Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

beauty

March 1, 2007

What is Beauty? Is it individual or universal? Why are some faces more beautiful than the others? Why some people who have no physical beauty still radiate and shine beauty in opinion of many? Is beauty just in the eye of the beholder, or there is more to that definition? Where shall we start…I searched in Wikipedia first.

Beauty is a quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (such as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (such as personality)

Interesting how they said it. Intense pleasure or deep satisfaction. And I agree, there are satisfactions of subtler kind that are not pleasure, so hence the distinction. But why just to the mind? As if there is no other instrument in us to perceive beauty, like heart. But I guess it is from rational heritage of western philosophy. As if the whole world is just on the west. Oh well.

golden ratio line

But this definition does not explain why beauty is beautiful. I know that painters and sculptors speak about Sectio Aurea. That is proportion -> a:b=(a+b):a They found beauty and harmony in that proportion. It has something to do with human anatomy too. For example your belly button should be located according to this proportion, meaning on 61.8% of your body height. I actually measured height with the tape in my case, and interestingly it is so.

Luca Pacioli and Leonardo Da Vinci were among the first to notice golden ratio in human anatomy and apply it to art. The Pythagorean school in ancient Greece noticed that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. That would never occur to me to think about geometry law in aesthetics. It is genius who discovered such phenomena.

But what is the connection between beauty and culture? Is it different when you are born in Norway where everybody is blonde with blue eyes, and in Turkey where everybody is black haired with black eyes, for example? How much are we conditioned to perceive the beauty in this or in that way by civilization we live in? Remember those african women with rings around their necks. And what about social and political system? And what about time factor, century we live in? Does consumer society affect aesthetic sense? Unfortunately, it does.

A friend of mine told me -I want to put silicone in my lips- I was surprised since I think there is nothing wrong with her lips at all. -Yes I know- replied she -but I want them to look like as if they were stung by the bees- :-) Oh my!

Is physical beauty so important issue? Today I wrote about beauty in physical world, but there are other types of beauty, so in next posts I will pay attention more to questions like connection between beauty and ethics, mental and inner aspects of beauty.

Be what it may, I was told that I was very cute when I was lets say in primary school. But ever since I grew up, I seriously consider pressing charges on Ugly Duckling for theft of part of my life story and using it to film cartoon, in..umm…reversed way. Uh huh :-) (J/K)

What do you think about outer beauty, what is your definition? Be sure to check out Face Research too. Interesting site.

Happy Birthday, George!

February 24, 2007

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

George Harrison
(1943-2001)

I heard The Beatles’ music for the first time in my life when I was 15 (too late, I guess), it was my neighbour who borrowed me the cassette, and I liked music so much that I did not return it for months. There are people who love Stones more, but I am not among them. Beatles will always remain my favourites; and though Paul and John are much more famous, still by far my favourite is the youngest among them, mr. George Harrison (1943-2001) – the “silent beatle” as he was called, due to being very introspective person.

Some people say that his birthday is on 25th February, but in Wikipedia article we can read that he was actually born on 24th February at 11:40pm. So, today is the day – Happy Birthday, George!

If my destiny was to become so famous I would want to have similar attitude as him. He always said that he wanted to be successful, not famous, and I feel that music was his instrument to search for deeper meaning in his life. Many other musicians unfortunately find drugs when they become famous, and when that fame is over, they take the needle, and they are finished. But George was not interested in fame, but he was all the time seeker for the true joy and fulness of life. I found this clip, it is interview with him and famous sitar player Ravi Shankar. There he speaks how he does not want to produce meaningless songs, but is interested in writing songs that have deep values and that can last through years. Such is for example his song All things must pass.

And I wrote before how much I like reading books. but I have to admit now, I especially like to read book written by people who were searching for the deeper meaning of their own life. I enjoy in diversity, I do not believe in uniformity. I even enjoyed reading Ayn Rand’s books very much, though I am completely of different temperament, and my life philosophy values are generally totally different. But you know what, when someone believes in what he or she writes, such books become very attractive to read. Complete sincerity in one’s deeds is always very attractive (do what you preach) in every philosophy, and in every religion.

Over the years I have read many books about different world religions and spiritual paths and systems of values, in Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism etc. and though some of such books sometimes can be dry and preachy, I very often found very nice ones from different cultures and backgrounds that literally lit my heart with divine love, while I was reading them. And one day, God willing, if I have enough money I will invest it in printing books that brought me so much joy. Books are not transitory as other world pleasures, and if they contain intense sincere inner cry in them, they are really something.

George was so selfless in that aspect, he gave much money for printing books, he even donated a temple in London. He could do drugs, or spend money on fancy cars or something, but he was so unlike many other music stars, and therefore I appreciate him so much. If some book brought me much joy (there are many like that, starting with Quo Vadis by Sienkiewicz, which was my introduction to deeper meaning of Christianity) I would like to print many of them in nice covers, so perhaps other people will also feel joy. That attitude gives me so much inspiration and hope for the future. I hope my dreams one day will come true, but that depends on me too! :)

In previous clip George explained why he likes to compose on Sanskrit verses, and I guess it was actually him who composed the music for Govindam Adi Purusham chant (although I am not sure, to be frank). Nevertheless, it is very nice chant, and I managed to find nice clip of it to post here.

