‘Here’s What We Did. We Don’t Want to Do It Again.’




Near Tucson, Arizona, is the U.S.’s last remaining Titan II missile. It was one of dozens of U.S. nuclear missiles at the height of the Cold War, ready to launch in 58 seconds. Now a national historic landmark, the Titan Missile Museum gives an insider’s look at what might have happened if the Cold War had turned into World War III.
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22 maps and charts that will surprise you

Kathy’s posting on Facebook:

by Ezra Klein on September 23, 2014

A good visualization helps you see what the data is telling you. The best visualizations help you you see things you never thought the data would tell you. These 22 charts and maps were, at least for me, in that category: all of them told me something I found surprising. Some of them genuinely changed the way I think about the world.

    1. More than half the world’s population lives inside this circle

      This map can be summed up quite simply: a ton of people live in Asia. That circle encompasses China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Malaysia, North Korea, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia and Bhutan. Caitlin Dewey checked the math, and found that, yes, a bit more than 51 percent of the world’s population lives in those countries. “I’m glad I’ve moved to these parts,” wrote Reddit user Valeriepieris, who posted the map. “All you guys outside the circle are just playing a sidegame.”

    2. The British have invaded almost every country on earth

      In the book “All The Countries We’ve Ever Invaded“, British historian Stuart Laycock writes that “out of 193 countries that are currently UN member states, [the British] invaded or fought conflicts in the territory of 171. That’s not far off a massive, jaw-dropping 90 per cent.” But a lot of those incursions are relatively obscure. For instance, the time British troops took the Ionian islands doesn’t make it into many non-Ionian history books. Laycock’s methodology is broad — he includes British pirates, privateers, and armed explorers whose activities were blessed by the government — and his research goes all the way back to the beginning. In a review, the Telegraph notes that “the earliest invasion launched from these islands was an incursion into Gaul – now France – at the end of the second century. Clodius Albinus led an army, thought to include many Britons, across the Channel in an attempt to seize the imperial throne. The force was defeated in 197 at Lyon.”

    3. Africa is much bigger than you think

      Most maps you see are based on the “Mercator projection,” so named for Gerardus Mercator, who came up with it in 1559. The Mercator projection is excellent for sailing, as it shows constant bearing as a straight line. But it’s terrible for estimating the size of large masses of land — particularly when they’re close to poles. Under the Mercator projection, for instance, Africa looks to be about the same size as Greenland; it’s actually 14 times larger. The Economist — building on work by Kai Krause — made this graphic showing Africa’s true size: bigger not just than Greenland, but than China, the United States, India and Western Europe put together.

    4. The wealthiest American in every state

      The geography of wealth inequality doesn’t get much attention. But it’s stark. There are about 450 billionaires with American citizenship — and almost200 of them live in New York and California. The result is this map. In some states, the richest people are well-known names, like Bill Gates or Sheldon Adelson. But how many of you know Leslie Wexler, CEO of the L Brands corporation and, with $5.7 billion, the richest man in Ohio? How about Anne Cox Chambers, who holds a controlling interest in Cox Enterprises and, with an estimated net worth of $15.5 billion, is the richest person in Atlanta?

    5. Switzerland is the best place to be born

      The Economist’s Intelligence Unit tried to assess which country gave its children the best chance of a happy, safe and prosperous life. “Being rich helps more than anything else,” they write, “but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.” The final measure factors in everything from income to geography to demography. When all is said and done, Switzerland leads the list, with Australia and Norway close behind. The United States tied with Germany for 16th place.

    6. Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States are the only countries that don’t use the metric system

      As Vox’s Susannah Locke wrote, “The measuring system that the United States uses right now isn’t really a system at all. It’s a hodgepodge of various units that often seem to have no logical relationship to one another — units collected throughout our history here and there, bit by bit. Twelve inches in a foot, three feet in a yard, 1,760 yards in a mile.” That’s why the rest of the world uses the metric system, where “all you need to do is multiply or divide by some factor of ten. 10 millimeters in a centimeter, 100 centimeters in a meter, 1,000 meters in a kilometer. Water freezes at 0°C and boils at 100°C.”

    7. America is so big that its states are the size of countries

      This map puts the sheer size of the United States into perspective. Montana is about the size of Japan. California is roughly as large as Iraq. Arizona is as large as the Philippines. Though, to be honest, I find this map surprising because some countries are much larger than I’d realized. I wouldn’t have guessed, for instance, that Burma is as large as Texas, or that New Zealand is the size of Colorado.

