Tsampa

Tsampa or Tsamba (Tibetan: རྩམ་པ་, Wylie: rtsam pa; Chinese: 糌粑; pinyin: zānbā) is a Tibetan and Himalayan Nepalese staple foodstuff, particularly prominent in the central part of the region. It is roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour. It is usually mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea.

Tsampa is quite simple to prepare; indeed, it is known as a convenience food and often used by the Sherpas, nomads, and other travelers. While traditional tsampa is prepared with tea, water or beer is sometimes used in its place. It may also be prepared as a porridge. André Migot described its preparation:
You leave a little buttered tea in the bottom of your bowl and put a big dollop of tsampa on top of it. You stir gently with the forefinger, then knead with the hand, meanwhile twisting your bowl round and round until you finish up with a large dumplinglike object which you proceed to ingest, washing it down with more tea

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. The whole operation demands a high degree of manual dexterity, and you need a certain amount of practical experience before you can judge correctly how much tsampa goes with how much tea. Until you get these proportions right the end product is apt to turn into either a lump of desiccated dough or else a semiliquid paste which sticks to your fingers. Sometimes you lace this preparation with a form of powdered milk, made from curds which have been dried in the sun.
Besides constituting a substantial, arguably predominant part of the Tibetan diet, its prominence also derives from the tradition of throwing pinches of tsampa in the air during many Buddhist rituals. It is believed that tsampa-throwing actually predates Buddhist beliefs in the area and was originally used as an offering to animistic gods to request their protection. The tradition was consequently incorporated into Buddhism as a “mark of joy and celebration” used at celebratory occasions such as marriages and birthdays. Today it is particularly known in that regard for its use in New Year celebrations, where it is accompanied by chanted verses expressing the desire for good luck in the forthcoming year, for both oneself and others. Tsampa-throwing also occurs at most Buddhist funerals, where the action is intended to release the soul of the deceased.
Tsampa is used in a number of other ways. Mashes of tsampa and cumin are sometimes applied to toothaches or other sore spots. Tsampa is also known among Tibetan sportsmen for its ability to provide rapid energy boosts; the roasting of the flour breaks it down to an easily digestible state, allowing the calories therein to be quickly incorporated by the body.
Reflecting its foundational role in Tibetan culture, “Tsampa” is also the name of a Tibetan typeface.
The phrase “tsampa-eater” was used to promote a unified Tibetan identity. Whereas Tibetans speak various dialects, worship in different sects, and live in different regions, all Tibetans were thought to eat tsampa. In 1957, the India-based Tibet Mirror addressed a letter to “all tsampa-eaters”, encouraging them to participate in what would become the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. Recently, with the rise of the Tibetan diaspora, less emphasis has been placed on tsampa and more emphasis on Tibetan Buddhism in constructing a unified Tibetan identity.

The Secret of Monkey Island

The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. It takes place in a fantastic version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy. The player assumes the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate and explores fictional islands while solving puzzles.
The game was conceived in 1988 by Lucasfilm employee Ron Gilbert, who designed it with Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. Gilbert’s frustrations with contemporary adventure titles led him to make the player character’s death almost impossible, which meant that gameplay focused the game on exploration. The atmosphere was based on that of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride. The Secret of Monkey Island was the fifth game built with the SCUMM engine, which was heavily modified to include a more user-friendly interface.
Critics praised The Secret of Monkey Island for its humor, audiovisuals, and gameplay. The game spawned a number of sequels, collectively known as the Monkey Island series. Gilbert, Schafer and Grossman also led the development of the sequel Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. LucasArts released a remake of the original in 2009, which was also well received by the gaming press.

