27 April 2007

A comparative analysis of time – with a poetic disposition

Chronos – How Time Shapes Our Universe
by Etienne Klein
translated b Glenn Burney


“Historians of science agree on one point: ‘modern’ physics truly begins with Galileo‘s discovery of the law of gravity.”

“In 2004 ‘modern’ physics reached the four-century point.”

“… certain scientific discoveries have enough impact to undo entire chapters of a dominant philosophical system.”

“Physics has benefited by taking the time to grow, consolidate its position, and then trigger revolutions at a breathtaking pace, especially during the twentieth century: Einstein’s special theory for relativity, quantum physics, general relativity, the discovery of nuclear forces and antimatter, the expanding universe, and others – ”

“Almost a full century after Einstein’s work, we will speak of time in the same way people did before Galileo!”

Ch 1 – does a clock speak for itself?

“Have you done tormenting me with your accursed time? It’s abominable! When! When!”
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

“… movement is a camouflage for time, an ersatz vision, through easy to identify; when a clock stops its immobilized hands do not keep time from flowing…. a motionless object is just as temporal as an object in motion.”

“… every timepiece is also a chronometer; it allows us to measure duration.”

“In short, all clocks disguise time in a mix of movement and duration, duping us to confuse time with this mix.”

from this crystalinks

“… on one wall in Tutankhamen’s tomb twenty-four baboons represent the cycle of the hours. The ancient Egyptians had indeed noticed that this animal had the peculiarity of urinating at regular intervals, nearly every hour. S they used its bladder for a pendulum.”

baboon bladders bide time from Wikipedia

“At the beginning of the fourteenth century, clock towers… rang out the hours in towns all over Europe, synchronizing human and social activities and thus bringing a previously unknown regularity to the lives of craftsmen and merchants.”

“… language unrelentingly invokes [time] as a familiar object, while no one has seen it face-to-face and it has never signaled its presence.”

Ch 2 – the word ‘time’; or, every dictionary’s embarassment

“That which we can’t speak about, is that which we must say”
— Valere Novarina

“… the word tme vaguely covers three distinct concepts – simultaneity, succession, and duration.”

“Blaise Pascal described the word time as being a ‘primitive’ word, in the sense that it belonged to that group of words that are so fundamental that it would be impossible (and pointless) to define them.”

“”Moments pass, not time.”

Ch 3 – an unnaturally flowing river

“Each day is a Rubicon into which I yearn to dive.”

ch 4 – the time before chronos

“In [the most ancient myths]… time’s primary function is not to make the world persist; rather it is identified with becoming…”

“By castrating Uranus, Kronos took a major step in the birth of the universe: he split the earth from the sky, and created an open space between them. From that point on, anything the earth produced would have space to develop, and everything living beings gave birth to would be able to breathe, live, and procreate.”

[n.b. in some versions, Uranus’ disembodied genitals fall into the sea, which foams up, bearing forth Venus on the half shell]

Ch 5 – the stopping of time; or, the abolition of the world

“… for those who want to free themselves from old Chronos’s tyranny, love always seemed to be a promising if not efficient means.”

Chronos rigs the game
Goya‘s Saturno Devorando a su Hijo

Ch 6 – not everything passes with time

Ch 7 – boredom; or, time explored

“First, boredom detoxifies our relationship to time; nothing happens except the passing of time.”

Ch 8 – what makes time pass?

Ch 9 – eternal recurrence; or, the circle’s vices

“There is nothing surprising, then, in the fact that the idea of time doing infinite loops could have prevailed in humanity’s major myths.”

quoting Nietzsche
“… all things recur eternally, yourselves included… there is a big, long, immense year of evolution, which, once finished, turns immediately back like an hourglass, tirelessly, so that all these years are equal to themselves, in the smallest and biggest things.”

Ch 10 – causality: or, the impossible tick-tock

“The line representing time is either open, or it closes on itself, in the first case it amounts to a straight line. In the second it is equivalent to a circle. there are thus only two types of time possible: linear and cyclical time.”

“With linearity came historical production, invention, the new.”

