Miscellany and Trivia

ZEN COMPUTER HAIKU

In Japan, the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages have been replaced with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules. Each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Here are 16 error messages from Japan, expressing the essence of Zen:Your file was so big.

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THE TALMUDIST

After months of negotiation with the authorities, a Talmudist from Odessa was granted permission to visit Moscow. He boarded the train and found an empty seat. At the next stop a young man got on and sat next to him.
The scholar looked at the young man and thought: This fellow doesn’t look like a peasant, and if he isn’t a peasant he probably comes from this district. If he comes from this district, then he must be Jewish because this is, after all, a Jewish district.
On the other hand, if he is a Jew, where could he be going? I’m the only Jew in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow.

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I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN ESOTERICIST

I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN ESOTERICIST

(with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)

by Bill Beattie

I am the very model of a modern esotericist,
A seasoned astral traveler and edifying exorcist,
A sparkling star astrologer, a dead adroit necromancer,
A dab hand as a palmist and a card as a tarotmancer.

I’ve folk tradition lineage—Celtic and Germanical;
I’ve channeled Dion Fortune, and I’ve busted cults satanical;
Elusively mysterious in Eleusinian Mysteries,
I’ve proven eighty-three per cent of Velikovsky’s histories.

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BROTHERHOOD AMONG THE BEASTS: THE HIPPO AND THE TORTOISE

Hippo & Tortoise

 

NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby-hippopotamus that survived the 2004 tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombasa, officials said.
The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsumani waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.
“It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a ‘mother’,” ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.
“After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,” the ecologist added.
“The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,” Kahumbu added. “The hippo is a young baby; he was left  at a very tender age, and by nature hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years,” he explained.

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