The Secret of Monkey Island is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Via a point-and-click interface, the player guides protagonist Guybrush Threepwood through the game’s world and interacts with the environment by selecting from twelve verb commands (nine in newer versions) such as “talk to” for communicating with characters and “pick up” for collecting items between commands and the world’s objects in order to successfully solve puzzles and thus progress in the game. While conversing with other characters, the player may choose between topics for discussion that are listed in a dialog tree; the game is one of the first to incorporate such a system. The in-game action is frequently interrupted by cutscenes. Like other LucasArts adventure games, The Secret of Monkey Island features a design philosophy that makes the player character’s death nearly impossible (Guybrush does drown if he stays underwater for more than ten minutes).
A youth named Guybrush Threepwood arrives on the fictional Mêlée IslandTM, with the desire to become a pirate. He seeks out the island’s pirate leaders, who set him three trials that must be completed to become a pirate: winning a sword duel against Carla, the island’s resident swordmaster, finding a buried treasure, and stealing a valuable idol from the governor’s mansion. These quests take Guybrush throughout the island, where he hears of stories of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, who apparently died in an expedition to the mysterious Monkey IslandTM, an act that was meant to win the love of the governor Elaine Marley. Guybrush meets several characters of interest, including a local voodoo priestess, Stan the Used Boat Salesman, Carla the Sword Master, a prisoner named Otis, and Meathook, whose hands have been replaced by hooks.
Guybrush also encounters the governor and is instantly smitten, and she soon reciprocates. However, as he completes the tasks set for him, the island is raided by LeChuck and his undead crew, who abduct Elaine and then retreat to their secret hideout on Monkey IslandTM. Guybrush takes it upon himself to rescue her, buying a ship and hiring Carla, Otis, and Meathook as crew before setting sail for the fabled island. When Guybrush reaches Monkey Island, he discovers a village of cannibals in a dispute with Herman Toothrot, a ragged castaway marooned there. He settles their quarrel, and then recovers a magical “voodoo root” from LeChuck’s ship for the cannibals, who provide him with a seltzer bottle of “voodoo root elixir” that can destroy ghosts.
When Guybrush returns to LeChuck’s ship with the elixir, he learns that LeChuck has returned to Mêlée IslandTM to marry Elaine at the church. He promptly returns to Mêlée IslandTM and gatecrashes the wedding, only to ruin Elaine’s own plan for escape; in the process he loses the elixir. Now confronted with a furious LeChuck, Guybrush is savagely beaten by the ghost pirate in a fight ranging across the island. The fight eventually arrives at the island’s ship emporium, where Guybrush finds a bottle of root beer. Substituting the beverage for the lost elixir, he sprays LeChuck, destroying the ghost pirate. With LeChuck defeated, Guybrush and Elaine enjoy a romantic moment, watching fireworks caused by LeChuck exploding.
Ron Gilbert conceived the idea of a pirate adventure game in 1988, after completing Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. He first wrote story ideas about pirates while spending the weekend at a friend’s house. Gilbert experimented with introductory paragraphs to find a satisfactory idea. His initial story featured unnamed villains that would eventually become LeChuck and Elaine; Guybrush was absent at this point. He pitched it to Lucasfilm Games’s staff as a series of short stories. Gilbert’s idea was warmly received, but production was postponed because Lucasfilm Games assigned its designers, including Gilbert, to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure. Development of The Last Crusade was finished in 1989, which allowed Gilbert to begin production of The Secret of Monkey Island, then known internally under the working title Mutiny on Monkey Island.
Gilbert soon realised that it would be difficult to design the game by himself; he decided to join forces with Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, both of whom he hired for Lucasfilm. The game’s insult sword fighting mechanics were influenced by swashbuckling movies starring Errol Flynn, which Gilbert, Schafer and Grossman often watched for inspiration. They noticed that pirates in those films often taunted their opponents instead of attacking them, which gave the designers the idea to base the game’s duels on insults rather than combat. Writer Orson Scott Card helped them write the insults during a visit to Lucasfilm’s headquarters at Skywalker Ranch. Many of Gilbert’s original gameplay ideas were abandoned during the production process, although he stated that “most of that stuff was left out for a reason”.
The game’s plot, as described by Dave Grossman: “It’s a story about this young man who comes to an island in search of his life’s dream. He’s pursuing his career goals and he discovers love in the process and winds up thinking that was actually more important than what he was doing to begin with. You’re laughing, but there’s actually something deeper going on as well.” When work on the plot began, Gilbert discovered that Schafer’s and Grossman’s writing styles were too different to form a cohesive whole: Grossman’s was “very kind of a dry, sarcastic humor” and Schafer’s was “just a little more in your face”. In reaction, Gilbert assigned them to different characters and story moments depending on what type of comedy was required. Grossman believed that this benefited the game’s writing, as he and Schafer “were all funny in slightly different ways, and it worked well together”. Schafer and Grossman wrote most of the dialogue while they were programming the game; as a result, much of it was improvised. Some of the dialogue was based on the designers’ personal experiences, such as Guybrush’s line “I had a feeling in hell there would be mushrooms”, which came from Schafer’s own hatred of fungi.
The game’s world and characters were designed primarily by Gilbert. After having read Tim Powers’ historical fantasy novel On Stranger Tides, he decided to add paranormal themes to the game’s plot. He also cited Powers’ book as an influence on the characters, particularly those of Guybrush and LeChuck. Inspiration for the game’s ambiance came from Gilbert’s favorite childhood amusement park ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. Grossman said that Gilbert always wanted “to step off the ride” and “talk to the people who lived in that world”. Near the final stages of the design work, Gilbert introduced several characters who were not directly related to the game’s story. He considered this to be an important decision, as the player would need those seemingly minor characters in later parts of the game and would receive a chance to “really interact with them”.
