May 31, 2002

Thank God I am not a marine

Came across this story [via Rediff] today and I still cannot stop laughing. Ain't I happy that I am not a marine!

I am tired of words too big or words too small and everything else that falls in between.
I am tired of aims that could never be satisfied and aims that always fail to pacify.
I am tired of minor achievements and major disappointments, or major achievements and minor disappointments.
I am tired of time that seems to be endless and the endless need for time.
I am tired, I feel I should just lay my head down and sleep in peace, never to wake again.

May 28, 2002


I have been running the excellent Mozilla RC3 and the horrendous Netscape 7.0 for roughly a week now. Guess which one got the dreaded uninstall wish granted? Yep, it is Netscape that got the boot. If all this while I thought M$ used to make the best bloatware around, this one takes the cake, kitchen sink and whatever else that can fit into the biggest truck you can lay your hands on.

First is the sinfully huge download of around 30 MB. I just asked for a browser and here I get Winamp, the clunky Real Player Basic suite which irritatingly asks you to register when you start it for the first time and is a monstrous pain the rear end when it comes to asking the registration to take a hike, add to that other cardinal sins like Real Download and the mother of all start up irritations Real's Start Center.

It frankly is very hypocritical that these guys can take potshots at M$ for bundling their own apps with the browser while look at what they themselves are doing. But not to worry, the whole damn contraption is so ridiculously slow that I do not see it ever beating the excellent IE6 [Yeah, yeah it is buggy, has a million security holes but it loads faster than most other stuff and supports most standards reasonably well, you gotta give credit where it is due]. So amen to Netscape, it was good fun when it lasted, the browser graveyard awaits you.

On the other hand, it is simply amazing how another product that uses the same codebase can perform so flawlessly and without the bloat that Netscape 7 comes with. Mozilla RC3 rocks as far I have used it. The only reason why I cannot use it full time is because it is still a bit slow compared to IE6 and there is a bug in the JS implementation which makes it difficult for me to use the CMS that we have in the office.

For an community project it has matured way beyond its depth and if anything other than Opera can take on IE it has to be Mozilla the way things stand now. Hats off to you guys at Mozdev.

It is strange how the way we perceive people changes over time. People whom you thought you could not live without, at a certain point in life, just vanishes one fine day and you do not even notice. At the same, time there are people who almost never caught your eye, always tucked away in a corner arrive in your life just like that one day and then they stick on forever.

I for one am very bad at judging people. Whenever I have tried it, I have come down so heavily on the ground that I have totally given up on it. It is really amusing to assume that the person whom you have met a few minutes back is the greatest saint ever alive, only for him/her to come across as the worst rascal I have ever known another ten minutes on. Change the scenario, duration and the results in all possible permutations and combinations, you have accurately summed up my life then.

Years have passed by since the initial experiments with perceptions were over. Countless others followed with varying degrees of constant and consistent failure and it became natural for my primary perception to be absurdly wrong. It somewhat resembles life. You think you know a person better -- something like saying I know where I am headed. And lo! in a single swipe all the perceptions go to the ground and thwap! I am back on the ground with my bottom firmly rooted to mother earth in a not so pleasant fashion.

So, now it has come to this that I do not consciously try and assume/perceive what a person is. I consider it as a total waste of time if my perceptions go wrong all the time. Strangely, that has made my life considerably easier, as people can almost never surprise you. Whatever comes my way will be dealt with when it comes and there is no set pattern of behaviour that is expected from a person.

But then again, you cannot help but be intuitive at times. Like this very close pal of mine who used to live in a pretty comfortable flat in an up market area. She used to cry a lot about how she was living in those "dirty yellow pigeon holed like flats" and all the time I would feel like explaining to her that was not the case. But, somehow I never did as I always felt from the depth of my heart that she was not like that.

Almost two years back, while we were out learning the ropes of the hack trade by trying to cover the local elections, an incident happened that totally justified my feeling about her. It is something that I still remember very vividly and no matter what would happen between me and her any time in the future, I would always remember her for that. It was something special to see and it still is and will be forever one of the most cherished memories of my life.

The constituency that we were covering had its fair share of areas where very poor people lived and one hot summer evening we made our way to one such area. It was a filthy roadside, there was not even a footpath and this whole family was living there on the road with just tattered bits of cloth made to look like tents over their heads for protection. I do not remember how many where there, they were more in number than your average middle class family.

