February 2012


I was blissfully ignorant of many of the nuances of our new Te Ahu complex and corralled Mark Osborne to gain a little more insight I could pass on to those visitors wishing to know more. The following information is gleaned from a very quick walk-through with Mark and further conversations with Alan Simpkin and Roger Gale (who gave much appreciated detail on two large tree specimens outside the main entrance).

We in the library are really pleased with our first two weeks. We’ve seen many new and old faces and signed up a number of new patrons. Saturday, the 18th was our biggest Saturday ever with 500 people through the door in four hours, easily eclipsing our previous record of 400 one Saturday in the middle of 2011 during the Duffy book programme. Similarly, weekday door counts are at all-time highs. Despite being unbelievably busy, we’re enjoying the overwhelmingly positive response from visitors to the library.

Installing Pete Griffiths' Pou in the Atrium

I’ve personally heard two different visitors mention they thought the atrium felt like a cathedral. The atrium was entirely conceived and designed locally in a collaborative effort of Richard Murray of Image Nation, Paul Marshall of Paul Marshall Arts and Alan Simpkin and Doug Beard of Arcline Design. The original idea had been to put the pou in a line and Paul Marshall came up with the concept of placing them in a circle, giving each represented group equal measure. Brilliant, don’t you think! There are currently three pou in place. Peter Griffiths carved the European one, Paul Marshall has done Te Rarawa and it is my understanding that Te Puia (a National Arts and Crafts consortium are responsible for the Ngati Kuri pou. Four more pou representing Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kahu and people of Dalmatian descent will stand alongside the current pou when they are completed. is anticipated that two more will be unveiled around the time of Matariki in June. The remaining two are not expected to be completed until 2013.

The rolled steel beams at the street entrance to the atrium represent the meeting of the two seas – the Tasman and the Pacific. The floor of the atrium is the sea floor, with the ray correlating to the North Island. Please note the map of the Far North in the tail of the ray, visible from the second level of the atrium. More than 100 perspex kuaka (bar-tailed godwits) hang from the ceiling of the atrium in a flight formation that mimics the migratory bird’s annual journey to the northern hemisphere.

Godwits in Atrium

Steve La Hood headed a team from Wellington-based Story Inc in the interior design of the library and the Far North Regional Museum. Story Inc computer generated the Kupe panels in the library while the forest scene was produced by the Far North’s Paul Marshall.

The tree and suspension bridge are proving very popular with young visitors to the library. Fell Engineering of Haruru Falls did the steel work for the tree. Human Dynamic of Wellington took moulds from a live kauri tree in order to create the authentic bark on our tree. One young child peering up at the leaves of the tree, exclaimed, “Look Mom, giant lily pods.” Close!

Speaking of trees, the beautiful, large tree by the Matthews Avenue entrance is an Erythrina cross. It has pale orange flowers, unlike the red of the closely related coral trees (more often called flame trees), ubiquitous winter-blooming spiny trees of the north). The yellow-flowering acacia-like spreading tree is a Brazilian rosewood or Tipuana Tipu.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Sunscreens. I’ve been dubious of their efficacy for years. But it wasn’t until reading an article in the latest NEXUS by Dr. Elizabeth Plourde that I felt I had evidence to support my doubts.

The headlines in all forms of media tell us to use sunscreens before going outdoors. We are told to slather sunscreen on our children to protect them from skin cancers and prevent photo-ageing of the skin.

In 2010, while Elizabeth Plourde was in Maui, Hawaii, the local media there were discussing how coral reefs were dying due to global warming. Yet to her the Hawaiian waters felt cooler than they had in the 40 years she had been swimming in them.

From the 1960s to the present time, there has been a steady increase in the incidence of melanoma in all parts of the world, despite a corresponding increase in the use of sunscreens. Evidence is so overwhelming that researchers in a 2008 article in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology,stated: “. . .It is probably safe to suggest that predominantly UVB absorbing sunscreens do not prevent melanoma development in humans.”