Ch 11 – ‘time travels’ and other unchronias

Ch 12 – antimatter; or, the end of the trip

Ch 13 – 1905: ‘ow’ says good-bye to the universe

“Madame is late. That means she’s coming”
Sacha Guitry

Ch 14 – does the future already exist in the future?

“The future is inevitable, but it cannot happen.
god pays attention to the intervals”
Jorge Luis Borges
“But where does the future take place? Saint Augustine gave a very convincing answer to this question: the future can exist for us only in our soul – … – which is the single entity to have the capacity (along with dreams?) to imagine what is not, especially what is not yet. To take shape, the idea of the future actually implies the idea of waiting, since duration divides us from it; it also implies the idea of waiting, since duration divides us from it; it also implies imagination, since we can anticipate only in fictitious way; it implies memory, the only thing able to reognize what will necessarily be repetitive in the future, like fall, winter, and summer, or happiness, sorrow, and happiness again. Memory ‘furnishes’ the future a priori. Without it we could only think of it as a big hole.
“It seems to be commonly accepted that the future exists only for the mind, not in and of itself; it exists because we wait for it, and not because it is linked to the present or the past by necessity, by the concatination of an anteriority that would determine it.”

quoting physicist Thibault Damour
“… it is probable that the notion of once passing means something only for certain complex systems, which evolve out of the thermodynamic balance, and which handle the accumulated information in their memory in a certain way.”

“Would it then be – seriously – possible that we are the engines of time?”

Ch 15 – is time an opportunist?

“In 1929 the British physicist Arthur Eddington attributed a strange symbol to time – the arrow…”

Ch 16 – the kaons gang turns time upside down

“This violates the right of being neutral.”
Victor Hugo

Ch 17 – 2002: does cosmic time accelerate?

“In the process of expanding, gravitation, which is always attractive, acts as a break: it tends to bring massive objects closer to one another. But what… new measurements seem to show is that another process is opposing gravity by acting as an accelerator. Everything happens as if a kind of ‘antigravity’ had taken control.”

“… the universe’s expansion could be the engine of time: if it accelerates, if the engine of time is gearing up, the flow of time should also ‘accelerate’.”

“The explosive trend of our societies thus seems to lead to confusion between time and what we produce in it.”

Ch 18 – some time…. only from time to time?

Ch 19 – dance of the superstrings and the several-step waltz

see The Elegant Universe

Ch 20 – theories seeking origin of time, desperately

“.. origin, precisely, is not part of the ‘already there.’ It corresponds to the emergence of a thing in the absence of that thing.”

“… the history of the universe that… unfolded over fifteen billion years:
(1) matter eliminates antimatter, its antagonistic double;
(2) then light splits from matter, making the universe transparent to its own light and matter free to restructure itself;
(3) then the galaxies are born, the stars and all the shapes that fill the night sky.”

“Speaking about the beginnings of time creates a aporia: it comes down to situating time within time. Only myths seem able to transcend this contradiction.”

Ch 21 – chronoclastic spirit, useful watch

“Did I really let out the watch and wind the cat?”
Groucho Marx

quoting Einstein
“There is not a time of philosophers; there is a psychological time different from the time of physicists.”

Ch 22 – endless unfurling at the present instant

“if we live in lightning, it is the heart of eternity.”
Rene Char

“Were it not for the point, the immobile point,
There would be no dance,
And all there is is the dance.”
T. S. Eliot

Ch 23 – the unconscious; or, time without flow

Ch 24 – the physicist, the romantic, and the jealous type; or, the drama of impression

“Quickly, with his insect voice, Now says:
I am the Past and I sting you with my
Hideous thorn!”
Charles Beaudelaire

Ch 25 – has physics forgotten death?

…then, a long-lost memory stirred in Sir Francis’ Bacon‘s pneumoniac delirium.

Spicy Red Lentils with Tomatoes

27 April 2007

Mexican flavours, and all red.

