Duimlog (webstream)

ROTTERDAM zwaan in de mist

smeed posted a photo:
ROTTERDAM zwaan in de mist


One more.

Jinx (Kat) posted a photo:
One more.

Last Kangaroo shot, I promise.....

Harajuku face

BlueSkyinBY posted a photo:
Harajuku face

#92 21-Sep-07

Mysterious: Jidai Matsuri 不思議:時代祭

mboogiedown posted a photo:

 Jidai Matsuri 不思議:時代祭

Jidai Matsuri, Kyoto`s Festival of Ages, started as a way to revitalize Kyoto after Japan's capitol moved to Tokyo. It has now grown to include over two thousand participants (Kyoto residents, including Maiko and Geiko) dressed in authentic period costumes from throughout Japan`s history valued at over $25 million.

Izumo-no-Okuni (1600), the mother of Kabuki, was once a maiden in the service of the Izumo Shrine, one of Japan’s holiest Shinto shrines. She later became famous for her dancing, and legend holds that her troup`s first performance took place in the dry bed of the Kamo River. These dances were very popular (I have been told the originall characters used to write kabuki meant song, dance and prostitution), so popular that the Tokugawa shogunate banned women from the stage. From then on, all roles have been placed by men. Today Kabuki is written with characters meaning song, dance and skill.


Magical Morning

Just Me Robin posted a photo:
Magical Morning

Oxford, ME

...and dark.

Scuzzi posted a photo:
...and dark.

for my 30th birthday, i decided to make my own birthday cake from scratch, since i never made a cake from scratch before. actually, i ended up making 2 kinds cause chili can't have chocolate. one was a vanilla cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
the other was a semi-sweet chocolate cake with chocolate chip cannoli cream filling and a dark chocolate ganache frosting. personally i liked the chocolate one more.

this was added to my list of "30 things before 30". unfortunately i didn't make all my goals before my birthday, but that is ok. i had fun trying. and it made me realize that there are just too many fun things in life to try and mark on a list. i just need to go with the flow. however, just cause i didn't make the deadline doesn't mean i am gonna give up in the list. i still plan to complete the list. anything completed past my birthday i'll be marking with a completion date as well. =)

Chocolate cake recipe:

for just the cake part (this recipe i used took longer than the 30-35 minutes it said to bake, i dunno if it was my oven or what, but if needed, bake until the toothpick test passes. the toothpick test is just sticking a wooden toothpick into the center of cake, if it comes out clean, it is done.):

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside. In small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat well with hand mixer. Slowly add boiling water and mix. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth. Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool on racks.
(recipe from: www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_3688...)

for the ricotta cannoli cream:

1 pound Ricotta impasta
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract,optional
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients, as desired, in a bowl.
(recipe from: www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_2174...)

for the ganache(make this just before assembling cake):

2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

putting it all together:
after the cakes are cooled, trim the tops and so they are flat. spread the cannoli cream on one, then place the other cake on top of that. make the ganache, but let cool for 5 minutes. then pour it on top of the cakes in small amounts while evenly distributing it. spread it with a spatula if needed. let cake stand for 15 minutes, for ganache to firm. sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

i hope this was simple to follow. i had to mix and match recipes from different sources to get what i wanted. enjoy! =)


dan mogford posted a photo:

horizon problem

darkmatter posted a photo:

horizon problem

how can it be so flat?

horizon problem

darkmatter posted a photo:

horizon problem

how can it be so flat?

弧猿 DSC_0168

Fomal Haut posted a photo:
弧猿 DSC_0168

Buddhist meditation
the practice of mental concentration leading ultimately through a succession of stages to the final goal of spiritual freedom, nirvana. Meditation occupies a central place in Buddhism and combines, in its highest stages, the discipline of progressively increased introversion with the insight brought about by wisdom, or prajna.

The object of concentration (the kammaṭṭhāna) may vary according to individual and situation. One Pāli text lists 40 kammaṭṭhānas, including devices (such as a colour or a light), repulsive things (such as a corpse), recollections (as of the Buddha), and the brahmavihāras (virtues, such as friendliness).

Four stages (called in Sanskrit dhyānas; Pāli jhānas) are distinguished in the shift of attention from the outward sensory world: (1) detachment from the external world and a consciousness of joy and ease; (2) concentration, with suppression of reasoning and investigation; (3) the passing away of joy, with the sense of ease remaining; and (4) the passing away of ease also, bringing about a state of pure self-possession and equanimity.

The dhyānas are followed by four further spiritual exercises, the samāpattis (“attainments”). They are described as: (1) consciousness of infinity of space; (2) consciousness of the infinity of cognition; (3) concern with the unreality of things (nihility); and (4) consciousness of unreality as the object of thought.

The stages of Buddhist meditation show many similarities with Hindu meditation (see Yoga), reflecting a common tradition in ancient India. The Buddhists, however, describe the culminating trancelike state as transient; final Nirvāṇa requires the insight of wisdom. The exercises that are meant to develop wisdom involve meditation on the true nature of reality or the conditioned and unconditioned dharmas (elements) that make up all phenomena.

Meditation, though important in all schools of Buddhism, has developed characteristic variations within different traditions. In China and Japan the practice of dhyāna (meditation) assumed sufficient importance to develop into a school of its own (Ch'an and Zen; q.v.), in which meditation is the most essential feature of the school.

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