Sunscreens block the ability of our skin to perform its essential duty of manufacturing vitamin D in response to solar radiation exposure. Vitamin D is a crucial part of our overall health, particularly for bone development. Vitamin D deficiency is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Many studies have been published indicating that sunscreen chemicals are very potent hormones, acting like oestrogens, anti-oestrogens, testosterones or anti-testosterones, disrupting the natural hormonal balance in the body, possibly having long-term effects in humans and wildlife, particularly in the sexual development of the foetus. Many of the sunscreen chemicals belong to a class of chemicals called phenols, which are known to be capable of passing through the placenta and entering the foetus.

It has become fashionable for sunscreen manufacturers to claim their products to be “natural” or “safe”. Even if they’re labelled as being safe for coral reefs, these products often contain chemicals which have been proven to kill coral.

Sunscreen use has been so well promoted in America that sunscreen chemical benzophenone-3 is now found in the blood of 97% of Americans, including 90% of those who have never used sunscreens.

There have been many studies published over the years which prove that antioxidants are very effective in naturally protecting the skin from solar radiation. Eating foods rich in antioxidants will give you far greater protection from the sun than will sunscreens. Stopping sunscreen use will produce great benefits for coral, plankton, fish and our children, including those who are yet to be born.

We need the sun. Choosing to be exposed to it in the cooler times of the day allows its health-promoting rays to enter our skin and eyes, making us feel good and even keeping certain cancers at bay. Sunscreens have helped pour huge profits into the coffers of the companies making them, while an increasing number of independent studies question sunscreen benefits. Think before you apply them. At the very least, use organic sunscreens.

For more on this subject including a pdf of the entire NEXUS article visit: http://www.sunscreenbiohazard.com Dr. Plourde’s book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste is also available through the above website.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Barry Brailsford

Barry Brailsford has done much to rewrite the history of the colonization of New Zealand in ancient times. The Waitaha were/are a people of peace who found their way to these emerald isles some 2000 years ago. Barry’s books are a glimpse into a past and future imbued with qualities this nation and this world long for. The following is from StonePrint News  February 2012  Number 37

Kia ora friends

This news comes to you from Castle Hill Village, New Zealand on a bright, sunny summer’s day. This morning, a tree feller came to bring down a tall cedar on the land we tend. It was a sad occasion, but necessary, because some thirty years ago it’s seed had been blown into the centre of our beech forest. Now it was seeding its own kind, creating its own generation, which would smother this last remnant of native beech.

So the howl of a chainsaw was going to impinge on the beauty and silence of the day. I decided to handle this in the old way, in the way of those who tended the forests long ago. Remembering the elders’ teachings that they brought to the felling of a tree, I broke off a small branch and approached it and told the tree, and the forest around it, what was about to happen. Then I gently struck the place of the impending cut several times with the little branch and explained a deeper blow would follow and its life would end. All that it was would still be honoured for it would heat a home in the time of the winter snows and keep a new baby warm. Its leafy branches would be shredded to mulch the family garden and its wonderful scent would fill the air with the memory of what had been.

The chainsaw screeched. Silence. No shudder ran through the forest even when the tree fell. Did what was offered and the karakia help? I can’t say but it was done and I hope, done in a good way. Now, in keeping with the old ways, fifteen little trees of the beech kind will be planted to honour the passing of a tall tree.

The elder’s once told me the beech trees carry messages. For a long time I’d not understood the depths of what that might mean. However when they encouraged me to write Wisdom of the Four Winds, to bring the kaitiaki or spirit guardians back into our lives, I saw a little deeper. If wisdom is simply growing into greater awareness, then everything around us, the mountains and forests, the rivers and oceans, the birds and fish, the thunder and lightning, the Sun and the Moon have things to tell us.

Our modern age has become the message age. When I carried Pounamu, the healing stone of Aotearoa/New Zealand, to twelve North American tribes in 1992, the first elder I met asked me, ‘What is this age?’ Stunned by his question I gave an instant reply that still amazes me. Seemingly out of nowhere, I was filled with these words, ‘It’s the age without secrets.’