4 TB cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thickly
1 tsp molasses
2 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
4 dried chipotle peppers
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 TB fennel seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
coarse salt
1 C red lentils
16 roma tomatoes, peeled & seeded
8 sundried tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces each
water as needed
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried basil

serve with
fresh cilantro

1. heat oil over medium-high heat. Rub the molasses on the side of the onions, and fry them in the oil until caramelized, stirring often.
2. add the garlic. Combine the peppers, cumin, fennel, peppercorns & salt in a mill or mortar, and grind to a fairly fine powder.
3. add the spice powder and lentils. Add more oil if necessary. Mix until the lentils are coated thoroughly in oil and spices.
4. add the tomatoes and sundried tomatoes, and mix thoroughly, adding 1 C or so of water to begin with.
5. bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and add the marjoram and basil
6. cook until the lentils become soft, and the stew thickens.

Tomato & Spinach Risotto

26 April 2007

a touch of fresh basil & lemon & ooh la la

4TB grapeseed oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1/2 C vialone nano 1/2 C arborio rice
8 C hot broth (made with sundried tomatoes, basil stems, fennel, leek & garlic, etc)
9 sundried tomatoes reconstituted in red wine (cabernet-melot in this case)
1 bunch spinach, shredded
1 bunch basil, shredded
salt & pepper as you like it

1. heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic and fry briefly.
2. reduce heat slightly. Drain the sundried tomatoes, adding the wine to the hot stock. Chop the tomatoes and add to the rice.
3. add 2 C stock to the rice and stir to combine them evenly. Continue stirring occasionally, making sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. Reduce the heat to low or  low-medium.
4. add 1 C stock at a time, stirring until the rice absorbs it before adding the next.
5. with the last 1 C of stock, add the spinach and basil, and adjust the seasoning.
6. when all the stock is absorbed, and the rice is creamy and firm (add hot water if it needs further cooking), remove from heat, let it sit for 15 minutes or so.

add freshly ground pepper and grated cheese, such as parmesan, if desired.

Fennel & Grapefruit Salad Rolls

25 April 2007

citrus and fennel are on friendly terms.

8 large spinach leaves
2 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1/4 red pepper,  finely sliced
1 ruby grapefruit, peeled, membranes removed
8 small round sheets of rice paper

1. soak the rice paper in cold water for a few minutes. drain sheets, one at a time, and work on a damp cloth.
2. place the spinach leaf, 1/8 of the red pepper, fennel & grapefruit. Roll as you would an eggroll and serve.

Introducing Biological Rhythms

25 April 2007

A Primer on the Temporal Organization of Life, with Implications for health, Society, Reproduction and the Natural Environment.

Introducing Biological Rhythms by Willard L Koukkari & Robert B Sothern

Chronobiology for an early review

“Be ruled by Time, the wisest couselor of all.”

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
Benjamin Franklin

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die: a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up.”
Ecclesiastes 3:2-3

Ch 1 – The Study of Biological Rhythms

Ch 2 – General Features of Rhythms: Terminology and Characteristics

“What is time, then? If nobody asks me, I know; if I have to explain it to someone who has asked me, I do not know.”
St. Augustine

“… a special term called acrophase is used to designate the distance in time of the peak (=acro) phase of the mathematical curve from an arbitrary reference point. Similarly, the lowest point on the fitted cosine is called the bathyphase.”

“Results from studies… identified the hypothalamus of the brain as the location of the primary oscillator.”

“Anatomically, [the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)] is located above the optic chiasm, where the two optic nerves cross, and includes two clumps of nuclei, each containing about 10, 000 neurons.”

“… oscillations occur throughout the body, but to delineate them form those of the SCN, they are referred to as peripheral oscillations, and the tissues where they occur as peripheral tissues.”

“Peripheral oscillations may differ from those of the SCN in a number of ways, including the phase that can be delayed by about 4 h from the SCN.”

“The daily light-dark (LD) cycle serves as a major synchronizer of circadian rhythms, which means that organisms must have photoreceptors.”

“melanopsin is an opsin-like protein…”

“Non-image-forming photoreception mediated by melanopsin is now recognized as a major component in the synchronization of circadian clocks.”

