a feat.

Land below the wind
every corner i turn to
a different smile

Rules of the Arts

One of the rules of the arts should be to learn all the rules and then break them when necessary to let the genius in you comes through. Rules should not become a prison for the mind, binding it. They should be about how to release the mind so that it soars in the sky of excellence.

Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort and Spa

Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort and Spa
trailing the mountain range
our laughter and joy

by john tiong Chunghoo

While the younger ones run around browsing for clues to their treasure hunt, I spend mine learning to paint batik - in the sweltering heat that sweeps through Langkawi at this time of the year in March.
All morning, it has been delightful to see my red and orange dyes spread out to become a stunning hisbiscus on a little piece of cottont. Just like the holiday here that has turned into a thrilling experience at the four starred Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort with its excellent back to nature feel.
A bewildering spectre of nature unfolds right in front of us as we are swept away with joy by the breeze, the emerald cresting of the sea, and a well manicured resort garden of frangipani, coconut palms, bougainvillea and the flame of the forest.
There is a grandeur in the Mat Cincang Mountain - our resort is at its foothills - that one cannnot resist admiring especially its riveting range that trails over the sky
like the scrawling of divinity.
The mountain, at 710 metres, is the second highest peak in Langkawi. It looms over the Northeastern part of the island
with ever ready stories and legends to awe the most well travelled tourists.
The rock formations which are more than 550 million years old has earned the island the first Unesco Geopark status in South East Asia two years ago.
We have visited its primary atraction, the Seven Wells
a series of little waterfalls that flow over huge boulders,
forming well like pools, that have since the old days been believed to be the bath places of fairies.
In the hot season, the water can run quite dry but in the wet season from August to October, the waterfall can be quite a sight oozing down the musculine looking slopes.
It is almost a blessing when we found that there is a cable car service from the Oriental Village nearby, a quaint shopping and dining enclave that gives us a chance to go to the peak of the mountain to savour the colourful landscape of the island.
Go for the morning forest walk at the foothills of Gunung Mat Cincang as you will be able to catch a sight of the the world’s smallest orchids as well as pitcher plants.
Two hundred over bird species could be found
in Langkawi. So if you are a birdwatcher, that is a boon.
Animals on the island include the Mousedeer, the world’s only gliding monkey, the Flying Lemur, the Dusky-Leaf Monkey some of whom would come visiting at the Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort, the long-tailed Macaque and Slow Loris. Giant Squirrels, Flying foxes, Civet Cats and the Pangolin. add colours to the adventures in Langkawi.

It is the high season in Langkawi between November and April as caucasians escape the harsh winter at home to savour the tropical weather here.
Apart from their robust laugh and cheers over beer and coffee on the beaches, the island also resounds with the
calls and chirpings of migratory birds from the Northern hemisphere that all add up to the charms of the island.
At our resort , it has been a hive of activity. Waitors and waitresses tell us it has been a busy season. Breakfast
and dinner usually mean hours of walk, serving.
Guests lull on reclining chairs on the beach as well as around the resort’s fanciful shaped swimming pool, reading or just doing nothing while others swim in the bay fringed by the Gunung Mat Cincang at one side and Pantai Kok on the other.
The beach bar we go in the afternoon is also swarmed with men, women and children in swimming trunks, sharing stories of their adventures over beer, coffee and snacks.
The batik hut where I have spent the whole morning has also attracted a small group of guests, some to talk about their adventures with the batik teacher Azizi Alyas while
others just concentrate on the art of batik making.
One of the women makes quite an impression on me as she quietly dispenses her dyes on a meditative looking buddha.
Most of the guests here have paid RM65 for their lessons
from the master Azizi Alyas here afterwhich they keep the batik painting or leave it here for sale.


Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort is laid out like a park.
Be observant and you will be rewarded with the sights of hornbills, dusky leaf monkeys, squirrels and eagles.
If you are lucky, you may even sport the brown-winged kingfishers that make the mangroves between the Mutiara Burau Bay and Berjaya Resorts here their homes.
Mutiara Burau Bay Resort cabanas are set among well manicured greenery.
The best part is plants like the Paku Bogak are labelled with vital descriptions for children to learn about their
uniqueness. At the cafe, guests are also told to be mindful of monkeys that might come a-visiting, hoping they could have a bite of their food.
Some of the more expensive chalets such as the two Barau suites are equipped with round jaccuzi on its terrace. The suites with two rooms good for four adults and two children straddle the hillside with balconeys that afford a good view of the sea. The night can be slept away with breeze blowing in from the sea.


We are served fresh barbecued seafood; fishes, oysters, prawns and crabs, and surprisingly sushi at the Seashell Beach Cafe with live music from some exotic land in the evening. Part of the restaurant is open air lending it a very back to nature experience.
For those who do not wish too much of hotel food, there are local stores that serve local food right outside the hotel gate.
And if you are adventurous, you can even walk the stretch of Pantai Kok from here where we discover very delicious Pasembor that has earned her rave reviews among national papers.
The Thai palace set built for the 1999 Jodie Foster’s movie Anna and the King filmed here many years back still stands but in a dilapidated condition, doors, and roofs collapsing. It used to be a destination spot but it is said that a new hotel would be built over the site. Hopefully, with Langkawi’s pristine beauty and plentiful of adventures, dinning and lengendary spots, more directors would throng the beaches for their movies.

Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort
Burau Bay, LangkawI
Kedah Darul rizuan

Drive towards Pantai Kok, Northeast of the Airport. It takes about half hour to reach. From the jetty, it would take about an hour. Drive west towards Mukim Kedawang then towards the airport direction. From there, take the northeast or Pantai Kok route. See map here:

Nature here beckons especially the lush greenery with Gunung Mat Cincang as backdrop. Oriental Village offers a place to shop as well as a cable car service up the mountain to view the landscape of Langkawi. Telaga Harbour offer a convenient stopover for fusion and food from other parts of the world. The mysterious Seven Wells in the mountain is worth trekking up to have a look as well as swim in.
Sightseeing information available here:

A simple set up with obliging staff that ensures your stay is memorable.

One hundred and fifty wooden cabanas in all with
122 Superior Cabanas, 26 Studio Cabanas and two Burau Suites. The suites are sea facing while the others are either sea or garden facing. To view promotional rates please visit www.

Most guests prefer the Seri Mutiara Restaurant & Terrace and the Seashell Beach and Cafe with the Oyster Bar and Lounge near the lobby as a convenient third during check out and check in. The hotel’s Dewan Impian that can hold up to 120 people for convention or parties. Themed back to nature parties are welcomed here.

An outdoor spa to have yourself massaged by experienced massuse. A recreation desk that attends to your holiday needs such as jetski, surfing, parasailing, cruising, airport transfers, jungle trekking, internet, as well as learning a traditional game like 'congkak among others.

Staff makes you feel at home in a resort you are left to experience all its magic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Murkowski Resolution

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced a resolution that would gut the Clean Air Act and increase America's oil dependence by billions of barrels.

Murkowski Resolution
murky costly chaining Americans
to foreign hands...

Gulf Oil Disaster Poems and Haiku

But make no mistake: we will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.

