November and December 2011

f you’ve ever heard of microlending, and wished you could do some of your own, wish no more. Instead, proceed to:

Kiva makes loans to carefully selected and vetted individuals in a variety of countries worldwide. You choose whom you would like to support, and pony up a fraction of the total amount that is being requested. In return periodic progress reports will come your way, as also repayment, which you can then repocket, or shunt on to the next recipient.

Other URLs that recently caught my eye (in alphabetical order):

Amusing illustrations:

Holocaust literature:

Snowflake symmetry:

Underground hotels:

Yiddish proverbs:

When in Tulsa, OK (as I was in early November), don’t forget to eat at the Ri-Le Restaurant; the proprietor, a former officer in the South Vietnamese military, made a dramatic escape from that country as it fell, and ended up dishing out some of the best tasting veg food in the Midwest (carnivores are welcome too):

Disturbing statistic:,2817,2385960,00.asp

Mind control, Japanese-style:

Appreciated movies seen on DVD or airplane:

The King of Masks
Lage Raho Munnabhai
Mary and Max
Star-Watching Dog

First-run flicks I was pleased to have watched:

The Descendants
The Way
War Horse

Background on this last:

Amazing sight on Boxing Day (= December 26), at San Antonio airport: a double amputee (one leg truncated below the knee, the other at the knee) walking about freely and easily on his high-tech prostheses, confidently and without crutches.

Happy silver anniversary to my book Aghora, which first appeared in November 1986. In honor of this noteworthy milestone, November 2011 saw the appearance of Aghora’sKindle edition. Would Vimalananda, who would have turned 95 in November 2011, have approved? Probably, but hard to say. Time does march on – and then it was 2012 …