That was a strange response. One that bewildered me yet brought forth an answering smile. That question was asked of me again and again when I met the old ones. Looking back I wonder if the first elder seeded the answer in my mind to see if I would accept it and offer it back. Perhaps it was a test of a certain kind.

Anyway, the concept of an age without secrets has been a very important part of my journey since that time. If there are no secrets then truth marks the trail of our days, our conversations with friends and strangers, personal relationships, business transactions, government policies and international exchanges.

We may seem far from the Age of Truth, today. Yet, the seed is sown and as witnessed in recent times, the ability to hide the truth within the iron fist of dictatorship and hide corruption and torture behind walls of silence has been swept aside. The technological revolution that has placed cell phones with cameras in people’s hands is constantly changing the world. That device has already overthrown tyrants. And when we bring the world-wide-web into play — how I love that phrase — we open unlimited pathways to knowledge, truth and change.

“Honour the dream

that embraces the spirit of all

and know the flame of hope

burns brightly still. “

Song of the Old Tides

‘Honouring the Dream’

After thirty years devoted to driving my computer back through ancient knowledge I was called to share, I realise it’s time to help it move with the aid of the latest technologies.

So here I am, excited about starting up my own website; offering more on Facebook and You-tube, creating a blog site to answer frequently asked questions and planning to have ten of my titles available as E books within a year.

As well as my Facebook page I now have two blog sites in place http://barry-brailsford.blogspot.co.nz  and http://barry-brailsford-indigenous-knowledge.blogspot.co.nz/  It’s a kind of experiment. Those who have received my recent newsletters know I wrote the novel, Only a Hut in the Mountains, last year. This novel will not be published for some time, so I thought it would be good to share the beginning. You, see I’d love to have feedback and if enough readers wanted more, I could release more and more over the next few months and maybe we might get to the end of it. So that’s the thought behind this blog site. You are invited to have fun with Koro the old one!

‘Throwing the doors wider’

This is a steep learning curve for me. Please, bear with the process as it unfolds. Here are some of the topic I’m eager to share…

What is wisdom? Who were Waitaha? What evidence supports their story? Polynesian origins. Did they reach the Americas? Polynesian voyaging secrets. How the Moon influences our lives. Finding your People: be they Stone People, Bird People, Fire People, Water People or Tree People or one of the many other Peoples. Healing the past. The power of Pounamu. Opening the Peace Trail of the Pounamu. Maori trails. Maori sea-gardens. Our spirit guardians.

Wherever you are and whatever you walk at this time, remember…

‘Even the darkness brings learning to the light.

The balance is torn apart

but a wondrous new garment

may be woven in the mending.

Hope walks tall into tomorrow.’

So be it.

                                                            Song of the Circle

Kia Kaha! Walk in your truth!

Arohanui.

Barry Brailsford

http://www.stoneprint.co.nz    info@stoneprint.co.nz  mailto:info@stoneprint.co.nz    

http://barrybrailsford.blogspot.co.nz  

http://barry-brailsford-indigenous-knowledge.blogspot.co.nz

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocomb, Apex Reviews

 

My thanks to Helen Guthrie for printing the following inspiring article in the Far North Organic Networker that I received on Wednesday in the library. Read this. There is plenty of hope for our future as people begin to realize we can do so much more in terms of growing our own food locally than we presently are. It’s as inspiring as the Cuban example of organoponicos. Enjoy, John

By Vincent Graff

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2072383/Eccentric-town-Todmorden-growing-ALL-veg.html#ixzz1mcxB7bHC

Admittedly, it sounds like the most foolhardy of criminal capers, and one of the cheekiest, too.

Outside the police station in the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, there are three large raised flower beds.

If you’d visited a few months ago, you’d have found them overflowing with curly kale, carrot plants, lettuces, spring onions — all manner of vegetables and salad leaves.