“… it has been known that photic (light) information is conveyed from the eyes to the hypothalamus via the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT) where its neural projections terminate in the bilaterally paired SCN.”

“growth movements of plants directed toward… light.”


Due to the gratiation effect of the Moon since its formation 4.45 billion years ago (bya), the Earth’s day has bee slowly becoming larger*
Time Scale Duration of one rotation of hte earth (h)
4.5 bya 6.0
4.4 bya 10.0
4.0 bya 13.5
900 mya 18.17
400 mya < 22
245 mya 22.75
100 mya 23.5
today 24.0
225 my hence 25.0
* As the Moon has slowly moved away from Earth, its effect on the Earth’s day length has also been slowing down. One secon dis added to our day every 62, 500 years.

“There is a genetically determined, endogenous basis for biological rhythms in all living organisms. Periods are grouped into three main categories: ultradian ((< 20 h), circadian (20 – 28 h), and infradian (> 28 h)… the SCN and pineal are examples of primary circadian clocks located in the brain.”

Ch 3 – Physical and Biological Time

“… the Earth make one complete rotation on its axis n about 23 h 56 min.”

“Not only is the Earth rotating, it is revolving around the Sun. As a result, the location of the Earth relative to the Sun has changed by about one degree. The span of time of 23 h and 56 min is called the sidereal day (=360 degrees), while our clocks are based upon the solar day (360 + 1 = 361 degree). of 24 h.”

“The seasons of the year… provide time cues via photoperiodism…”

Linnaeus Flower Clock

link to large Linnaeus’ Flower Clock

“The timing systems in both prokaryotes (cyanobacteria) and eukaryotes (fungi, plants, and animals) have a number of key molecular components. These include, among others, clock genes, cycling proteins, and photoreceptors. Photoreceptors are part of an input pathway that receives and transmits signals from external environmental synchronizers to a central clock that generates rhythmicity. In turn, an output pathway transmits temporal signals from the clock to biological variables that that oscillate. These oscillations are the overt rhythms of variable such as activity cycles, leaf movements, spore formation, and enzyme activity.”

“Some scientists contend that early building blocks or biological molecules may have been deposited on Earth from meteorites and comets originating elsewhere in the galaxy.”

“The rotations and revolutions of the Earth account for the natural synchronization of circadian and circannual rhythms, as well as for the changes in duration and timing of light and dark spans in photoperiodism. Two types or groups of clocks are paramount in the study of biological rhythms… One group includes the mechanical, electrical, and atomic clocks of society… The other… is biological, present in the cells of organisms and having a mechanism that is based upon feedback loops, genes, and cycling proteins.”

Ch 4 – Photoperiodism

“Photoperiodism can be defined as a response of an organism to the timing and duration of light and dark.”

“In locations where changes in day length are more pronounced (e.g. higher latitudes) the peak in human conception was found to coincide with the vernal equinox.”
[most notably with the full moon – sounds a little like Easter, no?]

Examples of human behaviors or disorders that have ben found to correlate with the time of year and photoperiodism
Location of peak(s)
Alcoholism Spring
Bipolar and shizoaffective illness, violent episodes Jun & Dec (Israel)
Chronic fatigue syndrome Winter worsening
Depression (rating) Winter months
Depression (hospitalizations) Spring & Autumn
Eating disorders Winter more severe
Acts of hostility* and individual violent crimes** Summer in N&S hemispheres


Menarche (first menstruation) Dec-Jan & Aug-Sep
Mood Winter worsening
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Winter
Schizophrenia (hospitalizations) Jul-Aug (UK)
Sexual conception increases near Vernal Equinox
Sleep problems Winter
Suicide Spring
* opening dates of wars in both hemispheres. Onset of wars near the equator showed a near-constant montly rate throughout the year.
** Includes offenses against the human body, sex offenses, forcible rape, and aggravated assault.

“The normal development, reproduction, and activities of organisms are often dependent upon the duration and timing of light and dark spans, which in nature are associated with the seasons. This process is called photoperiodism, a complex and diverse process that is a basic principle of biology and is intrinsic in the temporal organization of life.”