Gilbert, Schafer and Grossman’s primary goal was to create a simpler and more accessible gameplay model than those presented in previous Lucasfilm titles. Gilbert had conceived the main designs and puzzles before production began, which resulted in the bulk of the designers’ work to flesh out his ideas. He was frustrated by the adventure games that Sierra On-Line was releasing at the time, and later said that “you died any time you did anything wrong”. Gilbert considered such gameplay as “a cheap way out for the designer”. He had previously applied his design ideas to the 1987 graphic adventure title Maniac Mansion, but committed a number of mistakes during development, such as dead-end situations that prevented the player from completing the game and poorly implemented triggers for cutscenes. Gilbert aimed to avoid such errors in The Secret of Monkey Island. The team decided to make it impossible for the player character to die, which focused gameplay primarily on world exploration. The Sierra game-over screen was parodied, when Guybrush falls off a cliff only to be bounced back up by a “rubber tree”.
The Secret of Monkey Island was the fifth Lucasfilm Games project powered by the SCUMM engine, originally developed for Maniac Mansion. The company had gradually modified the engine since its creation. For Maniac Mansion, the developers hard coded verb commands in the SCUMM scripting language. These commands become more abstract in subsequent versions of the engine. The developers carried over the practice of referring to individual segments of the gameworld as “rooms”, even though the areas in Monkey Island were outdoors. The game uses the same version of the engine used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with minor changes. A dialog tree was added, which facilitated conversation options and the sword-fighting puzzles. The developers removed the “What is” option (an input command that describes an on-screen object to the player) in favor of allowing the player to simply highlight the object with the mouse cursor. The game’s improved interface became the standard for the company’s later titles. The game also introduced logical verb shortcuts, which could be performed with the mouse; for example, clicking on a character defaults to the “talk” action, the most obvious action in the situation. SCUMM’s visuals were updated for the game—the original EGA version had a 320×200 pixel resolution rendered in 16 colors. According to artist Steve Purcell, that became a major limitation for the art team; due to a low number of “ghastly” colors, they often chose bizarre tones for backgrounds. They chose black and white for Guybrush’s outfit for the same reason. The VGA version of the game later corrected these issues by implementing 256 color support, which allowed for more advanced background and character art. The VGA (and other platform releases) removed the infamous “stump joke” from the game, which was a joke in the EGA version in which the player would examine a tree stump in the forest. Guybrush would exclaim that there is an opening to a system of catacombs and attempt to enter, but this would result in a message stating the player needed to insert disc 22, then 36, then 114 in order to continue. The joke resulted in numerous calls to the LucasArts hotline asking about missing discs. As a result, the joke was removed from later editions and is a mentioned as a conversation option for the LucasArts Hint Hotline in the sequel.
The game’s “pirate reggae” music was composed by Lucasfilm Games’ in-house musician Michael Land in MIDI format. It was his first project at the company. The game was originally released for floppy disk in 1990, but a CD-ROM version with a high-quality CD soundtrack followed in 1992. The music has remained popular, and has been remixed by the musicians of OverClocked ReMix and by the game’s fans.
LucasArts released a remake with updated audiovisuals titled The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition in July 2009 for iPhone, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox 360 exclusively via digital distribution. PlayStation 3, Mac OS and iPad versions followed early in 2010 for download on their respective services. LucasArts confirmed the game’s development on June 1, 2009; rumors appeared several days earlier when the Xbox 360 version of the game received an USK rating. The game was first displayed to the public at the 2009 E3 in June. The remake features hand-drawn visuals with more detail, a remastered musical score, voice work for characters, and a hint system. The developers included the function to switch between 2009 and original audiovisuals at will. The voice actors included Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood and Earl Boen as LeChuck; most had provided voice work in sequels to The Secret of Monkey Island.
LucasArts’s game producer Craig Derrick and his team conceived the idea of the remake in 2008. After researching the Monkey Island series’ history, they decided to make “something fresh and new while staying true to the original”, which resulted in the idea of The Secret of Monkey Island’s remake. The developers tried to leave much of the original design unchanged. Any changes were intended to achieve the level of immersion desired for the original. To that end, they added details like a pirate ship or pirates talking in the background of scenes. While the team considered the SCUMM interface revolutionary at the time, LucasArts community manager Brooks Brown noted that it is incompatible with an analog stick, which most consoles use. The designers made the cursor contextual to the game objects as the primary interface. Brown had considered updating the reference to advertise Star Wars: The Force Unleashed because Loom was not on the market at the time, but concluded that the game would not be the same if such changes were implemented. Prior to the Special Edition release, however, LucasArts announced that Loom, along with other games from its back catalog, would be made available on Steam. Brown stated that the decision to distribute the game online was because “digital downloads have finally gotten going”.
The Secret of Monkey Island sold well and received positive reviews from critics. Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser of Dragon praised the designers’ attention to detail, and cited the game’s humor as a high point. Although they believed that the game was too expensive, they summarized it as “a highly enjoyable graphic adventure replete with interesting puzzles, a fantastic Roland soundtrack, superb VGA graphics, smooth-scrolling animation, and some of the funniest lines ever seen on your computer screen.” Duncan MacDonald of Zero praised the graphics and found the game “quite amusing”. His favorite aspect was the fine-tuned difficulty level, which he believed was “just right”. He ended his review, “At last an adventure game that’s enjoyable rather than frustrating.” Paul Glancey of Computer and Video Games consider the game superior to Lucasfilm’s earlier adventure titles, and wrote that