Gulf oil disaster
are you rising to
its challenge?
floating over water?
refusing to be downed?
a top layered
spill the beans
on who should
really pay, and
pay dearly
signing it with
black bold strokes


drill baby drill
let it now be just an echo
like the last election


Every race needs to bangkit. it should not be for only one race. A real leader teaches and drives all malaysians to bangkit above insecurities, build the common good and make this country proud and strong. there is enough opportunities in this country to build their sweet homes. In a multi racial nation, it is very easy to sow discord among the races as well as uniting them. I prefer the latter. Bangkit Najib, you are on the right track.

Tawau Bugis Haiku

Tawau bugis bugis everywhere
but where is your phinishi
phinishi, my favourite phinishi

Dumpling Festival Haiku

Dumpling Festival
i ask for One Malaysia

inspired by my friend's posting below:
Chow Ee-Tan Chow has never seen so many different types of dumplings in her kitchen! Mom bought more than RM100 worth of `zongzi!! There are `pork zong', `chicken zong', `hakka zong', `cantonese zong', `sambal zong', `nyonya zong', `crystal zong'..!! well, Happy Dumpling Festival! *burp*

1Malaysia is an on-going campaign announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on September 16, 2008, calling for the cabinet, government agencies, and civil servants to more strongly emphasize ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance (wikipedia).

about the dumpling festival

Rules about Rules

One of the rules of the arts should be to learn all the rules and then break them when necessary to let the genius in you comes through. Rules should not become a prison for the mind, binding it. They should be about how to release the mind so that it soars in the sky of excellence.

Bettie DuChemin Ellens Brilliant John!
8 hours ago ·

Michael Stevens I agree with Bettie: Brilliant!
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike · .

Margaret Agusta I agree absolutely. Rules are tools toward creation and because the very nature of the arts is subversive (toward the exploration of possibilities beyond those already set out) people in the arts will always need to bend and stretch those tools and even break them when necessary to achieve the artistic potential inherent in the creative process.
7 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom "Break the rules if doing so is interesting." --Cheryl Clark
7 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person · .

Frankie Lau Excellent and thank u, John. Rules and Laws are not meant to be so absolute and so rigid that they keep us in bondage....we don't just learn the rules of flying....we Soar, WOW! How FREE ;D
7 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·

Tarek Kawa The creation comes after breaking the rules and then this new creation becomes the new rule....
7 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·

Yvonne Augustine re-posting this!!!
5 hours ago · LikeUnlike · .

John Tiong Chunghoo thank you Yvonne. Every John's posting is meant for
all humanity. 5 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person ·

John Tiong Chunghoo even if it helps us grow a little bit. it makes my day.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person · .

Catrina Heart well said your logical way of thinking and how you have concluded what you have learned...break it away!!!
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · .

Nhut Nakata Even if there is a rule; there's always an
exemption to the rule!
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person · .

Nahid Kabiri A very good lesson for the beginners , as well as WORN-OUTS!
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike · .John Potts

"Learn all the rules
then use them ...
See More

to stand on."

— jp
30 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Collected from Facebook

Bill Page You have a wonderful mind!

Monday at 6:55pm · Comment · Like · See Wall-to-Wall

Bao Nguyen and Gina Oceguera like this.

John Tiong Chunghoo i think it is a blessing from God.
Monday at 6:58pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo thank you Bill.
Monday at 6:58pm ·

Gina Oceguera i agree tremendously!!! you really do.I admire very much. GOD bless you always.
Tuesday at 12:18am ·

Haiku - Obama meeting old citizens

Barack Obama Hosting a tele-town hall meeting with senior citizens across the country to discuss the new health care law and answer questions. Watch live at 11:40 a.m. ET.

Obama - Senior Citizens meet
looking for a new solution
to an old problem...


Barack Obama Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced a resolution that would gut the Clean Air Act and increase America's oil dependence by billions of barrels.

Murkowski Resolution
murky costly chaining Americans
to foreign hands...


travel reporting
the roads
my treadmill

Sheila Michaels, Bao Nguyen, Sandy Hyndman and 7 others like this.

Sandy Hyndman Cool my John.. was just talking to my neighbour.. want to get back to my gym ..think you might be talking about the roads as a treadmill..but anyways brought this to my mind.. thank you.. work to do but the gym helps the work xx
2 hours ago ·


Myeongdong walk
famous korean actors smile to me
from cardboards

Myeongdong is an upper class shopping enclave in Seoul. It is crowded with Japanese particularly during weekends.

Bernadette Myers, Nahid Kabiri, Tarek Kawa and 9 others like this.

Nhut Nakata Myeongdong is like Ginza in Japan,I heared.
Yesterday at 5:45am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo I was in Ginza but it was in the late 80s, even then Ginza looked more posh and classy than Myeongdong.
Yesterday at 8:07am ·

Christine Michael John, i tried sendng a simple poem/haiku to u ystrday but that sms kept going2 anothr person. Read yr 2.40am haiku this mrng and jst want2let u know that i appreciate it very much. [via Celcom SMS]
Yesterday at 8:16am ·

Nhut Nakata Yes,I think so,too.It's just like an adjective to describe it but not actually the same.I visited Korea years ago and stayed at Lotte hotel in Myeondong and yes,many Japanese tourists in the area.
Yesterday at 8:42am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Seoul is so popular among the Japanese, there are flights from every major Japanese town.
Yesterday at 9:27

Nahid Kabiri Well done John!...I'll crown this tiny one "Depth of Observation".How about that?
10 hours ago ·

Nahid Kabiri Or"OBSERVATINS!"?
10 hours ago ·

James Hannan Sensory overload Ginza
Heard of it then heard it
And saw
2 hours ago ·

Monday, June 7, 2010

Haiku - River Kaveri

River Kaveri
the hindu women loosen their hair
saris and the feelings of guilt

Thomas Fortenberry Love that haiku!!!!!
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez This is the most racy Haiku I've read from you, love it!!!!
49 minutes ago ·

Noreen Long I am sharing this one. Thank you for the imagery this a.m.
25 minutes ago ·

Gina Oceguera beautiful thank you for sharing Dear John san.
3 minutes ago ·


IT sounds like a pilgrimage - travelling by bus over 1,000km in 2½ days to visit four temples, the sacred river Kaveri and a 2,000-year-old dam in Tamil Nadu, India.

Wearing the vibuthi mark — that declared us as Hindus (though we were not) — on our foreheads, we gained access to the sacred sanctums of the temples.

Elsewhere, policemen with machine guns greeted us as it was barely three weeks after the Mumbai terrorist attacks that shook the world late last year.

The atmosphere at the temples was tense. In Madurai, we were refused entry to the Meenakshi Sundareshvara Temple because one of us was carrying a laptop. The policewoman finally relented when an officer convinced her that we were guests of Tamil Nadu Tourism. But the hour-long argument left us with very little time to see the temple thoroughly. Moreover, it was a Friday and the temple closed at 4pm.

Though I entered the sacred shrines at almost every temple we visited, I didn’t do so at Meenakshi because the large crowd waiting to get in proved rather overwhelming.

