what does karate teach us?

Posted to the CyberDojo:

"Daisy Heskett" (address elided) writes:

> Does karate "really" teach us not to fight? Is it more
> of a thing where a karate person knows the limitations
> of what they can do whereas a street fighter wants to know
> his? So the street fighter will be more willing to fight not
> knowing he can kick his butt kicked.

Hopefully a karate student has given a lot of thought about what's
worth fighting over, and has come to the conclusion that not many of
things that people fight about are worth it.

Reuters: "SkySail" may help ships conserve fuel

Reuters reports on a new type of sail, a sort of giant kite meant to boost a cargo ship's propulsion and save fuel.

"I got the idea on a sail boat a few years ago," Stephan Wrage, inventor and founder of SkySails GmbH & Co. KG, told Reuters. "I love flying kites and found sailing rather slow. I thought the enormous power in kites could somehow be utilized."

The technology he has developed is a throwback to an earlier age of maritime travel when ships relied solely on wind. But it also addresses a key concern of the modern age: climate change.

Reuters: Landlocked prisoners taught deep-water diving

Reuters reports on a rehabilitation program for prisoners, a most interesting sort of job training:

A landlocked California men's prison aims to keep inmates from returning to jail by putting them in deep water -- training them for undersea construction and dam repair.

The California Institution for Men in Chino...houses a prison-based marine technology training program where inmates serving sentences of 14 months to 4 years learn skills authorities hope will help them find jobs when they return to society.

...

No more than 12 percent of the more than 1,600 inmates who have participated in the program have returned to prison -- far below the average recidivism rate of 50 percent in California prisons, officials said.

Zelda's exercise, Dec 3

This week's Zelda's exercise: a poem portraying the self as an inanimate object

a drop of rain
I am separate for a moment
distinct from air ground ocean wood

I have my boundary, my undoubtable inside and outside
I hold together, even as I change shape

I reflect the world around me

I am falling toward a destiny I cannot see, cannot fully know as I am now

a drop of rain a drop of rain a drop of rain
small by myself, almost insignificant
but always part of a larger movement -
as unique as I am there are many like me

when I come in winter I am adorned, beautiful;

sitting in Leadbetters, 26 Nov

"Roses, roses" says the man with an armful of blossoms, walking up and down the bar. It may be just about the only word of English he knows.

There's a whole group of them, maybe from an extended family, I see them often talking to each other in a language I don't understand. Sort of modern Eliza Doolittles, selling flowers to the relatively more well off, helping guys pick up girls.

(Somewhere at home I have tucked away a dried an withered rose that a beautiful redheaded girl bought for me from one of these guys, in this very bar years ago, something I could never just throw any, would have to toss into a sacred fire to get rid of.)

Zelda's exercises, November 26

My output from this week's Zelda's Inferno:

1) write a piece using the following three phrases (selected from random texts):

check out the wow factor
even the amateur chefs among us can accomplish
that's the key, having a good staff

look inside and
check out the "wow" factor
of the inside of the mind

with a little focus
even the amateur philosophers among us can accomplish
a beautiful remodeling of the mind
repainting the windows of the skull

John McCain: Suicide if Dems Win

Heh, heh, heh. Seems back in October, John McCain "joked" he would commit suicide if Democrats won the Senate.

I used to have some respect for the guy, but given the way he's been toadying to the most intolerant factions of the Right lately, screw 'im. C'mon, McCain, be a man of your word. You don't have to actually take your own life, I'll settle for political suicide. Resign from the Senate, disclaim any presidental ambitions, and go home.

Zelda's exercises, November 12

My output from This week's Zelda's Inferno:

1) the "IQ test" exercise. In this one, we all make up multiple choice questions with some odd and interesting possible answers. We answer our own questions and those that others in the group pose, then write a poem based on the selected answers.

My questions:

why don't we see stars in the daytime? *they're afraid of the sun and hide / it's too bright to see them / we choose to ignore them / a government conspiracy

why is there a hole in the middle of a doughnut? to allow them to cook more evenly / *to symbolize the emptyness at the center of everything / cooks skimping on dough / a government conspiracy

staying healthy is good for you (duh)

MSNBC reports on a study showing that people who at mid-life have characteristics associated with being fit and active, have a good chance of being healthy in old age.

“There appears to be a lot we can do about modifying our risk and increasing the odds for aging more healthfully,” said lead author Dr. Bradley Willcox, a scientist at the Pacific Health Research Institute in Honolulu.

Seed: "Who Wants to Be a Cognitive Neuroscientist Millionaire?"

Seed features a piece by Ogi Ogas on how he used his knowledge of cognitive neuroscience to help his performance on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?

The first technique I drew upon was priming. The priming of a memory occurs because of the peculiar "connectionist" neural dynamics of our cortex, where memories are distributed across many regions and neurons. If we can recall any fragment of a pattern, our brains tend to automatically fill in the rest. For example, hearing an old Madonna song may launch a cascade of linked memories: your high school prom where it was the theme song, your poorly tailored prom outfit, your forgotten prom date, the stinging embarrassment when you threw up in the limo.

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