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, “Usually the entertainment you get from an adventure is derived solely from solving puzzles, but the hilarious characters and situations, and the movie-like presentation … make playing this more like taking part in a comedy film, so it’s much more enjoyable.” He considered the puzzles to be “brilliantly conceived” and found the game’s controls accessible. He summarized it as “utterly enthralling”.
ACE’s Steve Cooke also found the controls convenient, and he praised the game’s atmosphere. He wrote that, “in graphics and sound terms … Monkey Island, along with King’s Quest V, is currently at the head of the pack.” However, he disliked the designers’ running joke of placing “TM” after character and place names, which he thought detracted from the atmosphere. He singled out the game’s writing, characters and plot structure as its best elements. Amiga Power’s Mark Ramshaw wrote, “With The Secret of Monkey Island, the mouse-controlled, graphic-adventure comes of age.” He lauded its comedic elements, which he believed were the highlight of the game. The reviewer also praised the control scheme, noting that it allows the player to “more or less forget about the specifics of what [they are] physically doing … and lose [themselves] in the adventure instead.” He noted that the game’s plot and visual and aural presentation fit together to create a thick atmosphere, and finished, “Forget all those other milestone adventures (Zork, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings et al) — for sheer enjoyment and general all-round perfection, The Secret of Monkey Island creams ’em all in style.” The game, along with its sequel, was ranked the 19th best game of all time by Amiga Power.
Writing for The One, Paul Presley stated that “Lucasfilm appears to have taken all of the elements that worked in its previous releases and, not only incorporated them into this tale of scurvy swashbuckling, but even improved on them in the process!” Like the other reviewers, he praised its controls. He also lauded its “hilarious storyline, strong characters and … intriguing setting”, but complained about graphical slowdowns. Nick Clarkson of Amiga Computing cited the game’s graphics as “flawless”, noting that “the characters are superbly animated and the backdrops simply ooze atmosphere.” He highly praised its sound effects and music, and believed that its controls “couldn’t be simpler”. The staff of Amiga Action wrote that the “attention to detail and the finely tuned gameplay cannot be faulted.” They called the graphics “stunning throughout”, and believed that, when they were combined with the “excellent Caribbean tunes”, the result is a game filled with “character and atmosphere.” They ended by stating that “there is absolutely no excuse for not owning this game.”
The Secret of Monkey Island has featured regularly in lists of “top” games, such as Computer Gaming World’s Hall of Fame and IGN’s Video Game Hall of Fame. In 1996, Computer Gaming World ranked it as the 19th best game of all time, “writing “Who could ever forget the insult-driven duel system or the identity of the mysterious Swordmaster?”. In 2004, readers of Retro Gamer voted it as the 33rd top retro game. In 2010, IGN ranked the Xbox Live Arcade version as the 20th best title of all time for that platform. In 2009, IGN named The Secret of Monkey Island one of the ten best LucasArts adventure games.
Like the original release, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition received positive reviews from critics. Sean Ely of GamePro praised its updated audio, and said that the new graphics “blow the old clunker visuals … out of the water”. He cited its script, humor, plot, puzzles and balanced difficulty level as high points, and finished, “The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is impressive, hilarious and downright worth your money.” Daemon Hatfield of IGN wrote, “Almost 20 years after its release, [The Secret of Monkey Island] remains a blast to play.” He called the new graphics “slick, if a little generic”, and noted that the “original graphics have a certain charm to them that the fancy pants new visuals just don’t.” However, he enjoyed the redone music, the new hint function, and the added sound effects and voice acting. He summarized it as “one of the best times you’ll ever have pointing and clicking”, and noted that “few games are this funny.” Justin Calvert of GameSpot noted that “the Special Edition looks much better and is the only way to play if you want to hear … what characters are saying, whereas the original game’s interface is less clunky.” However, he wrote that “the voice work is such a great addition to the game that it’s difficult to go back to the original edition.” He praised its humor, writing, puzzles and characters, and he believed that it had aged well. Eurogamer’s Dan Whitehead wrote, “Purists like me will almost certainly find something to grumble about over the span of the game, but the overall impact of the redesign is undeniably for the better.” However, he preferred the original game’s Guybrush design, and believed that the new control system was “rather less intuitive” than the old one. He finished by stating that “few games can stand the test of time with such confidence”.
The Secret of Monkey Island spawned four sequels. The first, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, was released in 1991 and focuses on LeChuck’s return. Six years later, LucasArts released The Curse of Monkey Island, which features a new visual design. In 2000, the company released Escape from Monkey Island, which uses the GrimE engine of Grim Fandango to produce 3D graphics. The next title, Tales of Monkey Island released in 2009, is a series of five episodic chapters.
Elements of the game have appeared elsewhere in popular culture. The original version was selected as one of five for the exhibition The Art of Video Games in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2011. A fictive drink recipe in the game for grog was mistakenly reported as real in 2009 by Argentinian news channel C5N, which urged adolescents against consuming the dangerous Grog XD drink. In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush refers to this news story while pushing the Grog XD button on a Grog machine.