As we approached them it was getting close to dinner time and the women were preparing the dinner, to be precise kneading the dough that clearly looked insufficient for the whole family. We sat with them and talked to them, the usual journalistic blah blah and they were so happy that someone actually bothered to ask how they were doing. With time the conversation got warmer and warmer and you could see real people instead of the shabby goons that we consider them to be while we fly past in our cars.

As we were about to leave, they started to insist that we sit and share their dinner with them. It was so touching to see them do that. I mean I smoke cigarettes that cost me something around Rs. 60 a pack. It is something I can do without. Still, I would rather not share it with anyone and here was this person who knows clearly that we were students and that us asking them about anything makes no difference to their lives, you really could not help but feel a sense of cheapness within you for taking that much of warmth and affection from a person who is so deprived, when you yourself would not do the same.

Worse still, you could see that there was not enough to go around for the family and if you did not have it they would feel offended for it would give the impression that we consider them as lower class people and things like that. It was so overwhelming that we were speechless by the time we walked away from them. Then I notice that my friend was trying hard to fight back her tears and in between sobs she managed to just say "Never again am I going to call them dirty yellow flats in my life".

Sometimes it is nice to know that even when you are stupid enough to assume or perceive, you go wrong in the right way. It comes as a pleasant surprise and is something that makes life worth living.

May 27, 2002


cd /usr/src/linux-2.4.2/
make clean
make dep
make menuconfig
make bizImage
make modules
make install
make modules_install
shutdown -r now

Yaay! my first kernel recompile is done, with the stupid winmodem and onboard sound card driver modules compiled into the kernel now. So much for a relaxing Sunday.

May 23, 2002


Somewhere at a point in time,
When there would be no shadows that lurks behind the shoulder,
When the heart and the lips would say the the same words in the same breath,
When being true to yourself would not mean walking away from what means the most to you,
When blooms in the open, the flower of hurt hidden in the heart, without fear,
When it is caressed by the caring winds of love that flows without any fear, prejudice or spite,
Is when I shall meet you again, till then let us pretend to be two strangers,
The ailment and the cure that missed each other by that crucial half moment,
Time to lose each other in the crowd again....... farewell....
Blow me up Scottie!

Suicide bombing is the crack cocaine of warfare. It doesn't just inflict death and terror on its victims; it intoxicates the people who sponsor it, writes David Brooks in The Culture of Martyrdom. The article traces the evolution of the 'phenomenon' called suicide bombing, especially in the Middle East or now called in hackspeak as West Asia.

First of all, it is really unimaginable as to how one can make up for all the wrongs by blowing himself up and so many others in one go. Further on, the article describes the whole indoctrination routine and how the candidates are chosen wherein lies the key to dealing with this vicious brand of terrorism and the mindset that is creating the more cloned versions of the same suicide bomber from Kashmir to Kandahar.

"None of the suicide bombers -- they ranged in age from eighteen to thirty-eight -- conformed to the typical profile of the suicidal personality..........None of them were uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded, or depressed." This is where the story becomes strange, does your average criminal have to look like something what you see in Bollywood movies? If the enforcement agencies too think so, no wonder so many of them are being so successful.

That reminds me of a story a friend who works in Saudi Arabia told me after the US military camp there was bombed. The vehicle that was used to bomb the camp was a petroleum tanker and after the incident the authorities went checking all the other tankers that were on the road around that time. The 'suicide bomber should look like this' thought process draws huge parallels with this and it reads aloud as DUMB.

The solution to this 'phenomenon' according to Brooks is "shutting down the vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and creating a buffer zone between the two populations. Palestinian life would then no longer be dominated by checkpoints and celebrations of martyrdom; it would be dominated by quotidian issues such as commerce, administration, and garbage collection".

That warrants the question, isn't the whole Palestinian movement precisely about this, that Israelis vacate the settlements and let the Palestinians get on with their lives? For that matter, in most places where jihad is flourishing, be it Kashmir or Afghanistan, the same conditions can be found. Funny, it takes so much of death and destruction on both sides to realise something as simple as that.

May 21, 2002

The Cooperative

This text ad has been causing a lot of noise on K5. Well, for those who do not want to know the nitty gritty of server hosting and co-location, this is one damn good deal. What you get is a bare bones FreeBSD 4.5 server with one static IP and 40 Gigs of data transfer per month and yes no set up and hardware costs for $65 per month.