Ch 5 – Biological Osciallations and Timers; Models and Mechanisms

“Within the realm of life, there is a structural organization, a hierarchy of components, extending from subatomic particles (e.g. electrons, protons) to organisms and ecosystems. how these components function (physiology) individually and in networks, depends not only upon the presence of the correct components and where they occur, but when. individual components and site of action are represented by structural units, while ‘when’ represents the temporal organization of life and the measurable unit known as time.”

Ch 6 – Tidal and Lunar Rhythms

“… cycles of the tide (12.4 h), the lunar day (24.8 h), and the lunar month (29.5 days). Biological variables that have these approximate periods are often referred to as having circatidal (12.4 h), circalunidian (24.8 h), and circalunar (29.5 days) rhythms.”

“the mean solar day is 24 h, but the lunar day is 24.8 h, which explains why the Moon appears to rise an average of 50-51 minutes later each day.”

“Overall, the quality of full moonlight appears to be quite close to that experienced just after sunset, a significant feature since photoreceptors of oscillators, such as the phytochromes, cryptochromes, and other pigments, depend not only upon the total energy of the visible spectrum, but rather upon the energy of specific wavelengths. Furthermore, it is the light present at dawn and dusk, not the changes in irradiance during day and night that organisms utilize for circadian photoentrainment.”

Table 6.6
Variables in humans reported to vary with the phases of the Moon


Moon Phase


births last quarter to new Moon increased births
accidental poisonings near new Moon increased for women
meal and alcohol intake near full Moon meal size increases, alcohol intake decreases
urinary retention near new Moon increased retention
psychopathology in schizophrenia near full Moon deterioration
aggressive behaviour full moon increased aggression
psychiatric admissions first quarter increased admissions
myocardial infarction near new Moon maximal incidence
animal bites near full Moon increased incidence
gout near new and full Moons highest peaks

“Unlike the situation for terrestrial plants, the response of various animals to moonlight is more definite.”

“A global view of the Earth reveals two hight tides and two low tides occurring simultaneously. one high tide occurs approximately in line with the Moon overhead, and the other on the opposite side of the Earth. Similarly, the low tides are present also at these times, but located 90 degrees from the high tides.


“While the gravitational force accounts for the bulge on the side that faces the Moon, a centrifugal force dominates in producing the bulge on the opposite side.”

“… the path followed by the moon as it completes one full revolution of 27.3 days (= 1 tropical month) around the Earth varies from 28 degrees 30′ north latitude to 28 degrees 30′ south latitude.”

spring and neap tides

“During the new Moon phase… the gravitational pull of the Sun combines with the gravitational pull of the Moon to cause much higher tides… called spring tides when the gravitational pull of the Sun is at right angles to the gravitational pull of the moon (near the first and third quarter phases of the Moon), the high tides are lower than normal and the low tides are higher than normal. These conditions are referred to as Neap Tides. The duration between two successive neap tides is about 14.8 days, as is the duration between two spring tides.”

“for many marine invertebrates, especially those found within or near the tropics, rhythms in reproductive events such as mating, egg, and sperm formation, spawning and hatching (release of larvae) have periods and/or phases that appear to be associated with the phases of the Moon. The events may occur only fortnightly, monthly, or just once a year.”

“Often the fortnightly and monthly cycles may be liked to an annual and/or photoperiodic cycle, that may be biologically linked or mathematically correlated to the other two cycles.”

“Recurring changes in the color of cells, tissues, and organs are found in diverse groups of organisms and often associated with the time-dependent physiological processes.”

“The Swedish Chemist, Svante Arrhenius, reported that menstruation, as well as epileptic seizures exhibited a periodicity between 25.9 and 27.9 days… results from a number of more recent studies indicate that the mean period of the menstrual cycle is about 29.5 days.”

“Variables in seeds, stems, and leaves have been associated with lunar cycles. Results from studies of the daily imbibition (absorption( of water by bean seeds have shown a circannual rhythm, as well as a circaseptan rhythm with a phase relationship to the lunar cycle – peaks preceded each lunar phase and imbibition was greatest from just before full Moon through the last quarter.”