Ahirudin Attan

Datuk Ahirudin bin Attan, (born 20 December 1961) also known as Rocky Bru, is a Malaysian blogger, journalist and former editor of several New Straits Times Press (NSTP) publications, including the Business Times, The Malay Mail and The Sunday Mail. He currently runs a blog, dubbed Rocky’s Bru, and resides in Kuala Lumpur.

Ahirudin’s first foray into journalism was as a journalist for the Business Times in 1985, after graduating from Institut Teknologi MARA (now Universiti Teknologi MARA). In 1992, he served as the group’s London correspondent and would later furthered his studies in Cardiff in 1993, taking up a course in Advanced Journalism. Ahirudin was appointed Editor of the Business Times in 1997 and remained so until he was appointed Acting Editor of The Malay Mail on 16 October 2001. He was further reappointed as the Executive Editor of both the Malay Mail and Sunday Mail on 1 May 2004, following a restructuring in the paper’s news desk.
On 13 February 2006, Ahirudin resigned from his editorial position as the newspaper was revamped to cater to younger readerships. Ahirudin further departed from the New Straits Times Press in May 2006, amid speculation that included a “run-in with the present head honchos in the organization.” Ahirudin has worked with the NSTP for 21 years.
Ahirudin was the President of the National Press Club from 2003 to 31 March 2007, succeeded by Mokhtar Hussain, his brother, and remains as its adviser until March 2009

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. He is also an Editorial Consultant, and columnist.
In May 2006, Ahirudin started Rocky’s Bru, a Blogger.com-based blog centred primarily on journalism, mass media and politics.
Ahirudin’s blog has garnered sufficient attention by the NSTP that it was blocked from NSTP offices and branches nationwide within two weeks after the blog was formed, and has prompted the group to launch a lawsuit against him, alongside blogger Jeff Ooi, on 11 January 2007, for libel. As of March 2008, the suit is in progress.
On 6 April 2007, Ahirudin was appointed the President of the National Bloggers Alliance, a newly formed group aimed at protecting the rights of Malaysian bloggers and promoting responsible blogging.
Ahirudin has developed a relatively healthy friendship with Jeff Ooi. However, Ahirudin has stated in a press conference on 23 January 2007 that he has previous engaged Ooi in a “healthy” exchange of words:
“There was name calling (by the blog readers), [Ooi] used his blog space to criticise and I used my column in the [New] Sunday Times to respond. Had it gone on and on it would’ve been a healthy debate.”

Prayer wheel

A prayer wheel is a cylindrical wheel (Tibetan: འཁོར་, Wylie: ‘khor) on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. Also sometimes depicted are Dakinis, Protectors and very often the 8 auspicious symbols Ashtamangala. At the core of the cylinder is a “Life Tree” often made of wood or metal with certain mantras written on or wrapped around it. Many thousands (or in the case of larger prayer wheels, millions) of mantras are then wrapped around this life tree. The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is most commonly used, but other mantras may be used as well. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts regarding prayer wheels, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers.

Prayer wheel or Mani wheel (Tibetan: མ་ནི་ཆོས་འཁོར་, Wylie: mani-chos-‘khor). The Tibetan term is a contraction: “Mani” itself is a contraction of Sanskrit cintamani; “chos” is Tibetan for Dharma; and “khor” or “khorlo” means chakrano
The earliest recorded prayer wheels were written of by a Chinese pilgrim around 400 C.E. in Ladakh.[citation needed] The concept of the prayer wheel is a physical manifestation of the phrase “turning the wheel of Dharma,” which describes the way in which the Buddha taught. Prayer Wheels originated from ‘The School of Shakyamuni sutra, volume 3 – pagoda and temple’ which states that, “those who set up the place for worship, use the knowledge to propagate the dharma to common people, should there be any man or woman who are illiterate and unable to read the sutra, they should then set up the prayer wheel to facilitate those illiterate to chant the sutra, and the effect is the same as reading the sutra”
According to the Tibetan tradition, the prayer wheel lineage traces back to the famous Indian master, Arya Nagarjuna. Tibetan texts also say that the practice was taught by the Indian Buddhist masters Tilopa and Naropa as well as the Tibetan masters Marpa and Milarepa.
According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma). In Buddhism, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have created a variety of skillful means (upaya) to help bring practitioners ever closer to realizing enlightenment. The idea of spinning mantras relates to numerous Tantric practices whereby the Tantric practitioner visualizes mantras revolving around the nadis and especially around the meridian chakras such as the heart and crown. Therefore, prayer wheels are a visual aid for developing one’s capacity for these types of Tantric visualizations. The spiritual method for those practicing with a prayer wheel is very specific (with slight variations according to different Buddhist sects). The practitioner most often spins the wheel clockwise, as the direction in which the mantras are written is that of the movement of the sun across the sky. On rare occasions, advanced Tantric practitioners such as Senge Dongma, the Lion-Faced Dakini, spin prayer wheels counterclockwise to manifest a more wrathful protective energy. As the practitioner turns the wheel, it is best to focus the mind and repeat the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra. Not only does this increase the merit earned by the wheel’s use, but it is a mind-stabilization technique that trains the mind while the body is in motion. Intoning the mani mantra with mindfulness and the “Bodhicitta” motivation dramatically enhances the effects of the prayer wheel. However, it is said that even turning it while distracted has benefits and merits, and it is stated in the lineage text that even insects that cross a prayer wheel’s shadow will get some benefit. Each revolution is as meritorious as reading the inscription aloud as many times as it is written on the scroll, and this means that the more Om Mani Padme Hum mantras that are inside a prayer wheel, the more powerful it is. It is best to turn the wheel with a gentle rhythm and not too fast or frantically. While turning smoothly, one keeps in mind the motivation and spirit of compassion and bodhichitta (the noble mind that aspires to full enlightenment for the benefit of all beings). The benefits attributed to the practice of turning the wheel are vast