Everyday, over 10,000 Hindus visit this temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva (incarnated as Sundareshvara) and his consort Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi).

On the temple grounds, I saw a big statue of a calf in a sitting position with its face turned to the main shrine. This was nandi, a heavenly creature that was said to have carried Shiva around. Hindus often whisper their wishes in nandi’s ear so that it would relay them to Shiva.

Devotees lit lamps and placed them in a receptacle at the shrine where there was a smaller nandi statue. In the back was a linga, a spiral image that Hindus believed represented Lord Shiva.

A museum in the temple grounds had statues of the various Hindu gods, especially the various manifestations of Shiva. The central figure was Lord Nataraja (as Shiva, the God Of Dance). There were paintings as well as exotic sculptures of heavenly nymphs.

One particularly stimulating section features ivory carvings of gods and goddesses in dance as well as other more suggestive postures.

Unfortunately, at the time of my visit, all the gopurams (gate towers) of Meenakshi Sundareshvara Temple had been thatched for restoration works.

There are 12 colourful gopurams which, like most gopurams in India, feature a multitude of Hindu gods and sacred animals. The tallest gopuram at the main entrance is 52m high.

On the west side of the temple is the Golden Lotus Tank with stepped banks and a tall brass lamp. It is surrounded by a colonnade with ingenious wall murals of the earthly adventures of Lord Shiva. The ceilings feature circular floral medallions.

Rocky Roads

We had the least problems getting into Jambukeshwara Temple, which we visited barely two hours after touching down in Tiruchirapalli or Trichy as it was more fondly referred to.

To reach the temple, our bus passed through roads and lanes with lots of potholes - November and December are wet months.

The roads were packed with yellow tut-tuts, motorcycles, old and new cars and packed buses as well as cows and goats strolling leisurely along.

I was stricken by the sight of women from the lower castes collecting rubbish and loading them on a cart. The whole scene looked like a page from V.S. Naipaul’s India, A Wounded Civilisation, brought to life.

There were statues at road intersections of historical figures who had contributed to the development of India, like the one of a seated Gandhi wearing a dhoti and reading a book.

The town centre looked like a shanty town as most of the buildings were old. Most of the colour came from temples with towering gopurams, mosques with huge domes and the tall Belgian gothic roof of the Lourdes Church.

The poorer parts of town looked even more depressing. Some grocery stores were nothing more than tiny huts in which oversized owners sat, waiting for customers. One store owner had bottled drinks hanging on the walls of his tiny shop!

Some outlets served coffee, tea and roti prata but our guide Rajan advised us to avoid such eateries in unhygienic surroundings. Sound advice indeed as, on the bus rides in Trichy and Madurai, we saw men simply lifting their dhotis and peeing on the roadside, with scant regard for women passers-by. There was even an open-air toilet.

We didn’t try any of the food and drinks but I had a hot coffee outside the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and at a roadside stall in Madurai. These tasted good and cost only 50 sen. Best of all, I didn’t have a stomach upset after.

Fascinating Temples

Sri Jambukeshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, impressed us with its different sized columns, a startling example of Dravidian architectural symmetry. We were particularly fascinated with a pavilion adorned with shapely heavenly nymphs or apsaras.

The ancient shrine was a dimly-lit and damp stone enclave. The priests chanted as we filed by to look at the sacred linga (a phallic symbol representing Shiva), a natural formation discovered here in ancient times.

Like all ancient Hindu temples, mystery envelops the origins of Sri Jambukeshwara. It was said to have started as a small shrine when the linga was found.

The shrine was expanded upon by the successive rulers of Tamil Nadu especially the Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas who sought the blessings of the Hindu Trinity Gods of Vishnu (Preserver), Brahma (Creator) and Shiva (Destroyer).

I was given flowers by the priests and I took vibuthi from a tray to place on my forehead. Some devotees placed donations on the tray as thanksgiving.

Temples in India are like large caves with specific enclaves, some dimly lit for their gods and goddesses. The many deities, like Shiva, Sundareshvara or Nataraja, are actually reincarnations of the same God through the ages.

According to the Vedas (ancient scriptures), Buddha was Vishnu in his second last reincarnation. Vishnu had also taken the forms of Krishna and Rama and would be reincarnated as Kalki before the end of this cycle of the world.

Temples are also a favourite haunt of beggars who hang around the entrances as well as along the corridors leading to the various shrines.

At the Rock Fort Temple, we saw men placing long rows of banana leaves on the floor. Food would be served later. The temple provides 200 free lunches daily for the poor.

At Sri Jambukeshwara, we saw large piles of clothing donated by the wealthy.

World’s Oldest Dam

During the height of their power from the 9th to 12th Century, the Cholas controlled much of the Indian Ocean and invaded the Sri Vijaya Empire, the precursor of the Malacca and Johor Empires in the Malay Archipelago.
Many of the kings were able rulers. King Karikalan, for instance, is remembered for the dam that he built 2,000 years ago and which still functions today.
The Kallanai or Grand Anicut was constructed out of stone to divert water to irrigate the fertile Kaveri delta, particularly the Thanjavur district.
The dam was further expanded both by the British and the Indian governments and now operates on electricity. A beautiful white and blue bridge has been constructed over the dam, enhancing its appearance.
A statue of Karikalan mounted on a white horse at the entrance of the dam greeted visitors while a colourful statue of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran in traditional garb stood in a park about five minutes away.
The park is a favourite weekend spot for locals, particularly those who love fishing. A little wall at the river bank indicates the flood levels over the last few decades.

Rock Fort Temple

It is simply amazing. Twenty years ago, I climbed the 272 steps leading to the Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur and was so tired after the effort. But I was not even panting when I reached the top of Rock Fort Temple in Trichy — a climb of 423 rocky steps.
Dedicated to Lord Ganesh (Elephant God), the temple sits on an 80-metre stone outcrop. The reward at the end of the climb is a circular space with a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.
The Rock Fort Temple also houses a Shiva temple on the lower outcrop which I didn’t enter as a sign outside read: For Hindus Only.
In one of the enclaves on the way up, an elaborate old wall stone carvings was a supreme example of artwork from a long gone era.

Island Temple

In Srirangam, an island in Trichy, is the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, dedicated to Vishnu (The Preserver). The two parts are connected by a large bridge that offers a panoramic view of Kaveri.
To see the extent of this largest temple complex in the world, we climbed to the top of a building in the fourth wall enclosure from where we could see that the temple complex was as big as a town, with seven walled-in enclosures beginning with one for the poor and beggars, a second for chettiar traders while Brahmins are in the third, fourth and fifth sections. There are 21 grand gopurams, the tallest of which is 73m. This forms the main entrance.
One gopuram is white in colour, in memory of those killed while defending their land from the attack of the Moghuls in the 14th Century. A gold top sanctum marks the most sacred area in the temple, barred to non-Hindus. The main shrine features Vishnu in a sleeping pose under a golden dome.