This roughly translates into Rs 3200.00 per month, something that you would have to pay for a decent shared hosting deal anywhere with all the bells and whistles. So you cannot afford that much of money for your hosting? Get five of your best pals and share the costs, you have this huge baby to play with for Rs 7680 per year per head. In other words just as little as Rs 640 per month per head.

If I had a credit card, I know where $65 would have gone by now!

PS: Those bloggers hosted on blogspot who are getting the page not found on their blogs.... Please log into Blogger and republish, all should be hunky dory then. [via]

May 20, 2002

Higher Purpose

These are some of the wild thoughts that came to cross the plain called the mind through a season of conversations with a good friend. Hope the season brings more storms as I belive I too am gradually being called to join the swelling ranks of the weekend bloggers.

Do we all live to satisfy a certain higher purpose? Am I being a waste of a creation as long as I do not take arms against corruption or change a million lives for the better? Am I lesser of a human being for I chose to just smile at a stranger looking sad today, making his/her day today than to take up the cause of a thousand downtrodden men.

Is a person who by being responsible to himself and taking care of his near and dear ones being any less of a hero than a general who liberated a whole nation? Is the faceless nameless freedom fighter who died under the oppressors's blows armed only with his courage any less of a hero than the other one who met a dramatic end after he blew away bits of the enemy?

We all have our differing levels of activity and intelligence and we perform according to that, but that does not mean that each act can be valued according the immediate impact of an action or its scale. It might be the case that a very popular and well known person feeds a single child in an orphanage with lots of drama is doing a lot of good that child, something it might not have otherwise gotten.

But at the same time a stranger helping another stranger in the middle of a crowded street makes a silent impact on the minds of all the other people in the street that they themselves are not aware of. In just one natural single act of compassion he/she has managed to touch more people in a way that even the most heart warming charitable action can ever do.

That does not negate the importance of the charities. They are needed too. But too many of us are holding back on little things looking for the bigger thing, 'the higher purpose' where they can make a worthwhile mark. There are people who perform these higher acts too. It comes naturally to them that is why they do it. After all, if I say I am as good as Gandhi... well I would have to first of all deactivate the comments, then run and hide in safe place least for the fear of getting laughed at.

In looking for this 'higher purpose' we waste our whole lives. We despair over it all our lives till the last living moment when we realise that the all the minutes, hours, days and years that passed before death held the chance for us to live up to this higher purpose. In other words, just living your life is your higher purpose.... nothing more to be said.

Funny things they are. They join two far flung points. But they also separate or constrain so many others. We stand behind, in front of or beside them. And any number is never enough. They are supposed to liberate you within a certain restricted area, but as far as I am concerned limited autonomy is akin to honour among thieves. It does not exist.

Lines are necessary in most instances of life. Well, at least social where life as a society is concerned. If it were not for the strict enforcement of the silly yellow line that divides the whole road into two, there amount of chaos on the roads would be way much greater than what we experience now. But then there should be lines for the person who enforces those lines and lines to enforce the lines that enforces them too. So where is the superline? Or is it the concept of the most powerful line plus one that constitutes the superline? Yet another hypothetical situation that is used to enforce more power and nothing more.

So do we really need lines even a social system? If every driver on the road is responsible enough for his own actions and safety we would not need lines. The collective of the individual good should ideally take care of this, but we say that is not there. So, the flaw is in the realisation of the individual good. The situation where people say I can forfeit so much of my freedom for lines for a few years of morose existence within lines is what causes this. Address that and there would not be any need for more lines. After all these lines drawn by someone else, they are not yours, you are only afraid of it and fear is not with you forever.

Now, to take things to a more personal level why do people draw lines around themselves? There are lines where a friend is a better friend than most, but he or she is not a lover not because that person does not appeal to that side of you, but because of lines that say such a person cannot be only a friend and not a lover.

Then there are lines where you place people between lines. In such a case, a person is more than a friend but not quite a lover as you do not know where you have drawn the line after which the romantic faculties are addressed. There are a thousand and one lines pertaining to this. This is perhaps the most troublesome line as where person A and person B draw this often differs by a thousand miles. While you might be well within your line, from the other person's view you are way way into his or hers. All hell breaks loose.