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. Not only does it help wisdom, compassion and bodhichitta arise in the practitioner, it also enhances siddhis (spiritual powers such as clairvoyance, precognition, reading others thoughts, etc.). The practitioner can repeat the mantra as many times as possible during the turning of the wheel, stabilizing a calm, meditative mind. At the end of a practice session, there is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition of dedicating any accumulated merits that one may have gathered during practice to the benefit of all sentient beings. Then Om Ah Hum 3 times. This is customary with Tibetans upon completing any Buddhist practice, including the practice of the prayer wheel.
Thubten Zopa Rinpoche has commented that installing a prayer wheel has the capacity to completely transform a place, which becomes “…peaceful, pleasant, and conducive to the mind.” Simply touching a prayer wheel is said to bring great purification to negative karmas and obscurations.
The mani wheel, or hand prayer wheel, has a cylindrical, generally sheet-metal body (often beautifully embossed) mounted on a metal shaft or pin set into a wooden or metal handle that turns on a circular bearing commonly made of Turbinella (conch) shell. The cylinder itself is affixed with a cord or chain terminating in a metal weight allowing it to be spun by a slight rotation of the wrist. The weighted chain, known as a “governor” in Western technology, stabilizes the wheel and keeps it spinning with less input from the practitioner than would otherwise be the case. The common term, “prayer wheel” is a double misnomer. A long strip of rolled-up paper bearing printed or inscribed mantras (Tib. mani) rather than prayers, per se, is inside the cylinder. “Mill,” defined as “a spinning object that generates something,” is a better translation of the Tibetan ‘khor-lo than is “wheel” since it is thought that the spinning cylinder emanates positive energy, allowing the practitioner to accumulate wisdom and merit. The Tibetan name of this device is mani-chos-‘khor (མ་ནི་ཆོས་འཁོར་).
This type of prayer wheel is simply a prayer wheel that is turned by flowing water. The water that is touched by the wheel is said to become blessed and carries its purifying power into all life forms in the oceans and lakes that it feeds into.
This wheel is turned by the heat of a candle or electric light. The light emitted from the prayer wheel then purifies the negative karmas of the living beings it touches.
This type of wheel is turned by wind. The wind that touches the prayer wheel helps alleviate the negative karma of those it touches.[citation needed]
Many monasteries around Tibet have large, fixed, metal wheels set side by side in a row. Passersby can turn the entire row of wheels simply by sliding their hands over each one.
Some prayer wheels are powered by electric motors. “Thardo Khorlo,” as these electric wheels are sometimes known, contain one thousand copies of the mantra of Chenrezig and many copies of other mantras. The Thardo Khorlo can be accompanied by lights and music if one so chooses. However, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said, “The merit of turning an electric prayer wheel goes to the electric company. This is why I prefer practitioners to use their own ‘right energy’ to turn a prayer wheel”.[citation needed]
Tibetan child with a prayer wheel
1905 illustration of monks with prayer wheels
Stupa & prayer wheels. Main street, McLeod Ganj.
Monk with prayer wheel. 1938
Prayer wheels at the base of the Potala in Lhasa, Tibet.
A Prayer wheel at Dukezong Temple in Shangri-La County, Yunnan.
Prayer Wheels in the Rumtek Monastery
A wooden prayer wheel by Galgamani Art Project, Aug. 2010.
Prayer Wheels in heraldry
Rumtek Monastery – Prayer Wheel

Zellweger off-peak

Zellweger is the brand name of an electric switching device used to control off-peak electrical loads such as water heaters. It is an example of carrier current signaling. Power stations transmit a ripple signal on the main transmission lines when off-peak rates start (often around 10 pm). This ripple noise is picked up by the Zellweger, which after a random delay turns the hot water heater on. The noise is often picked up by other equipment, especially audio amplifiers and stereos and the noise can cause problems with other electrical devices. Even some telephone lines can pick up the noise. The noise can be particularly obtrusive from some fluorescent light systems.
Newer electrical meters incorporate this technology into the meter. “Time of use” meters charge electricity to the current tariff within half an hour, giving customers incentive to run appliances such as dishwashers

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, pool pumps and clothes dryers during the night.

Power stations have plenty of unused capacity late at night but must keep running as they take days to shut down. Off-peak rates are used as an incentive for customers to use this surplus capacity and to reduce the amount of peak demand. This can produce cheaper power by delaying the need to build new power stations and reduce environmental impact. The random time delay in the Zellweger means that the power stations aren’t hit with a huge demand when all the hot water systems turn on at the same time, rather the load is spread over a greater time period.
Originally time-clocks were used, however they can easily lose accurate time and are not easily adjusted for daylight saving time. Zellwegers were first introduced in Australia in 1953, however were not compliant with modern harmonic disturbance standards. The second generation was introduced in the 1970s and was more reliable. A variety of devices can still be seen across Australia.
In at least some parts of Sydney, the ripple frequency is 1042 Hz. The signal usually consists of several bursts of a few seconds on and off, followed by a period of up to 50 seconds on. This is coded to affect only selected equipment. Occurrences are very frequent, sometimes several times an hour throughout the day, not just at evening and morning off-peak times.
Zellweger ZE22/3 contain low-risk radioactive material, and must be only handled by authorised people as breakage of the glass tube could cause a dangerous situation by releasing the radioactive material. The device reportedly contains a ‘glow tube’ containing tritium and radium.
A few images are attached from an older electromechanical Zellweger ripple plant near Silverdale. Many of these Zellweger plants are still in use in New Zealand. Frequency used is 1050 Hertz, superimposed upon the 50 Hz mains. Solid state Zellweger equipment is used as well, which can directly inject into the 22kV or 33kV sub transmission mains instead of the 11kV mains as with these older Zellweger plants.
Zellweger Motor Generator set
Zellweger Control Panel
Zellweger Tuning coils and Capacitors