Cleansing Rituals

Hindus in north India bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges and Indus rivers while those in south India head for the Kaveri to cleanse themselves before making their way to the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Children as well as men and women can be seen bathing here, fully-clothed.
The river bank is known as Aman Madaman Ghat. On the opposite side is a place where the dead are cremated and their ashes scattered in the river. Groups of Brahmins can be seen seated here, chanting together with family of the deceased. There are several shrines, including one where devotees come to pray to the gods of the nine planets.
Barbers have set up businesses here too, to cut hair for men, a necessary rite after a death of an elder in the family.

Direct Flights

AirAsia is the first Malaysian airline to fly direct to Tiruchirapalli. Since its inaugural flight on Dec 1, 2008, the response had been very encouraging, with a 100 per cent load in January. AirAsia offers flights every morning at 7.40am. For details, please visit

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Haiku ...Wailing Wall

Wailing Wall
echoing in me...this
the Chosen People of God

a hug at 50
a lightness that carries
a thousand tons of meaning

Early summer Haiku

early summer
she craves for
last year's tan

Daniel Fernandez Hahaha I like that one. Dedicated to all the beach girls.
2 hours ago ·

Niko Nemoto early summer
time for
annual diet
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo I used to live by the beach facing Andaman Sea in Langkawi. I had a store, pretty much selling sun tan oil to Caucasians who lazed on the beach all day long.
2 hours ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Haha what happened to the store? What happened to the Caucasians?
2 hours ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Niko, it's too late for annual diet. You should start early fall, not early summer hehe
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Fortunately, I left a year before the tsunami struck.
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Phuket Patong beach was almost devastated but has now recovered. Langkawi was affected but thanks to the many outlying islands and mangrove swamps, the main island escaped without much damage.
2 hours ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Lucky for you and lucky for us.
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Coincidentally, I was in Phuket when the tsunami struck. I stayed in a hotel only about 200 metres from the beach.
2 hours ago ·

Niko Nemoto John-san blinks/tanned girls and tsunami/appears alternately

If it's too late/never mind/your big tummy
2 hours ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Hahahaha Thank you Imouto-san. I'm imagining John-san blinking and confused whether he sees tan girls or tsunami hahaha.
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo haiku

langkawi new year's beach
the sea and the girls' smile
2 hours ago ·

Daniel Fernandez This looks like a Haiku face-off. It's like a tennis match, I read Haiku here, then I read Haiku there. Keep it up, I'm entertained.
2 hours ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Pantai Cenang for you:
about an hour ago ·

Niko Nemoto Daniel-san/it's your turn/to talk like a haiku master
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Thank you John, looks so nice, one day I'll be there. I want those sandals at the beginning of the video.
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo this is the beach during high season December - April
always packed with European tourists.
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Daniel-san/can't Haiku/With John and Niko
about an hour ago ·

Rolef von Swedenborg Yes very good as I work in the sun all day
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo thank you Daniel, Niko. it is great to know that you are enjoying my postings.
about an hour ago ·

Niko Nemoto Wow, beautiful..... k, I go back to bed before work. Have a nice day ofutari-san (=two of you). See you later :)
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez The beach doesn't look too overcrowded being high season.
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo yeah, that is the best part of it.
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez I'm going to bed also, see you John, see you Niko.
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo i love your posting today Rolef...

Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting,
poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and
an ill provider. —Ralph Waldo Emerson,
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Ask Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Vincent van Gogh...
about an hour ago ·

Niko Nemoto Ah, now I see Daniel-san talking like haiku master. I love it :) Thanks John-san for haiku posting. I always appreciate your creativity :) See you later~
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez Haiku is your mistress.
about an hour ago ·

Daniel Fernandez ....Vincent van Gogh, John Tiong......
about an hour ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo yes

haiku magic
sparse words that get the world talking
back to me
about an hour ago ·

Nahid Kabiri Brilliant!
about an hour ago ·

Catrina Heart I am learning from your haiku/senryu...
about an hour ago ·

Santha Suppiah Miles early June
I think I'll keep
my natural tan.

hehehe. don't be cross w/me.
about an hour ago ·

Nick Dockerty That is just sublime john. Brilliant. Hope you're well?
about an hour ago ·

Frankie Lau John-san, sahabatku...your haiku never fails to open up a sea of conversations. Facinating, really! Arigato gozaimasu for keeping our imagination alive... 0)
about an hour ago ·

John Potts
after roasting on the beach
her skin fell

— jp
36 minutes ago ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Yes, John it is so true. I once saw a man walking to my shop
his skin peeling off like an old coat of rubber paint.
29 minutes ago ·

John Potts Please, John, I'm eating a chicken's leg!

— jp
23 seconds ago ·

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capital Hill People's Fair

Capital Hill People's Fair (Washington)
we found ourselves stuck in
the food corner

If you live in the Denver, Colorado, area (or are just a sucker for good fairs) head to the Capitol Hill People's Fair in Civic Center Park. This annual event starts tomorrow, June 5, in celebration of Denver's diverse urban community. Stroll stalls of arts and crafts, jewelry, and paintings—as well as some of the more classic street eats like grilled corn-on-the-cob, funnel cakes, and big brisket BBQ, all while taking in a line-up of live music, acts for the children, and street theatre. The event is free to the public and a great way to experience the personality of the Mile High City.
(courtesy of

Te Araroa (New Zealand)
we tell each other not to be kiwi
if we want to go on the trail

More than ten years in the making and billed as one of life's great adventures, Te Araroa ("The Long Pathway" in the Maori language) is due for completion at the end of this year when the final 150 miles of linking tracks open to provide a 1,895-mile tramping trail that runs the gamut of New Zealand landscape experiences. The trek starts at Cape Reinga in the north of the North Island and ends (for those who want to tackle it in one go) three or four months later at Bluff on the far tip of the South Island.

Santa Barbara Backcountry (California)
up and down we go drunken with
the vine scenery

Start your cultural exploration of this rich city with a backcountry wine-tasting trip. Roam around mountain roads in jeeps driven by experienced Santa Barbara guides, stopping at local vineyards along the way. Then head downtown for dinner, where food connoisseurs can choose from the fresh fish and produce brought in from the local fisherman and farmers. That night, bed down in one of the hotels near State Street—a downtown hotspot near cafes, the beach, and shopping on Stearns Wharf. Then wake up, and do it all over again.


Restoring a six-kilometre stream that has been covered by an expressway for over fifty years is not an easy task. The job is even more difficult when the stream happens to meander through one of the world’s largest and most densely populated cities. The Cheonggyecheon, or the Cheonggye Stream restoration project is without question the most ambitious urban renewal scheme to have ever been undertaken in the history of Seoul.

The aims of the Cheonggyecheon restoration project, completed in 2005, were first, to rectify a severe public safety problem caused by an expressway that threatened to collapse at any moment; second, to address Seoul’s deteriorating environmental conditions by creating an environmentally friendly place in the centre of the city; third, to pay tribute the history of the 600 year old Korean capital; and fourth, to spur redevelopment in the surrounding neighbourhoods, which at that time lagged behind other neighbourhoods in the central city.