Today the beds are bare. Why? Because people have been wandering up to the police station forecourt in broad daylight and digging up the vegetables. And what are the cops doing about this brazen theft from right under their noses? Nothing.

 

Food for thought: Todmorden resident Estelle Brown, a former interior designer, with a basket of home-grown veg

Well, that’s not quite correct.

‘I watch ’em on camera as they come up and pick them,’ says desk officer Janet Scott, with a huge grin. It’s the smile that explains everything.

For the vegetable-swipers are not thieves. The police station carrots — and thousands of vegetables in 70 large beds around the town — are there for the taking. Locals are encouraged to help themselves. A few tomatoes here, a handful of broccoli there. If they’re in season, they’re yours. Free.

So there are (or were) raspberries, apricots and apples on the canal towpath; blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries beside the doctor’s surgery; beans and peas outside the college; cherries in the supermarket car park; and mint, rosemary, thyme and fennel by the health centre.

The vegetable plots are the most visible sign of an amazing plan: to make Todmorden the first town in the country that is self-sufficient in food.

‘And we want to do it by 2018,’ says Mary Clear, 56, a grandmother of ten and co-founder of Incredible Edible, as the scheme is called.

‘It’s a very ambitious aim. But if you don’t aim high, you might as well stay in bed, mightn’t you?’

So what’s to stop me turning up with a huge carrier bag and grabbing all the rosemary in the town?

‘Nothing,’ says Mary.

What’s to stop me nabbing all the apples?

‘Nothing.’

All your raspberries?

‘Nothing.’

It just doesn’t happen like that, she says. ‘We trust people. We truly believe — we are witness to it — that people are decent.’

When she sees the Big Issue seller gathering fruit for his lunch, she feels only pleasure. What does it matter, argues Mary, if once in a while she turns up with her margarine tub to find that all the strawberries are gone?

‘This is a revolution,’ she says. ‘But we are gentle revolutionaries. Everything we do is underpinned by kindness.’

The idea came about after she and co-founder Pam Warhurst, the former owner of the town’s Bear Cafe, began fretting about the state of the world and wondered what they could do.

They reasoned that all they could do is start locally, so they got a group of people, mostly women, together in the cafe.

Incredible Edible is about more than plots of veg. It’s about educating people about food, and stimulating the local economy (pictured Vincent Graff and Estelle)

‘Wars come about by men having drinks in bars, good things come about when women drink coffee together,’ says Mary.

‘Our thinking was: there’s so much blame in the world — blame local government, blame politicians, blame bankers, blame technology — we thought, let’s just do something positive instead.’

We’re standing by a car park in the town centre. Mary points to a housing estate up the hill. Her face lights up.

‘The children walk past here on the way to school. We’ve filled the flower beds with fennel and they’ve all been taught that if you bite fennel, it tastes like a liquorice gobstopper. When I see the children popping little bits of herb into their mouths, I just think it’s brilliant.’

She takes me over to the front garden of her own house, a few yards away.

Three years ago, when Incredible Edible was launched, she did a very unusual thing: she lowered her front wall, in order to encourage passers-by to walk into her garden and help themselves to whatever vegetables took their fancy.

There were signs asking people to take something but it took six months for folk to ‘get it’, she says.

They get it now. Obviously a few town-centre vegetable plants — even thousands of them — are not going to feed a community of 15,000 by themselves.

But the police station potatoes act as a recruiting sergeant — to encourage residents to grow their own food at home.

Today, hundreds of townspeople who began by helping themselves to the communal veg are now well on the way to self-sufficiency.

But out on the street, what gets planted where? There’s kindness even in that.

‘The ticket man at the railway station, who was very much loved, was unwell. Before he died, we asked him: “What’s your favourite vegetable, Reg?” It was broccoli. So we planted memorial beds with broccoli at the station. One stop up the line, at Hebden Bridge, they loved Reg, too — and they’ve also planted broccoli in his memory.’