Throwing caution to the winds and the notion of political correctness into the gutter we now venture into the realm of the line which says you are not supposed to have any sort of feelings towards the physical form of a person. Attraction of the purely physical kind is not meant to happen, once behind the line of commitment that says 'I am going steady' or 'I am engaged' or 'I am married'. You draw yet another thick line where every single unit of the opposite sex becomes a member of a nunnery or a chapel. Even when you are not behind that line, there are other lines that restrict you nevertheless.

It is indeed funny how this concept of lines fits into perfect fuzziness. There is always a line between two lines and there is never a single line, they always exist in pairs. So, technically there is nothing called as limited autonomy.

From my very short life on this huge rocking and rolling rock called earth, what I have seen is that I have broken more of these lines than ever managing to keep them, in fact I must say I have never kept any of them, maybe that is the only line that I have kept, to not keep to any lines. And the most surprising things is that, life looks beautiful without them. I do not miss them at all.
Batting the bricks

That was some overwhelming feedback for the redesign and almost everyone seems to have not liked the new one. So I decided to change the background colour to pacify Arun a bit and decided to give the well a break till the next redesign ;-)

Why did I go for the redesign? To be very honest, I have been trying to get the look changed for a long while now, mainly with respect to the layout. I had the following things in mind:
1) My outgoing links are very long, so I needed enough space to accommodate them
2) I tend to [or should I write used to?] write in huge walls of text, so whatever the new design was, it had to give at least a majority of the page for displaying the text. After all I guess that is the most important element in a blog
3) The old design was a melee of tables, tables and more tables, the result being it took ages for it download even on a very fast connection
4) I have been wanting to learn CSS for a long while now and yes FC there is not even a single table in the design.

So, technically I have been at it for a while now, trying out dummy designs whenever I got the time. All the dummys were of the two panel layout type, one for the navigation and the other for the matter. But in the end it always ended up looking like the old site. So one fine sleepless morning after being up the whole night as usual with work, the two panel layout was given the boot and the three panel layout welcomed in.

In fact what happened was that I reading something on browser compatibility issues that CSS was having and stumbled on a plain three panel layout. When I looked at the CSS code, I found that it was not the sort of rocket science it was made out to be. Four more hours of sleepless fiddling around [fuelled by pure adrenalin and the excitement of learning something new] later the face that you all got to see was up.

Did a a bit more of touching up today and I guess I am pretty much there. Like it or not, i guess this is what it is going to be like for a while as I have run out of initiative and curiosity. It is liked by IE(5.x and later), Opera(5.x and later), all the browsers based on the latest available version of Mozilla and validates well as CSS 2.0 [warnings for Level 1 can go to hell].

Guess, I was aided a bit by by lady luck too as it looks reasonably the same through all the mentioned browsers. That coming from a chap like me who is not a designer and being more than a little ill equipped in the aesthetic angle of things, this is is good enough for me.

So what all went into it? Lots of reading up, the usual Photoshop, Dreamweaver combination, Top Style 2.5 CSS editor, a packet of Wills Classic Milds, a few mugs of coffee, chocolate milk, half a dozen mosquitoes that I managed to hit of the scores that I must have aimed at, at least two dozen hours of lost sleep, few centimetres of fingernails, Winamp and some good music for company.

Oh yes, here is a good tip, always as a rule edit the code in a text editor [Editplus my favourite baby!] for additional and improperly nested tags once the the whatyouseeiswhatyouget editing routine is over.


PS: A whole buncha heartfelt thanks for all the suggestions and flames, will be counting on them always. :)))

May 18, 2002

New Look

After so many failed attempts and flukes, the new design is up finally.

Not a very sophisticated design or even adventurous, but I guess these are its good points.

1) Bye bye to tables, only CSS

2) Even with the post and the blogspot banner the total lines of code comes to just above 200 lines, loads considerably faster than the previous design

3) Easy on the eye

4) Valid CSS

The sore points are

1) Too Dull

2) Mozilla based browsers are currently having some problema that I need to look into

3) Pointless trying to make it validate as HTML 4.x or XHTML because issues with the way Blogger uses para tags and of course the banner on top

4) Too many niggles that need to be cleaned up

May 17, 2002


Dead or alive, the maintainer of this blog who has been absconding from his regular blogsponsibilities.