To fully appreciate the significance of the Cheonggyecheon project to the Korean people it is necessary to know a little bit about Korean history, particularly as it relates to Seoul. The Choson Dynasty, led by Emperor Taiju, chose the land on the banks of the Cheonggyecheon near its intersection with the mighty Han River as Korea’s capital in 1392. Monk Muhak, on behalf of Taiju, selected the site after an extensive two-year search for a location that satisfied the principles of feng shui. According to Muhak, the site possessed powerful Earth energy that was enhanced by a prominent mountain directly to the north, another to the south and two other mountains situated to the east and west of the site.

It was along this stream that the Choson Dynasty temple was built and the capital city planned. The Choson Dynasty ruled Korea up until the end of the nineteenth century and Seoul had remained the country’s relatively quaint capital city for five centuries. The Cheonggyecheon, unpredictable and prone to flooding, was successfully managed by government engineers throughout the centuries of the Choson Dynasty. The fall of the Choson Dynasty and the creeping influence of the Japanese marked the beginning of a difficult time for the stream, and indeed the country as a whole. It was also the start of a disastrous era of urban planning in Seoul.

The Japanese began exerting their power in Korea in 1876 with the signing of the Treaty of Ganghwa, which essentially opened up Korea to Japanese trade. This was followed by the Japanese initiated assassination of Empress Myeongseong in 1895 creating the necessary conditions for the Japanese to begin infiltrating the Korean government. By 1910, Japanese Imperialist forces had assumed control of the Korean peninsula. The Japanese maintained their occupation of Korea until the end of the Second World War (WWII). During their occupation, Korea suffered near cultural annihilation at the hands of the Japanese who embarked on an elaborate scheme to systematically erase Korean identity. Korean people were forbidden to speak their language and many temples and monuments of historic significance were deliberately destroyed. Following the victory of the allied forces and the subsequent end of WWII, Korea once again regained control of her territory but quickly descended into a brutal civil war between the communists in the north and the democratic forces of the south.

The civil war was devastating to the country’s economy. Korean living standards, once the highest in East Asia, became abysmal. Seoul suffered the brunt of the war, changing hands four times. During the war, an astonishing 47% of the housing stock in the city was destroyed leaving millions homeless and much of the capital city in ruin.

The Cheonggyecheon acted as a sort of meeting point for the displaced and dispossessed people of Korea as thousands fled to the safety of the South while others retreated to the North. A shantytown developed on either side of the Cheonggyecheon where beautiful temples and eloquent government buildings once stood. The stream was the only source of fresh water for the poor residents of the area and because the slum lacked adequate infrastructure, it also became a dumping ground for raw sewage. Due in part to Seoul’s extreme climate and also the destruction of the Choson era engineering solutions, the polluted stream would virtually dry up for much of the year while overflowing its banks during the August monsoons.

Despite a truce in fighting (which remains in effect today), conditions continued to worsen in the Cheonggyecheon and its surrounding neighbourhoods in central Seoul. Imminent threat of a disease epidemic in 1958 forced the newly minted government to finally act. The stream was covered with concrete to reduce the spread of disease, however the initiative did nothing to address the horrendous environmental state of the stream and covering it essentially turned the stream into a sewer.

Subsequent government administrations completed an inner city expressway overtop of the once celebrated stream. The Sang-il expressway was completed in 1967 and quickly became an important east-west access route to and from downtown Seoul.

Fast-forward 30 years from the construction of the expressway and one is transported to a very different Korea. Samsung Electronics has surpassed its Japanese rival Sony on world markets while Korean made Hyundai and Kia automobiles are bought and sold in almost every country around the world. By the end of the twentieth century Korea has the eleventh largest economy on Earth and the second richest populous in Asia. On its final day of existence in 2003 the Sang-il Expressway carried 170 000 cars a day, yet another sign of the immense economic progress Korea had experienced since the end of war. For the city’s forward thinking mayor, Lee Myung Bak, it was also an indication that Seoul was a city choking on its own success.

Mayor Lee Myung Bak ordered the expressway closed on July 1, 2003. The Seoul Metropolitan Government, in cooperation with various engineering, urban planning, construction and archeological specialists, as well as an active citizen’s group, were about to undertake an immense, two-year project. The project would consist of tearing down the expressway, removing the concrete, exposing and cleaning the Cheonggyecheon as well as salvaging whatever historic relics that could be found in the process. The Mayor’s ambitious plan was not only meant to improve the despicable environmental conditions of his enormous city or even to revitalize relatively poor areas of his city, but Lee Myung Bak was, in a greater sense, hoping to restore the dignity of the Korean people and celebrate an important era of a culture that was almost erased from our world not so long ago.

The initial stage of the project involved three major steps. Firstly, the existing expressway had to be cut up and transported to a more people friendly location where it was to be converted back to its base parts. Secondly the concrete pillars had to be cut away piece by piece and removed from the site. Thirdly, the ground level surface had to be ripped off to reveal the stream below.

The mayor ensured that the demolition work would be done without causing excessive noise or dust pollution, nor would there be any road closures as a result of the work. Furthermore, prior to the commencement of the project it was determined that 95% of all asphalt and concrete removed from the site, and 100% of the iron and steal were to be recycled and used for other construction projects that the Seoul Metropolitan Government was undertaking. In total 680 000 tonnes of debris was removed from the site. In addition to the highway structure itself, the demolition crew removed lampposts, crash rails, drain pipes, electrical conduits and expansion joints. Some pieces of the highway that were trucked away weighed as much as 300 tonnes and were up to 70 metres in length.

As the demolition work was being conducted, archeologists began the difficult task of sifting through the rubble in search of relevant artifacts. Archeologist Ji Yeoun Hong recalls the terrible stress of working on the construction timetable, in what was close to raw sewage, with the added distraction of “huge concrete masses being lifted away by massive machines, sometimes directly overhead.” The main objective of the archeologists was to find remaining components of the famed Gwangtonggyo Bridge. The Gwangtonggyo Bridge was the largest bridge crossing the Cheonggyecheon during the Choson Dynasty Era. Despite the unfavourable conditions of the dig, the archeologists were able to find many of the original stones of the bridge. To the surprise of the archeologists, it was revealed that some of the original stones used to construct the bridge were, at some point in time, plundered from the grave of a disgraced queen. The archeologists also uncovered 250 metres of the old embankment walls that were constructed by the Choson engineers. Among other items uncovered were hairpins, bronze mirrors, and shoes. It is believed that these items were offerings to ‘the gods’ from local peasant women.

Another difficult component of the Cheonggyecheon project was ensuring that water would remain clean and flowing throughout the year. Hydrologists determined that in order for the stream to run smoothly, constantly, and pathogen free, the water would have to flow at a speed of one kilometre per hour. To achieve such a flow rate it was necessary for engineers to divert water from the nearby Han River and carry the water through specially constructed pipes 12 kilometres to the head of the newly revealed stream. A redundant water works facility was built to filter the water diverted from the river so that by the time the water was released into the stream it was clean, clear and safe for contact with human toes and feet. Stepping-stones were laid at 28 different locations along the stream to further filter the water and control its flow speed.

In order to mitigate the threat of annual flooding during Seoul’s late summer monsoon season, engineers constructed flood control tunnels beyond the embankment walls. In times of heavy rain and high stream levels, doors would open so that that excess water, often containing pathogens, would be carried away safely to the much larger Han River.