George, thanks for everything, and thank you for being sincere seeker in your music art. It means much. It gives hope.

rediscovering autobiographies

February 8, 2007

palm IIIxe

“There is properly no history; only biography”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

These days I have intense wish to read biographies and autobiographies. And I really wish to read about that golden period of history – XIX century. Impressionists were painting in France, and Henry David Thoreau went to the woods to write his diary there. Serbian inventor Michael Pupin went to USA and wrote to me very dear Pulitzer winning autobiography From Immigrant to Inventor, in which he portrays the true american spirit, and when you read that book you see how America was great country comparing to Europe then. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his immortal Essays, and believe me I am spending nights in reading his collected works, and I stand in awe in front of his language (I still don’t get it how could he wrote like that!) Who can write in such fiery words if not that philosopher poet from Boston, who wrote Self-Reliance – essay that became solid inspiration and foundation of my system of values. And there are poems of Emily Dickinson. And of course, we cannot avoid Nikola Tesla serbian poet-scientist who gave the world alternating currents. Many many interesting people were born in XIX century.

Now I know that books are expensive, and one is not always in mood to go to the library too. But that is why project Gutenberg is there. You can find ove 20000 free e-books there, and there is always top list of 100 books and authors if you are not sure what to read (I never paid too much attention to that top list so far, but it is nice to know it exists). Good thing is that Gutenberg library offers books in Plucker format, which is suitable for reading on your Palm device. I have prehistoric model, Palm IIIxe, with grey display and 8 MB of memory, but truth to be told, I like to read books on it. And I don’t like to read books on the computer screen (I do it only when I have to). Now I entered word biography in searchbox on Gutenberg site, and it gives me 90 results back (you can try to type memoirs too). So there will be a lot of good (and free reading) for me in next period.

If you have Palm but do not have Plucker, you can download it from here. From the list I chose autobiography of actress Sarah Bernhardt. I was reading first few chapters this morning, and I was very immersed in the story. And so far, I really enjoy reading it a lot. So I will provide link for it here:

My Double Life – The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt

If you know some good biography or autobiography that you have read and enjoyed it, kindly recommend it in comments please.

how to put NO FUR sticker on your WordPress blog

February 6, 2007

It is easy. If you wish to do it, here is how it can be done.

First you need text widget. WordPress allows you to have 9 text widgets. Kindly go to Presentation -> Sidebar Widgets. Take text widget with your mouse, left click and hold, and drag and drop it into the sidebar – on place you wish. If you do not have enough text widgets you can increase their availability from drop down menu beside question How many text widgets would you like?

Click on the right side of text widget and text box will open with title and body for HTML. I thought it would be nice if this sticker hyperlinks to the homepage of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Now in title you can write your message about not using fur. In the main text window write this code

kod

Then close window by clicking anywhere outside it, and Save Changes.

I have already done that in my blog so you can see how it looks like. This is easy and everyone can do it. If you do not want to put this sticker on your blog, you can print it on printer and make interesting badge. All in all, be creative, there are many ways to say to other people that you do not feel like that animals should be killed because of someone’s notions of fashion. Let us join to appeal of people who make new fashion – fashion that says fur is out. There is no aesthetics in killing animals for fashion – let us all say what we think and really prove that we are civilised. No fur!

And one more thing – you may find it difficult to become vegetarian at this moment. I hope you will reconsider that option in the future someday, but when it comes to wearing fur – it is very, very easy to renounce wearing it. Just say no, and help higher and more humane taste in fashion to evolve. It is easy. We can do it!

Address of NO FUR sticker, if you want to print it out on paper is
http://www.petacatalog.org/images/200-BU171.jpg
Note, it is address that you have to put in img src tag in text widget, see code example above.

compassion and love to animals

February 5, 2007

lion_hug.jpg
Who says that animals do not feel sublime emotions? We sometimes think that humans are superior beings, but in what plane are we concretely superior now? It is because we have mind, but mind is also responsible for some of the worst atrocities and oppressive social systems. Animals kill because such is their animal nature, but look what so called humans can sometimes do. I am not saying that in the future human beings will not be better than now, I wish that we all manage to discover more and more hidden treasures that everyone of us carries deep in one’s own heart (I am assured that then we will be more caring about animals). But now we must not think that we are so superior to animals, so that we think they have no rights. Sir Paul McCartney decided to become vegetarian when he and Lady Linda were eating lamb meal and at that moment they saw lambs outside in fields. I am not preaching to anyone to become vegetarian, such kind of decision everyone needs to take very consciously. In my case, I am vegetarian but I do eat milk, eggs and honey. Also my opinion is that you should let your children eat meat until they grow up to certain age. But to speak whole truth, once I was chatting with one programmer from India. He is follower of Sri Vaishnava spiritual path, and he told me that in his family nobody tasted meat for centuries ago!!! I was delighted to hear that such people actually exist and can live without meat – it is not true that meat is absolutely indispensable. But if we do not wish to give up on meat, at least we can do for our little animal brothers and sisters is to stop wearing fur and leather. My friends often tell me that we should not think so much of animal rights, when in today’s world nobody cares so much for human rights. But for me this does not follow. Are we civilised or not? Are we still going to fool ourselves that animals do not have such sublime feelings as we do? Next time when you see a cow, look in her eyes, look very carefully in her eyes please. In India they say: cow is giving us milk, therefore we regard her as our mother. What enlightened opinion! Browsing on the internet I managed to find a painting in oil where Krishna and Balarama are milking cows. Cow is considered in India to be holy animal. I applaude for that level of civilized atitude! (Painting is taken from collection on Vrindavan Art gallery) milking_cows.jpg