Not that all the plots are — how does one put this delicately? — ‘official’.

Take the herb bushes by the canal. Owners British Waterways had no idea locals had been sowing plants there until an official inspected the area ahead of a visit by the Prince of Wales last year (Charles is a huge Incredible Edible fan).

Estelle Brown, a 67-year-old former interior designer who tended the plot, received an email from British Waterways.

‘I was a bit worried to open it,’ she says. ‘But it said: “How do you build a raised bed? Because my boss wants one outside his office window.”’

Incredible Edible is also about much more than plots of veg. It’s about educating people about food, and stimulating the local economy.

There are lessons in pickling and preserving fruits, courses on bread-making, and the local college is to offer a BTEC in horticulture. The thinking is that young people who have grown up among the street veg may make a career in food.

Crucially, the scheme is also about helping local businesses. The Bear, a wonderful shop and cafe with a magnificent original Victorian frontage, sources all its ingredients from farmers within a 30-mile radius.

There’s a brilliant daily market. People here can eat well on local produce, and thousands now do.

Meanwhile, the local school was recently awarded a £500,000 Lottery grant to set up a fish farm in order to provide food for the locals and to teach useful skills to young people.

Jenny Coleman, 62, who retired here from London, explains: ‘We need something for our young people to do. If you’re an 18-year-old, there’s got to be a good answer to the question: why would I want to stay in Todmorden?’

The day I visit, the town is battered by a bitterly-cold rain storm.  Yet the place radiates warmth. People speak to each other in the street, wave as neighbours drive past, smile.

If the phrase hadn’t been hijacked, the words ‘we’re all in this together’ would spring to mind.

So what sort of place is Todmorden (known locally, without exception, as ‘Tod’)? If you’re assuming it’s largely peopled by middle-class grandmothers, think again. Nor is this place a mecca for the gin-and-Jag golf club set.

Set in a Pennine valley — once, the road through the town served as the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire — it is a vibrant mix of age, class and ethnicity.

A third of households do not own a car; a fifth do not have central heating.

You can snap up a terrace house for £50,000 — or spend close to £1 million on a handsome stone villa with seven bedrooms.

And the scheme has brought this varied community closer together, according to Pam Warhurst.

Take one example. ‘The police have told us that, year on year, there has been a reduction in vandalism since we started,’ she says. ‘We weren’t expecting this.’

So why has it happened?

Pam says: ‘If you take a grass verge that was used as a litter bin and a dog toilet and turn it into a place full of herbs and fruit trees, people won’t vandalise it. I think we are hard-wired not to damage food.’

Pam reckons a project like Incredible Edible could thrive in all sorts of places. ‘If the population is very transient, it’s difficult. But if you’ve got schools, shops, back gardens and verges, you can do it.’

Similar schemes are being piloted in 21 other towns in the UK, and there’s been interest shown from as far afield as Spain, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada. And, this week, Mary Clear gave a talk to an all-party group of MPs at Westminster.

Todmorden was visited by a planner from New Zealand, working on the rebuilding of his country after February’s earthquake.

Mary says: ‘He went back saying: “Why wouldn’t we rebuild the railway station with pick-your-own herbs? Why wouldn’t we rebuild the health centre with apple trees?”

‘What we’ve done is not clever. It just wasn’t being done.’

The final word goes to an outsider. Joe Strachan is a wealthy U.S. former sales director who decided to settle in Tod with his Scottish wife, after many years in California.

He is 61 but looks 41. He became active with Incredible Edible six months ago, and couldn’t be happier digging, sowing and juicing fruit.

I find myself next to him, sheltering from the driving rain. Why, I ask, would someone forsake the sunshine of California for all this?

His answer sums up what the people around here have achieved.

‘There’s a nobility to growing food and allowing people to share it. There’s a feeling we’re doing something significant rather than just moaning that the state can’t take care of us.