May 13, 2002


After all the ranting and raving, it has been awfully quiet around my little underthought corner of the blogworld of late. Guess I will have to agree with Arun on something that he said on the comments, better keep quiet if you have nothing to contribute. Or is that quite so?

Generally, life has been following the normal dull and dreary path, nothing much eventful happening [well, lots in fact, but they are too personal to be spewed all over here] the old moronic job continues, chicken still costs Rs. 75 a kilo in these parts, tomatoes are awfully bad now, and rice when bought in bulk saves you a lot of money. Well, that is as exciting as my life gets.

Well, not really. I have really been trying to slow down a bit, trying to take the pressure of setting the only target of job hopping in the next n number of days off me, trying to make sense of a lot of things including where we are headed as a nation, lots of personal issues, relationships and of course the brightest spot in them all, a daily dose of long winding and pleasurable conversations with a good friend whom I have had the pleasure of knowing very recently.

Communal riots have been happening for a long time in our country, they are nothing new. Even then Gujarat comes as a very scary exception. Before you run riot accusing me of a lot of things, let me make it clear that I am not your typical paranoia junkie. Relax, the aliens are still some time away from converting us to their religion. Still, this one is that is refusing to go away and the feeling that I get is not something nice.

One of the most basic issues is that how can something like this go on for such a long time [two plus months now] without someone being held accountable, or even the culprits being identified, all that we know is that faceless people are killing mostly innocent people. Why are they faceless? Or is it that we want them to be faceless as the darkness that veils the face also veils the mirror that shows only your own face.

Rioting on such a scale cannot go on when it is accidental or as the popular strain of thought goes "A normal reaction to what happened before it"and most of the media has documented that almost all of it is well thought out and planned. So who is taking all these orders? The people who give them are almost always in the open. The usual suspects, there is no ambiguity there. But for it to be implemented on such a large scale, the psyche of the general population has to be affected and this the one that has been scaring me the most.

This is where the second most important issue comes in. In fact, this should have been the most important, but it makes itself a bit more clearer when it is seen the context of the first. The issue is here is what is seen and perceived as acceptable behaviour and thought. Most of public action and reaction is guided by this and this is precisely why Gujarat is different from the so many riots that has happened out there.

The feeling I get is that Gujarat has changed what is publicly acceptable. It used to be unacceptable to be anything other than a pluralist or a person who used to value liberty and freedom of thought and choice for the individual. Now, we hear senior ministers and politicians speaking of the majority's angst, which can be used to justify any action. This works in both the ways of the cause and effect. The result being that more than seventy days on Gujarat is still burning.

No one is speaking against all this, it has become fashionable to talk about this Hindu angst and what is fashionable and seen as maverick is lapped up by the youth in hordes and with it goes the psyche of the next generation. The values that has made us precisely this poor but great nation today, is going down the drain in a matter of what 10 - 20 years.

Those of us who are not affected at all by the situation there, are being unknowingly programmed into this mode of thinking that as long you think you are the suppressed majority, anything goes. Tomorrow, when the same person is subject to a similar situation we also will refer to this same angst and so will a billion others who do not even have the requisite resources to get to any decent news which is not propaganda. When a country like ours, which has a long history of functional caste and religious systems, is subjected to such a strain of thought, it finds ready takers.

At this rate it will not be soon before you are faced with the same choice, do you join the mob and go burning the other community or stand your ground and do the needy. Or would the ground not exist at all because the acceptable mode of thought and action has changed now to eradicate the other community?

Julian Barnes, had written a piece on the Le Pen situation in France on the eve of the final round of voting there. Most of the things mentioned there will not apply here as we by nature are not a very politically literate country, if you consider the caste based politics that passes off comedy show. But there are a lot of questions there that applies for us.

The point Barnes makes is that even when Chiraq wins he would have lost and Le Pen would have won thorough his defeat. But, the thing to note there is that in the final round of voting, people did make a choice. They chose not to remain silent and spoke their mind out.

The choice they had was not the best, but if they had not made that choice, the other side would have become more powerful on account of the silence that the majority chose to maintain. There are great lessons in it for us. And if we learn it, good for us, otherwise I would not be very happy to know that sometime in the future I was slashed to shreds by 50 plus years of oppression that was built up in my best friend because we address God by different names.