[n.b. growing with light vs growing with water]

“Another lunar association has been reported for elongation of stems (cm/day)… where periods of 14.7 days and 29.5 days were found…”

“The most common external cycles associated with our environment, and thereby possibly serving as synchronizers for biological rhythms, are the 12.4-h tide, the 24-h solar day, the 24-8 lunar day, the 29.5-day lunar month, and the year. There are other environmental cycles…”

Ch 7 – Sexuality and Reproduction

“… sexuality and reproduction are part of all four integrating disciples of biology: evolution, genetics, development, and biological rhythms…”

“One of the many interesting features of the menstrual cycle s social synchronization, whereby the phases of the rhythms of several individuals become synchronized… Apparently, the synchronization is dependent upon socialization, and indications re that the causal agent [are]… pheromones.”

“Phases within the menstrual cycle have been closely associated with times of sexuality, or lack thereof, which in turn can be strongly linked to the rhythmic levels of biological molecules, as well as to society, culture, and religion.”

“… human males also have a ‘gonadal’ rhythmicity ranging from ultradian to circadian to infradian in many primary and secondary aspects related to their sexuality.”

“Sexuality and reproduction have a temporal organization, with variables that span the ultradian, circadian, and infradian domains of biological rhythms. These oscillations are present throughout a genetically-based structural hierarchy that extends from organelles to ecosystems.”

Ch 9 – Veterinary Medicine

Ch 10 – Society

“Social Synchronization refers to a behavioral rhythm being regulated by an external source generated by another individual or some other social condition. It occurs not only in humans, but many other species, as well…”

“Daily exogenous cycles of feeding may synchronize circadian rhythms.”

“The effects that light pollution has on humans are often mediated by the hormone melatonin [MLT]… In addition to synchronizing circadian clocks, MLT has strong antioxidant properties. MLT has also been found in plants.”

“Exposure to artificial light of moderate intensity (180 lux) during the middle of the night has been shown to phase-shift human circadian rhythms of ML and cortisol levels, which shows that the circadian entrainment mechanism of humans, like those of other mammals, is sensitive to low levels of light.”

“Light thus has the ability to ‘act like a drug’ and, as such, has become a public health issue. Areas possibly affected by changes in melatonin production include endocrine functions associated with puberty, psychiatric illness, stress-related disorders, immune responses and carcinogenesis.”

“While prior human exposure to artificial light at night came from sources such as flames of an orange red fire or the yellow light of candles, gas lamps or incandescent bulbs, today’s lights emit more blue light…”

better lighting practices
* full-spectrum lighting during the daytime indoors
* non-blue lighting at night, indoor & outdoor
* night workers should wear orange lens glasses when outside in the AM (called Blue Blockers, they prevent MLT suppression)

[the authors dismiss an early theory of chronobiology]
the human body undergoes three cycles
23-day cycle of the physical
28-day cycle of the emotional
33-day cycle of the intellectual

“The cycles repeat themselves throughout one’s lifetime and are only all back at the same starting point every 58 years plus 67 or 68 days. (23 days x 28 days x 33 days = 21, 522 days)”

“However, the 23- and 28-day rhythms are considered more important than the 33-day intellectual cycle, and they start a new biorhythmic year with a simultaneous upswing every 644 days (1 year, 9 months).”

see Ayurveda and the 3 embryonic membranes
and Gestation Time and Health

Ch 11 – Clinical Medicine

“… virtually every body function in humans has been shown to display a circadian and/or other rhythm in healthy individuals which persists into old age, often with a reduction in amplitude.”