‘Maybe we all need to learn to take care of ourselves.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2072383/Eccentric-town-Todmorden-growing-ALL-veg.html#ixzz1mcxB7bHC

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

This poem written by Max Ehrmann in 1927 is an enduring classic full of timeless wisdom. It is followed by several very funny take-offs on the original. I hope you enjoy. John

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.    

      

The National Lampoon Version of Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and placid people, unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires.  Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself, and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss, and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Whenever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance.

Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate. Know yourself; if you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you—that lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth—birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan—and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 606-4311… ask for Candy. Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese; and reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee.

You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the Universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore, make peace with your God, whatever you may perceive Him to be: hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate.

Give up.

 

Internet Desiderata Spoof

Go placidly amid the glitches and errors and remember what peace there may be in DSL. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all message boards. Type your truth spelled properly and with grammatical correctness; and read others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid people who spam and use stupid icons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare your site to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser web sites than your own. Enjoy your site awards as well as your subscribers.

Keep interested in your link pop, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing rankings of search engines.

Exercise caution in your affiliates; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; the information highway strives for high ideals; and everywhere the web is full of shareware.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign HTML knowledge. Neither be cynical about code; for in the face of all obfuscation, it is as necessary as your password.

Take kindly the counsel of the geeks, gracefully surrendering to XML and PHP. Nurture patience with technology to shield you in sudden upgrades. But do not distress yourself with downtime worries. Many fears are born of infected attachments and poor connections.

You are a child of the Internet, no less than the hackers and the housewives; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Internet is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with Bill Gates, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your mission and agenda, in the noisy confusion of cyberspace, keep peace with your ISP. With all its viruses, slow downloads and broken links, it is still a beautiful Internet. Be careful. Strive to stay connected.

FOUND IN OLD CPU, WALLING; DATED 2000

New Zealand

Detritus – by Les Barker, Poet Laureate in the works

Go placidly amid the noise and haste
And remember what peace there may be in silence
Do not walk behind me for I may not lead
Do not walk in front for I may not follow
Go over there somewhere

Speak your truth quietly and clearly
Be open-minded, but do not lean forward or your brain may fall out

Know that there will be good days and there will be bad days
And this is one of them

Always dismantle and clean the dog before going to bed
But avoid the use of spot remover, you may never see him again

You are a child of the universe
It is a small world unless you have to paint it
Do not wish for everything unless you have a really big cupboard

Avoid loud and aggressive persons
Sleep well
If you cannot sleep well, practice more often

Borrow from pessimists, they don’t expect it back

Remember if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day
Teach him to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink himself stupid

It is always darkest before the dawn
That is the time to steal your neighbours newspaper

Be gentle with yourself
Bear in mind that depression is anger without enthusiasm
And good health merely the slowest way to die

Never argue with a fool for he is doing the same

Know that if at first you don’t succeed sky-diving’s not a good idea
And that timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance

Always remember that all is not lost
Though I haven’t seen it for some time

Be yourself
If you cannot become wiser try to be older

Never stand between the dog and the lamppost
And never hit a man with glasses
Always use something bigger and heavier
And remember that some people are only alive because it’s illegal to kill them

A closed mouth gathers no feet
Nature abhors a vacuum cleaner

Be cheerful
Strive to be happy
And remember that your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others

Go far
And start as soon as possible

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

My thanks to Nancy for the following true story:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.

He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

On Friday and Saturday we moved our 25,000 book library to its new home in the fantastic newTe Ahu Centre in Kaitaia. It was a monumental effort of many people including Sabine Beard who took the following photos on her phone. We are extremely pleased with the new space conceived by Story Inc of Wellington. Two different people said they felt the atrium entrance to the complex has a cathedral-like feeling. I think the library and museum are reminiscent of the national museum of Te Papa in Wellington. Te Ahu roughly translates as ‘meeting place’.

Step one: Load books in banana boxes

Step two: Take them to the new space, even if not yet completely readyStep three: put the books on the shelves.Voila: A multimedia library with cafe.

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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