My Blogrolls get a bit more longer today with a few new additions

Atul: Absence to date can be accounted to laziness on my part
Scott: Great blog for web developers [rated xtreme geek]
Be Blogging: Blogging Technology [rated xtreme geek]
Kanurite: Surely not very surreal!
Raspil: Honest and in your face [not for those who cannot stand strong language]

Raspil deserves a special mention here as the honesty with which she goes about writing things is commendable. Her language will put most of you off, if you do not have a strong tummy, with profanities matching the intensity with which she feels about the things she writes. My personal favourite is her take on sex. Brutal but honest, do not say I did not warn you!

Yes, it is still in progress, slow progress rather due to lack of time. Checked out MoveableType, PHPNuke, Pivot, BlogWorks, Greymatter and Nucleus till now.

Most of them installs with differing levels of difficulties on both NT based webservers and Linux based ones, but the folks at MT could have made life a lot easier for the average TDH by packing in the external libraries too in the distribution. I will put up a zipped version of the external libraries up soon somewhere so that anyone wanting to get it running would not run into the same moronic install procedure as I did.

The positive about MT is that you do not need RDBMS support [often very costly] to run it, but where you pay is with performance as it is written in Perl, making life on load heavy servers a bit miserable. The other Perl based CMS, Greymatter refused to install on a Windows 2000 server, have not checked out how well it runs on Linux yet, or if it installs even. And there is a PHP interpretation of the RDBMSless CMS in Pivot, again it refuses to install on Windows 2000, will update with the Linux stories as and when I get the time.

PHPNuke is a wonderful thing to play around with, but it rates somewhere along with SlashCode and Scoop as far as complexity is concerned and should not be run by the average blogger or by the average webserver with joins and database queries a million miles long being the order of the day.

I absolutely loved playing around with Nucleus. The only trouble is setting up the basic database and dumping the primary structure and data into it, the install goes off as easy as a breeze and the speed is also more than okay. It can support blogs with reasonably big communities and is very simple to run. Runs both on Windows and Linux servers with PHP installed, one MySql database would be needed. My favourite till now :))

BlogWorks is the ugliest duckling of them all. Based on ASP it runs only on Windows based servers unless if you happen to be one of the fancy Linux servers with Chillisoft ASP on it. But once you get the hang of it, the looks can be changed by almost any one who knows HTML and have played with the blogger mark up tags. Yes ABes, the dummy post you made is still there on the test install. :D

Offtopic: I have been asking around about a bug in w.bloggar that does not allow me and a few others to fetch multiple posts from blogger due to some strange error and been told that it is due to issues on Ev's API server than having to do anything with w.Bloggar. Whatever it is, hope it gets fixed soon.

How differently would you have lived your life if a certain notice was given to you regarding the time of your death?

If the given time comprised only of 24 hours, would you panic?

Would you run? Would you hide? What would you do?

Would you recollect all the regrets acquired over many years?

Open them and try to come to terms with them?

Frantically try and recollect all the apologies that you almost made?

Or just sit peacefully and take things as if it were just another day?

Cup of tea in hand taking in all the goodness for one last time......

May 09, 2002


Been a bit busy of late checking out the various free Content Management Systems out there [excluding Blogger of course] that can be used on a relatively cheap hosting plan. Will come out with my 'not-so-biased' [to be read with a definite Apache+PHP accent] adventures soon. Till then.

Update: Please do not bother trying to get MT running on a Win 32 box, better idea would be trying to climb the Everest for an evening walk. Works fine on a Linux box though.

May 07, 2002


I will not Godblog
I will not Godblog
I will not Godblog
I will not Godblog

It is not very often that pure reason and creative writing come together to make a heady mix. In fact it is rather difficult. Again, this is another of the Godblogging posts. But I just could not help noticing how beautifully it is written. I do not agree cent percent with it, but when you see something good, you have to admit that it is so.

May 05, 2002



What a thousand noble gestures took to create
Is destroyed in a single word

What a thousand words cannot say
Is best said by a single breath

What a thousand sorrows have left
Is erased by a single moment of joy

What a thousand sighted missed
Is seen lucidly by the only blind

Great Link
Bob's Blog has always been a lot different from the others that I have seen till now. A recent post of his contains a few translations of the Native American chants and principles. They are a civilisation that has always amazed me with their closeness to nature. It is worth a read, especially keeping in mind all the GodBlogging that has been happening over the past week.