To allow citizens, tourists and vehicles to conveniently access neighbourhoods on both sides of the stream, the Seoul Metropolitan Government constructed 22 bridges, some based on designs submitted by the public. The crowning piece of the Cheonggyecheon project, however, would be the reconstruction of the 12 metre long, 16 metre wide Gwangtonggyo Bridge. The bridge would be rebuilt, to the appeasement of the project’s archeological team, much like the first, complete with many of its original stones. An artificial waterfall, fountains, and sculptures were also constructed to enhance the aesthetic impacts of the stream project.

The public was invited to the grand opening of the Cheonggyecheon in July of 2003. They were encouraged to walk along the pedestrian paths running parallel with the stream and plant trees. People were also able to read commemorative plaques outlining the long history of the Cheonggyecheon, and to learn more about the six hundred year history of Korea’s capital city.

The stream has been open for about three and a half years and there have been some noticeable environmental and economic benefits associated with its reincarnation. According to local residents, office workers, and shop owners, air quality in the neighbourhoods immediately adjacent to the stream has improved substantially. Analysis of ground level temperatures in the vicinity of the stream indicates that the stream has reduced temperatures by approximately three and a half degrees Celsius. Studies also show that wind speeds along this corridor are on average 50% higher now than they were prior to the uncovering of the stream. In effect, the Cheonggyecheon acts as a natural air conditioner for this area of Seoul. Another surprising environmental benefit of the project has been the emergence of a small population of Chinese minnows in the stream.

Despite the above-mentioned environmental benefits of the project, the Cheonggycheon is not without its critics. Some South Korean environmentalist groups have criticized the high cost of the project (approximately 900 billion won or about US$1 billion). They claim the environmental benefits to be minimal given the amount of money spent, especially when factoring in the 800 million won (US$900 000) spent annually on electricity to pump over 100 000 tonnes of water a day from the Han River. Many skeptics in Korea see the Cheonggyecheon as a purely symbolic project that was undertaken to benefit the legacy of a mayor rather than the environment of a city.

Whether you believe the project makes financial or ecological sense, it must be said that the Seoul Metropolitan’s goals for the Cheonggyecheon have been achieved. The once dilapidated and dangerous highway is a thing of the past. Moreover, Seoul residents now have a soothing, semi-natural space to enjoy well within the city’s central core. Also, locals and tourists alike are able to learn about an important era of Korean history by reading the plaques commemorating the stream and by visualizing what life may have been like for people living there centuries ago. Finally, the surrounding neighbourhoods that were economically depressed now seem to be coming alive as modern department stores and multi-level western style cafes are rapidly replacing many of the structures reminiscent of the shantytowns of yesteryear.

The Cheonggyecheon project makes me think of the Red Hill Valley in my home city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, the not so progressive establishment of my fair city has decided to use public funds to remove thousands of trees in a lush valley setting, and channelize, and essentially cover, large sections of the Red Hill Creek.

Like the Cheonggyecheon, the Red Hill Creek has a storied past. The Red Hill Creek, and indeed the whole valley system, was for thousands of years, the lifeblood of a vibrant aboriginal hunting and gathering community. More recently the Red Hill Valley was enjoyed by me, my childhood friends, and thousands of other Hamiltonians, not to mention eighteen species of fish and countless other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and butterflies that, until recently, thrived in their natural setting.

The decision has been made and the work has commenced. In no time, North America’s largest contiguous natural corridor within an urban area will be replaced by, you guessed it, and expressway.

I wonder what Emperor Taiju would think?

Tags: Redevelopment, Seoul, Urban Design

Friday, June 4, 2010

Haiku - The Great Wall

Haiku today;

the Great Wall
galloping over the mountains
boulders, rocks, stones and bricks

Angkor Wat
modernity never
grows old

Robert Frost on Poetry

Robert Frost says " A poem begins with a lump in the throat". To that I would love to add: "A poem begins with a heart bursting with sentiments."

Alaka Yeravadekar A poem begins with a tingling in my bones!
Yesterday at 1:39am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo And a mind rolling with words.
Yesterday at 1:40am ·

Chansonette Buck a pressure in my chest and a felt rhythm in my mind
Yesterday at 1:42am ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom The darting glance of recognition.
Yesterday at 1:47am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo wow, a bone, a chest.a glance.what else???? add one please, let's have romance with poetry.
Yesterday at 1:51am ·

Alaka Yeravadekar the beginning of an involuntary smile..
Yesterday at 1:51am ·

Jonathan Vos Post “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

-- William Wordsworth
Yesterday at 1:52am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo wow Jonathan that's deep.
Yesterday at 1:55am ·

Alison Williams A good reminder here that poems can come from the body as well as the mind - poetry is closely related to song and dance.
Yesterday at 1:57am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo
Alison, thank you. i think it has to sprout from the mind...and leads to dance and from there more words that lead to dance.... complementing each other forming steps and rhythm that thril.
Yesterday at 2:03am ·

J. Andrew Lockhart For me, strangely, it's usually sadness.
Yesterday at 2:05am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Andrew....well let us have the privilege of your
sad lines here....please.
Yesterday at 2:10am ·

J. Andrew Lockhart Well, I'm not sad now. :)
Yesterday at 2:12am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Andrew great to hear that.....haha give us a tinkle when you are down and out...we will all be there for you
Yesterday at 2:14am ·

Bill Page Drink me,
I'm the liquid of life.

Let the magic sink into your blood,
and darkness fall upon light,
can you feel the rhythm of the cosmic dance,
can you see the shape of time?

Let the party begin!
Yesterday at 3:45am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo wow thank you Bill. Let us write on your Page.
Yesterday at 4:21am ·

James Hannan Doesn't poetry come through us rather than from us?
Yesterday at 5:09am ·

Bill Page You are welcome, it's just something I made up about black holes suck light in and gravitational waves and time space curvature stuff, hehe, and sure, write whatever you like on my wall! :D
Yesterday at 5:10am ·

John Potts A poem comes out of the blue.

— jp
Yesterday at 6:45am ·

Mike Keville You scare me

No sound.
Except the wind—
a lone wolf ...
See More
Yesterday at 7:07am ·

James Hannan "Didn't spend a thing, I charged it..." Wifely reply
Yesterday at 7:15am via Email Reply ·

John Potts @ Mike Don't be scared, just keep your word : "The next message you need is always right where you are" ~ Ram Dass :

— jp
Yesterday at 7:16am ·

James Hannan "Be here now." Ram Dass
Yesterday at 7:18am via Email Reply ·

John Potts Diarrhea.
Yesterday at 7:20am ·

Perez Verde Silvio José Thanks, friend
Yesterday at 7:54am ·

Edgar Gary Quah The malice of being......
Yesterday at 9:41am ·

Alaka Yeravadekar hey all, I'm enjoying this conversation..
Yesterday at 1:15pm ·

John Potts You enjoy it now, Alaka, but later you'll love it.