“The many naturally occurring daily and other body rhythms that have evolved as adjustments to environmental changes due to the solar day and year and lunar month have a regulating influence on the ‘normal’ functioning of the body’s many processes. Humans and other animals have genetically based biological clocks that are present in individual cells, resulting in semi-autonomous oscillators…”

“[A 19th C German study found] a predictable range [of body temperature] that extended from a low of 36.2 degrees C between 02:00 h and 08:00 h to a peak of 37.5 degrees C between 16:00 h and 2100 h…”

“… growth of human head and body hair was reported to increase through the summer months, reaching a maximum rate in September, and then decreasing to a minimum in January.” [n.b. presumably in the Northern hemisphere]

“The annual pattern of depression and suicidal behavior generally shows a major peak in the spring, with sometimes a secondary peak in the late fall.”

“The daily external environmental cycle of a light span followed by a dark span synchronizes circadian rhythms. The cycle provides a signal sent to the pineal gland, which is located near the hypothalamus in the brain of humans and other animals, to produce melatonin during darkness and to inhibit its production during light.”

Ch 12 – Autorhythmometry

quoting German physician CW Hufeland
“That period of twenty-four hours, formed by the regular revolution of our earth, in which all its inhabitants partake, is particularly distinguished in the physical oeconomy of man… it is, as it were the unity of our natural chronology.”

Code of the Samurai

25 April 2007

Bushido Shoshinsu by Taira Shingesuke

Code of the Samurai
Bushido Shonsinsu
by Taira Shingesuke [Daidoji Yuzan], translated by Thomas Cleary

1. as long as you keep death in mind at all times, you will also fulfill the ways of loyalty and familial duty.

2. Ordinary principles:
i) knighthood
ii) weaponry
Emergency principles:
iii) army principles
iv) combat principles

3. for warriors it is essential to keep the spirit of combat in mind twenty-four hours a day…

4. appropriate and just behaviour; fear of disrespect

5. on the warrior’s path, only three things are considered essential: loyalty, duty, valour.

6. warriors… should select an appropriate mentor

1. keeping in mind the heirs in one’s family, and treating them as respectfully as the direct ancestral line.

2. warriors… should always be frugal and careful not to overspend

3. houses should reflect well on the patron, the outsides respectful & healthy, the inside simple

4. equip your subordinates

5. as a warrior you should not abuse or mistreat the other three classes: farmers, merchants, artisans

6. remain modest when discussing money

7. be dependable, but not meddlesome or a busybody

8. as a warrior… you may die heroically startling enemies and allies alike, honored for all time

9. Big Talkers are braggarts, with deeds done. Critics are big talkers without life experience. both are undesirable.

10. face death with dignity, acceptance, pride

1. warriors who lend money to their overlord shouldn’t gripe if it puts them out

2. your body and life are not your own; they are your overlord’s

3. it is best not to speak thoughtlessly

4. the official duties of warriors are combat & construction

5. be clear, confident & decisive. don’t hold back.

6. knights should become knowledgeable about the origins of the overlord’s house; ancestors, blood relatives official relatives; distinguished colleagues.

7. loyalty, duty, courage are detergents to keep a warrior’s heart clean

8. work under the umbrella of one’s lord’s authority

9. stay mindful. don’t become lazy

10. don’t do a half-assed job, because your employer doesn’t praise you

11. vengeful ghosts: young warrior with great potential killed too young by an accident/illness then possesses a favoured knight to induce the overlord to wrong by
i) blocking his eyes & ears
ii) transferring sympathetic knights away
iii) captivating his mind with women
iv) incurring secret expenses such that he can’t pay them back
v) during peace, convince him of need for expansion
vi) lead him to carousing, drinking, debauchery

12. you should acquire a cultural education as a matter of course

Basil & Sundried Tomato Salad Rolls

24 April 2007

pine nuts add nice texture

16 large basil leaves
6 sundried tomatoes, reconstituted & finely sliced lengthwise
4 TB pine nuts

marinated carrots
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 TB balsamic reduction
1 tsp olive oil

8 small round sheets of rice paper

1. soak the rice paper in cold water for a couple of minutes. drain sheets, one at a time, and work on a damp cloth.
2. place two basil leaves, 1/8 of the tomatoes, 1/8 of the carrots, and 1/2 TB pine nuts on each rice sheet. Roll it up with closed ends as with egg rolls.