Jawal Nga

Jawal Nga is a Libyan American film producer and founder of Tiny Dancer Films. He was raised in Tripoli, Libya and London, United Kingdom

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. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1996 and currently resides in New York City.

Jawal Nga founded Tiny Dancer Films in 2003, a New York-based production company.
In 2004, Nga produced director Ira Sachs’ “Forty Shades of Blue”, starring Rip Torn. An official entry in six international film festivals, Forty Shades of Blue won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film was also nominated for a special prize at the Deauville Film Festival, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for actress Dina Korzun. In 2006, Nga and Sachs again worked together on the period drama, “Married Life”, which starred Pierce Brosnan, Rachel McAdams, Patricia Clarkson and Chris Cooper. It was released in September 2007. Nga produced the film along with Sidney Kimmel, Steven Golin and Ira Sachs who also directed the film for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
He is the executive producer of the Allen Ginsberg documentary “Howl” for directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman through his production company, Tiny Dancer Films. Nga is developing adaptations of Sigrid Nunez’s “The Last of Her Kind”, Matthew Galkin’s adaptation of Kevin Canty’s “Into The Great Wide Open” and Justin Haythe’s (“Revolutionary Road”) adaptation of Michael Ignatieff’s “Charlie Johnson in the Flames”.
Nga served as an executive producer of writer/director Joel Hopkins’s upcoming “Last Chance Harvey.” Starring Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, the film was shot in London in late 2007. On October 27, 2008 The Hollywood Reporter announced that Tiny Dancer Films has optioned best-selling cult author-illustrator Daniel Pinkwater’s 1974 young-adult fantasy novel “Lizard Music” for the big screen. The movie version of the Random House novel will be produced by Jawal Nga.
On June 20, 2007, Tiny Dancer Films announced they had optioned life rights from band the Heavenly States with the aim of developing a comedy feature-length film “Rock the Casbah,” based on the band’s attempt to tour Libya in 2005. Heavenly States’ vocalist Ted Nesseth declined to name specifics of the option, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars in Hollywood, but said the option is three-tiered. The band gets paid again when a production contract is signed and gets points on the backend if and when the film comes out. However, many films never make it out from option to screen. Chronicled by award-winning Village Voice music journalist Rob Harvilla for the East Bay Express the band journeyed and attempted to play a venue in Libya only to get denied by the government and threatened with arrest. Newsweek also did a story on the band.
“When I read the Newsweek article, I immediately realized that this had to be made into a film,” said Nga. “The Heavenly States attempted something that no Western band has done before, and having grown up in Libya, I have the ability to appreciate the great humor in this real situation of almost impossible culture clash.”

Sandspit Park Beach & Marina

Coordinates: 40°44′53″N 73°0′52″W / 40.74806°N 73.01444°W / 40.74806; -73.01444
Sandspit Park Beach & Marina is located on the Patchogue River in the Village of Patchogue in Suffolk County, New York.
Sandspit is on Brightwood Street off Ceder Ave directly south of the Patchogue Long Island Rail Road Station. Sandspit is home to the Patchogue and Davis Park Ferry terminal to the Atlantic Ocean Beach and bayfront communities of Davis Park, Leja Beach/Ocean Ridge.
The Park & Marina offer Long Island Bay and riverside views, with shaded park benches and restrooms. There is a large parking lot which is free for Brookhaven residents. Non-residents must pay a parking fee.
In the summer season this park facility may reach full parking capacity, however many recreationalist’s and visitors alike can find ample parking on the village side streets.
This Long Island Village park and marina has a small Bay beach area and there is a private river-front restaurant at the corner of the Patchogue River and Brightwood Street called, ‘On the Waterfront.’
There is a fenced in playground

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, a fishing pier on the southeast section of the park, a fairly large village Marina. All areas of the park offer scenic bayfront views, which are particularly enjoyed by local old-timers and some teens.
Sandspit Beach & Fishing Pier
Sandspit Sunset September 5, 2009
Patchogue Bay & river west cove sunset 2009
Late Summer Ferry Patchogue NY 2009