— jp
7 hours ago ·

Haiku postings Gulf Oil Disaster

gulf oil disaster
waves of fear sweep us
through the day

gulf oil disaster
waves of fear sweep us
over and over

gulf oil disaster
a dark fear hangs over
our shoulders

drilling at the dark
side of our fear
gulf oil disaster

drilling a dark page
in the history of oil mining
Gulf Oil Disaster

shinjuku winter warmth
the old man who roasts
imo (sweet potato) for us

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Haiku - Japanese Prime Ministers

TOKYO: Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he was resigning over his broken campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the southern island of Okinawa. (AP)...


japan's other hyper siesmic landscape
every prime minister shakened
off their post

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interfaith Forum

John has been brought up in the Christian faith.. One question he has always wanted to ask is if there is only one God why is it that in the Genesis God has always referred Himself as "We".

Daniel Fernandez "WE", He and us his children, no?
Monday at 7:11pm ·

Leslie Fernandez-Smith I think it means we all have god in us.
Monday at 7:12pm ·

Daniel Fernandez No, I think he just puts himself down to our level, He doesn't want to talk down to "us". He doesn't want to say ME and YOU people, instead "We" sounds better. Anyway, that's what I think, what do I know :)
Monday at 7:15pm ·

Daniel Fernandez ....but yes, we all have God in us.
Monday at 7:16pm ·

Peggy Johnson Maybe, Faith is all we need :)
Monday at 7:16pm ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes God the Father and God the Son...son =Wisdom + Word = John 1:1 < Christ was the Word / Wisdom > there was Jehovah < Self -existant one -one that reveals > and then there was the Son of God < Wisdom > < Word > and their image < their likness > was LIGHT < Glory Power > Christ ... Man < male and female > were created in their likness = LIGHT .... ...

Monday at 7:41pm ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes Christ came to earth draped in flesh to the manager...true humility .... and then on the 8th day when circumcised he received the name of Jesus ... thus he became Jesus Christ ....BUT Christ was with God the Father before this ever happened....
Monday at 7:49pm ·

Leslie Marley The old testiment God id just a singular entity-and the 10 comandments that Moses brought down specicly says there is only one god and there will be no other and do not make statues and idols to worship of human forms-golden idols. The Christians convieniently disposed of all of these rules!
Monday at 7:58pm ·

Rhonda A Bishop Rhodes Yes they do Leslie....they are not the 10 suggestions ...Happy Memorial Day to you !
Monday at 8:20pm ·

James Harwood The triune God, "we" - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, has always existed.
Monday at 8:33pm ·

Bettie DuChemin Ellens @ Leslie_-I am a Christian and I make no idols. I worship the one true God. You really shouldnt make generalised statements like that. Do you know ALL christians? Do you know A LOT of REAL Bible-following Christians? Doesnt sound like it. Some of the "rules" (such as what to eat, etc) were deemed as not as important as loving one another by ...
See More
Monday at 8:37pm ·

John Potts This would be the statement of a MULTIBEING. Like all the cells in our body work for the common whole. A body social. A universe. Creation.

summer rain
in a puddle brief
soap operas...
See More
Monday at 8:39pm ·

Leslie Marley Bettie what is a god and what isn't is different for many-that does not mean you need to get offended. Relax yhis is just a discussion.
Monday at 8:41pm ·

George O Hawkins Also, "Then God [Elohim - plural of El ] said, “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness..."" - Gen 1:26
Good question John. I do think it is one God in 3 persons, as others have said.
Monday at 9:00pm ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom To address the original questiion, JTC, the immediate answer from the Christian perspective is that God was speaking, for example in Genesis 1:26, as one being expressed as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word for "God" in this verse is "Elohim", which is a plural. Not speaking for Judaism here, since I am Christian, it ...
See More
Monday at 9:12pm ·

James Hannan Who knows?
Monday at 9:26pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Thanks everybody for the enthusiasm over this. I have also read the Quran and found that God in this Holy Book also refers to himself as "We".. Some of the verses - i hope i am reading the right translation - read - "We are as close to you as the veins on your neck" and "We can turn you into pigs if we want to".....Sorry for bringing up another religion here. But i have always interested in all religions.
Monday at 9:44pm ·

Gary Swafford Sounds like God thinks of himself as being more "inclusive" than a lot of people do...hmmm.
Monday at 9:52pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Have you ever read the Book of Enoch or heard of the Kumara legend?The legend predates Genesis and part of the Book Of Enoch can be read in the Old Testament.The "WE" refers to the group of Souls/Angelic Beings who appeared on this planet long before humankind could stand upright and think and speak.The Nephilim were partly responsible for the ...
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Monday at 9:56pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black If you get a chance to read this book I recommend THE TRUTH BEHIND THE CHRIST MYTH:and The Redemption Of The Peacock Angel by Mark Amaru's quite a mind opener.
Monday at 10:00pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Wow, yes Lorraine I have heard about that through a television programme but it was too complex for me to understand..there was the talk about a heavenly war...and all that..I really must get hold of the Book of Enoch. Wonder it is available through Amazon.
Monday at 10:00pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Yes as a matter of fact I get all my books from Amazon.
Monday at 10:01pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Do you really trust all that you read Lorraine.
Monday at 10:02pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black The Kumara Legend has a website.That's how I found them.I can spend hours researching on Wikipedia and related sites.That's something I do besides cleaning house,writing poetry or playing games.
Monday at 10:04pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo I will go to the local boostore to see whether i can get anything about the Kumara legend. Thank you Lorraine and please keep on exploring...about God.
Monday at 10:06pm ·

Madeleine Ann Eugenie McMahon And the Angels battled before the Throne.... Leave it to you John. Don't you know that their are three taboos in conversation, religion, religion and religion. LOL :-).
Monday at 10:21pm ·

John Tiong Chunghoo it is true but every must be matured enough not to lose their heads when talking about the issue. that's why we need people with brain here. not those who think others should believe what they believe.
Monday at 10:38pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black @Madeleine,we can hold a discourse on any subject matter.That's what Freedom Of Speech is about.The Holy Bible was written by many contributing authors and then revised over the centuries until the book that is read from today became the accepted version.The books removed from the original canon can be read in the Dead Sea Scrolls,in part and the...
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Monday at 10:49pm ·

Hank Edinburgh That's a very interesting question!
Monday at 10:59pm ·

George O Hawkins Michael: The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh reads almost identical to the NASB for Gen 1:26.
Monday at 11:35pm ·

Edgar Gary Quah Legion...The dark demon refered himself as "we"...cause"we are many"....Nuff said...
Monday at 11:45pm ·

John Potts An interesting topic.

"WE" : The imminent spirit of Creation (God). Invigorating all It's formal constuents (MULTIBEIVG, which you, dear reader, are one mote, the Sun another, Milky Way another - and all the component part..s and so on).

NOTE: The Torah forms the first 5 chunks of Christian bible. The Koran is a branch of Christianity, which is a...
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Yesterday at 12:06am ·

Anne Smith 3 in 1
Yesterday at 12:32am ·

Anne Smith even then
Yesterday at 12:33am ·

John Potts This is why haiku, John.

