Most distant object in the universe spotted – space – 27 April 2009 – New Scientist

Most distant object in the universe spotted – space – 27 April 2009 – New Scientist.

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Cultural baggage in Zen practice (via Sweep the dust, Push the dirt)

Cultural baggage in Zen practice What is my self?  It is my body and thoughts, my logic and my creativity.  It consists of all the events of my life and my memories of them.  It includes every scar, mistake, misstep and malicious action.  My self is my baggage to my practice.  My self brings in a sack of cultural as well (unfortunately mine is in a beat up WallMart bag, but who is judging?).  The spiritual development and preconceptions what I was raised on and taught to me as a … Read More

via Sweep the dust, Push the dirt

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Bivins: Demolisher Tryout Video (I love this guy!)

As a true metalhead I had to upload this video. If this guy, Senor Bivins, does not get signed then something is seriously wrong with the world. Rock on, party on!

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L. Ron Hubbard’s ONLY INDEPENDENT Interview (Parts 1-4)

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“Say, I am you” by Rumi

I am dust particles in sunlight.
I am the round sun.

To the bits of dust I say, Stay.
To the sun, Keep moving.

I am morning mist,
and the breathing of evening.

I am wind in the top of a grove,
and surf on the cliff.

Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
I am also the coral reef they founder on.

I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.
Silence, thought, and voice.

The musical air coming through a flute,
a spark of a stone, a flickering

in metal. Both candle,
and the moth crazy around it.

Rose, and the nightingale
lost in the fragrance.

I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
the evolutionary intelligence, the lift,

and the falling away. What is,
and what isn’t. You who know

Jelaluddin, You the one
in all, say who

I am. Say I
am You.

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Theodemocracy (via By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog)

On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty, though the true name is quite different. It is an organization that has captured the fancy of many, both sympathetic and critical of Mormonism, yet it remains somewhat enigmatic for want of public documentation (1). In short, Joseph S … Read More

via By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

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Is this Joseph Smith?

Proposed Image of Joseph Smith

Considering all the commotion over the supposed daguerreotype photo of Joseph Smith that has been going around like wildfire (which the Church has not authenticated), I thought I might post this new proposed photo of Joseph Smith. This one actually looks much more how I would imagine the prophet than the first one, considering the death mask. Historian Will Bagley apparently notes that Joseph made mention of a photograph he had taken in 1844 (does anyone have the original reference to Joseph’s statement, if it exists?). We’ll see what this turns up.

The story of how the finder acquired this image is interesting, mentioning how the Brazilian book he found it in only said that it came out of New York in 1845. When was the last time Joseph was in New York? Why would it be in New York? The photocopy is from a book. The original daguerreotype is in the Museu PaulistaUniversidade de São Paulo, Brazil).

Joseph Smith Actor from Legacy: A Mormon JourneyAn article in the New Era a few years ago gives a description of Joseph from a combination of all the accounts:

Joseph was:

  • a little over six feet tall;
  • considered good looking and dignified;
  • athletic and strong with long legs and large feet.

He had:

  • an oval-shaped face;
  • a prominent nose, long and straight;
  • a rather long upper lip;
  • a light complexion;
  • deep-set hazel or blue eyes;
  • thick eyebrows;
  • long eyelashes;
  • fine, straight, light brown or dark blond hair.

If this isn’t a photo of Joseph, it does helps us imagine him more closely.

[via A Soft Answer]

Update 3/27/08: Incidentally, this daguerreotype reminds me a lot of the actor who played Joseph Smith in the film Legacy: A Mormon Journey.

Joseph Smith - by Theodore Gorka 1982, Museum of Church History and ArtUpdate 3/27/08: Also consider this drawing of Joseph Smith by Theodore Gorka in 1982, which is now in the Museum of Church History and Art. I’m particularly interested in the way the forehead and chin are receding, and the prominence of the nose, like the death mask (which is probably where Gorka got his inspiration). The upper lip is also very defined. Most of the early images of Joseph were side profile sketches, but which clearly show just how strong his nose was on his face. See more below:

Update 3/27/08: Correction. The finder at LDSA says that the author of the bookRetratos Quase Inocentes, a Mr. Carlos Eugenio M. de Moura, acknowledges that this “daguerrotype in question is, in fact, at the Museu Paulista – Universidade de São Paulo.” We’ll see if he can track down a color hi-res of this. Maybe someone should just order the book off the Brazilian website.


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