Staatsoper Stuttgart

The Staatsoper Stuttgart (Stuttgart State Opera) is a German opera company based in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Stuttgart Staatsoper forms part of the Stuttgart State Theatre (Staatstheater Stuttgart), which is a three-branch theatre complex (opera, playhouse and ballet) and represents the largest theatre of its kind in Europe. The opera house itself, formerly known locally as the Grosses Haus, was designed by Max Littmann and opened in 1912. The house, which has been a listed building since 1924, currently has 1,404 seats and a per-season audience of approximately 250,000. The opera house building is one of the few major German opera houses not to be destroyed in the World War II. The smaller playhouse (“Kleines Haus”), site of the world premiere of Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” was destroyed in the war and replaced by a modern building, built between 1959 and 1962. The opera house is also home to the Stuttgart Ballet.
An important centre for opera since the 17th century, Stuttgart has again become an important and influential centre since the war, particularly for contemporary works. Three operas by Carl Orff received their premieres there and the company has been associated with figures such as Wieland Wagner, Günther Rennert, Hans Werner Henze and Philip Glass.
During the era of Opera Intendant Klaus Zehelein, the company has won the Opera House of the Year award by the German magazine Opernwelt more often than any other company: in 1994 (the inaugural award), 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and in 2006. Pamela Rosenberg was co-opera Intendant between 1991 and 2000, with Eytan Pessen acting as casting director from 2001 to 2006. Klaus Zehelein brought in directors Ruth Berghaus, Christoph Nel, Hans Neuenfels, Peter Konwitchny and Jossi Wieler. He created the Junge Oper (an institute dedicated to performing music theater works for young audiences). Numerous CD and DVD productions document Zehelein’s interest in modern works and new staging concepts. Under Zehelein’s direction the Stuttgart Opera was an ensemble based opera company, Catherine Naglestad, Eva-Maria Westbroek were members of his ensemble, Jonas Kaufmann a frequent guest artist. Music directors were Gabriele Ferro and Lothar Zagrosek, Nicola Luisotti conducted frequently during Zehelein’s era. Zehelein was succeeded by Albrecht Puhlmann.
Jossi Wieler became Intendant (artistic director) of the company in 2011, succeeding Albrecht Puhlmann. The most recent Generalmusikdirektor was Manfred Honeck, from 2007 to 2011. In April 2010, Wieler appointed Sylvain Cambreling the next music director of the company, effective with the 2012/13 season.
Stuttgart CD productions: Glass’s Akhnaten (1987), Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 (1995) and Al gran sole carico d’amore (2001), Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (2003)
Stuttgart productions on DVD: Glass’s Satyagraha (1983), Handel’s Alcina (1999), Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus (2005), Mozart’s La finta giardiniera [2006)

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, Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (2003), and Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten (1989)
Notes
Sources
Coordinates: 48°46′49″N 9°11′06″E / 48.78028°N 9.18500°E / 48.78028; 9.18500

PathSolutions

PathSolutions is a company that develops VoIP and network performance management and monitoring software. It was founded in 2000, introducing a network intelligence solution that reduces mean time to repair (MTTR). Headquartered in Santa Clara, California PathSolutions is privately held, founded by Tim Titus.
PathSolutions was voted a Best of Interop 2013 finalist at the 2013 Interop Conference in Las Vegas and also helped power the InteropNet network for the duration of the event.
On January 15, 2014 PathSolutions’ TotalView was voted a InfoWorld 2014 Technology of the Year Award winner.
Total Network Visibility is a suite of software products that monitors the state of the network and identifies the root causes of VoIP and network performance issues. PathSolutions is helping customers use their infrastructure more efficiently in a time of major change. The Total Network Visibility solutions are ready to go right out-of-the-box, acting as a network’s eyes and ears

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. The health and performance of every device and link in a network is continuously monitored and problems are quickly diagnosed, making network resources more productive and efficient. PathSolutions’ software dramatically reduces QOS (Quality of Service) troubleshooting costs.
The growing interest of businesses to leverage cloud based services, further fuels the market need for Total Network Visibility and performance monitoring solutions.

The Pool (play)

The Pool (later subtitled City of Culture?) is a play written by and starring James Brough and Helen Elizabeth. The plot follows David (Brough), a Londoner who finds himself stranded in Liverpool, where he meets Tina (Elizabeth). David persuades Tina to take the day off work and the two spend a day in the city together. The play is a mixture of verse and prose. Brough and Elizabeth conceived it while appearing at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe. They returned to perform it at The Gilded Balloon in 2006. It has also been performed at the Arts Theatre in London and the Unity Theatre in Liverpool. A film adaptation directed by David Morrissey premiered at the 2009 London Film Festival and was broadcast on BBC Two on 7 March 2010.

The play premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006, where Brough and Elizabeth won the Fringe First award for new writing. It transferred to the Arts Theatre in London’s West End for a limited run at the end of 2006, before a three-day run from 24 to 27 January 2007 at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre. It returned to the Arts Theatre for a three-week run from 3 to 21 April 2007, now subtitled City of Culture?
Brough and Elizabeth, with David Morrissey, adapted the play into a feature film called Don’t Worry About Me after Morrissey saw it at the Arts. Brough and Elizabeth reprise their roles as David and Tina. It was filmed on location in Liverpool in September and October 2007 on a budget of £100,000. Due to Morrissey’s acting commitments, editing and other post-production work delayed the film’s release. It premiered at the 53rd London Film Festival. After the screening, a distribution deal was signed with the BBC for the film to be shown on television. The film was broadcast on BBC Two on 7 March 2010, and was released on DVD the next day. Although many scenes were filmed around the city, some filming was done on the other side of the river, at Yummy’s Cafe, in Wallasey Village, and on New Brighton beach

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