— jp
Yesterday at 12:38am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Jesus tried to reform the corrupt Jewish spiritual council but failed in his life time. Another religion was born instead.Koran the Muslims believe is God setting straight once and for all, the inaccuracies of the two other religions.
Yesterday at 12:45am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo It however went on to say followers of the other two faiths will also be saved if they live a good life.
Yesterday at 1:00am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Faith should be freedom should follow whichever faith one is drawn to I think so.
Yesterday at 1:01am ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom John, regarding your most recent post, I quite agree. Of course, how Muslims see Christian faith and how Christians see Christian faith differ. We don't see that Jesus failed, but that he intentionally died and resurrected, with an eye to a different kind of success, one in the human heart.
Yesterday at 1:39am ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom George, thanks for this. It's an example of why I have been so drawn to the NASB for so long: it prefers to stay close to the structure of the original languages.
Yesterday at 1:41am ·

James Hannan Me too. Huston Smith "The World's Religions"; Karen Armstrong "The Case for
God"; Jennifer Michael Hecht "The History of Doubt"; all of Rodney
Stark's; Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion"; Harold Bloom "Omens of Millennium"; et al. Yes, all.............................
Yesterday at 1:41am via Email Reply ·

Bettie DuChemin Ellens Yes, John Potts....exactly.
Yesterday at 2:09am via Email Reply ·

Rositza Pironska Every faith and religion give you different feelings, when you know them, you cant separate one from the other, you need all of them.
Yesterday at 2:12am ·

James Hannan But John - consider what God said to Moses from the Burning Bush: "I Am, tell them I Am sent you." Not: We are. And Jesus said: "Before Abraham came to be, I Am."
God Is.
Yesterday at 7:39am ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black The I AM presence,the great universal life force shared by all living beings..found in Buddhism ,known as OM and predates all the other religions except Hinduism. or the other way around depending on who you debate with..The Kumara Legend goes way back into the B.C.s and even predates the Bon religion..absorbed by Buddhism.And the Egyotians.God's ...
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Yesterday at 8:07am ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Ow Lorraine, a well of knowledge of religion. congrats.
Yesterday at 8:52am ·

Bettie DuChemin Ellens Leslie, a simple discussion becomes offensive when one person (you, in this case) claims to know everything about the beliefs of a large group of people and presents that (often inaccurate) information in a way that portrays the group in a derogatory light. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Disrespect begets offense.
Yesterday at 10:11am via Email Reply ·

John Tiong Chunghoo Frist thanks for taking part in this meaningful discussion. It has been a wonderful discovery for me because of the invaluable input of information and knowledge. However, John would love some participants here to calm down please. To really take part in a sensitive discussion like this one must have the maturity to first respect how each other do their religion. Otherwise, they have better stay away because it would lead to fight which is exactly what this
discussion wishes to avoid.
Yesterday at 10:57am ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom Thanks, John.
Yesterday at 12:06pm ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black Religious topics are always a "hot potatoe".You should read what goes on in the Amazon religion forums.I used to participate on the forums from various websites and someone invariable gets huffy and puffy.We set up a rule to agree to disagree with out resulting in the total annihalation of each others' view points...and be civil in discussion.
We can learn from each other by sharing information and the best way to learn about a religion is to talk to someone who is a member of said path or to "walk a mile in that person's faith"in other words join for awhile..if it's not right for you then walk another path but remember what you learned from your experience..If it's right for you then stay with that belief system...or incorporate the ideas as part of your life philosophy.
I personally enjoy learning from everything.My innate curiosity has taken places where Angels fear to tread and there are some very remarkable revelations and knowledge from my esoteric study of the Occult.Occult means hidden knowledge.You just have to keep an open mind and periodically empty the vessel so it can be filled again with new knowledge.
Two good places for research are crystal and carries information about many topics.All of the aforemention sites are really good starting places for spiritual education.Enjoy the path of ENLIGHTENMENT...It begins within.
9 minutes ago ·

The I AM presence,the great universal life force shared by all living beings..found in Buddhism ,known as OM and predates all the other religions except Hinduism. or the other way around depending on who you debate with..The Kumara Legend goes way back into the B.C.s and even predates the Bon religion..absorbed by Buddhism.And the Egyotians.God's original name was EL which is why the Angels' names all end in EL ...El-O-Him.Islam is the newest branch of the Abrahamic faiths and Judaism is the oldest.Islam did not evolve from Christianity.Islam was initially a uniting factor of the Arabic/Persian tribes developing in the 600s A.D. until the assassination of Mohamed's heir.Then it split into two factions: the Suny and Sh--ites.There are splinter groups like the Yezedis ,Zoroastrians and Pharsis of modern day Iran ,and Aramaic speaking groups who are actually minorities that incorporate much more ancient teachings than found in the Qu'ran/Koran and they include all Abrahamic teachings.

"WE" : The imminent spirit of Creation (God). Invigorating all It's formal constuents (MULTIBEIVG, which you, dear reader, are one mote, the Sun another, Milky Way another - and all the component part..s and so on).

NOTE: The Torah forms the first 5 chunks of Christian bible. The Koran is a branch of Christianity, which is a branch of Judaism, which is a branch of the ancient mysteries of Mesopotamia, some say. How complex, for a universal daity who is closer to us all than our sleeping breath!

summer evening
the puddle has gone
dim the lights

— jp
Yesterday at 12:06am ·

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black @Madeleine,we can hold a discourse on any subject matter.That's what Freedom Of Speech is about.The Holy Bible was written by many contributing authors and then revised over the centuries until the book that is read from today became the accepted version.The books removed from the original canon can be read in the Dead Sea Scrolls,in part and the APROCAPHYA.I recommend reading:THE OTHER BIBLE by Willis Gladstone,for a general introduction.There is nothing wrong with knowledge and experience.This is how we become wise.Each one of us has the "GOD-GIVEN" Rght to learn about anything if we choose to do so.It's the responsibilty of the individual to accept what that person feels is the right path and view to take in that person's life.Otherwords it's personal choice.My country was founded on the principle of FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
Monday at 10:49pm ·

Michael Nickels-Wisdom To address the original questiion, JTC, the immediate answer from the Christian perspective is that God was speaking, for example in Genesis 1:26, as one being expressed as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word for "God" in this verse is "Elohim", which is a plural. Not speaking for Judaism here, since I am Christian, it seems to me that the sense of "Elohim" and its accompanying pronouns is of deference and as a superlative way of speaking; this isn't so very far from the popular idea of the way royal persons refer to themselves and may even be the source of royal usage. Does this answer seem cohesive?
Monday at 9:12pm ·

Bettie DuChemin Ellens @ Leslie_-I am a Christian and I make no idols. I worship the one true God. You really shouldnt make generalised statements like that. Do you know ALL christians? Do you know A LOT of REAL Bible-following Christians? Doesnt sound like it. Some of the "rules" (such as what to eat, etc) were deemed as not as important as loving one another by Christ in the New Testiment, but we are still expected to follow ALL of God's commands. Anyone who does not do that or thinks otherwise is NOT really a Christian. The book of Genesis (OLD TESTIMENT), translated, does say "Let US make man in OUR image;" however this refers (most believe) to a Holy Trinity...three parts of ONE God...not more than one God. No Christian, no matter how far or close they are from God, thinks there is more than one God. A little research goes a much longer way than just being generalising and, frankly, a bit offensive.

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