    8. Much of America in uninhabited

      This map, by Nik Freeman, pulls out the 4,871,270 census blocks — covering 4.6 million square kilometers — where no one lives. That tends to mean one of three things: the first is that the land is uninhabitable, perhaps because it’s covered by a lake. The second is that laws or other kinds of sanctions prevent settlement, for instance on national parks. The third is that it’s a commercial or industrial zone where people work, but no one actually lives. “Human geographers spend so much time thinking about where people are,” Freeman writes. “I thought I might bring some new insight by showing where they are not.”

    9. The map of world wealth

      This is a map of the world weighted not by land mass or navigation lines but around how much wealth each country has. As you can see, North America and Western Europe balloon to enormous proportions — even after adjusting for purchasing power, 46 percent of global wealth in 2002 was in their hands. The horror of this map is the shrunken husk of Africa. That’s a lot of people living with very little.

    10. Vox

      Fewer people are dying from war than ever before

      People sometimes complain that the press never writes about all the planes that land safely. By the same token, it also doesn’t write about all the people who aren’t dying in wars. But the decline in war-related deaths is a huge story — one of the most encouraging of the 20th Century, for sure. “On average, about 15 percent of people in prestate eras died violently, compared to about 3 percent of the citizens of the earliest states,” wrote Harvard’s Steven Pinker. “The rate of documented direct deaths from political violence (war, terrorism, genocide and warlord militias) in the past decade is an unprecedented few hundredths of a percentage point.” Vox’s Zack Beauchamp explains the reasons for the decline here, and it includes some culprits you probably don’t expect, like nuclear weapons.

    11. The most dangerous drugs in America are perfectly legal

      As German Lopez writes, “there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are perfectly legal.” This chart uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make a counterintuitive point: the deadliest drugs in America are legal. In some cases, those drugs are deadlier because their legal status makes them more widely available. If heroin were as easy to get as tobacco, more people would surely die from it each year. But that’s not true in all cases. Alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana, but marijuana is illegal in most states, while alcohol is legal for those over age 21.

    12. The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. Singapore is its least.

      Since 2009, Gallup has been polling people in 150 countries and territories about their everyday emotional experiences. The questions are things like, “did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, and “did you experience [enjoyment/physical pain/worry/sadness/stress/anger] during a lot of the day yesterday?” Only 36 percent of Singaporeans reported experiencing either positive or negative emotions in a given day — making them the least emotional country in the world. By contrast, the Philippines are the world’s most emotional country, with 60 percent saying they had either a positive or negative emotional experience on a given day. America, by the way, is the 15th most emotional country.

  1. Germany and Japan have the world’s oldest populations. Niger has the youngest.

    Much of what looks like politics and economics is actually just demographics in disguise. Country’s with aging populations often end up with high budget deficits and weak economic growth because there are too few workers to support the many retirees. Countries with extremely young populations often end up in political chaos — particularly if there aren’t enough jobs to go around. Right now, Germany and Japan have the world’s oldest populations, with a median age of 46.1. Niger has the world’s youngest population with a median age of, shockingly, 15.1.

  2. Snapchat is more popular than Twitter among Millenials

    According to data collected by Comscore and compiled by Statista, more millennials have installed Snapchat on their phones than Twitter. And Instagram is more popular than either of them. This data doesn’t tell us much about how often the different services are used, but it does speak to the incredible popularity of picture-based messaging apps among young people. Next time you hear about Snapchat seeing a $10 billion valuation, this chart is why.

  3. Half of US GDP comes from these 23 orange blotches

    Half of America’s gross domestic product comes from the 23 orange blotches on this map. The other half comes from the vast acres of blue. Those orange blotches are America’s largest metro areas — and they absolutely power the American economy. But though small in size, they’re large in population: about 110 million people live in those orange blotches, says Reddit user Atrubetskoy, who created the map. So what you’re seeing on this map isn’t just that there’s a lot of economic activity compressed into some very small spaces in America, but that there are huge swaths of the American landscape where not that many people live.

  4. Antarctica’s weird time zones

    The South Pole is located almost smack in the center of Antarctica. That puts the continent on every line of longitude — and, in theory, in every single timezone. But as an interesting Wikipedia article on the subject explains, the extreme day-night cycles make that impractical, and thus time zones are often based on territorial claims. The result is that “many stations use the time of the country they are owned by or the time zone of their supply base (e.g. McMurdo Station and Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station use New Zealand time due to their main supply base being Christchurch, New Zealand). Nearby stations can have different time zones, because of belonging to different countries.”

  5. Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the world

    According to data gathered by the World Health Organization, Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the world, with 44 suicides per 100,000 people. That puts them slightly ahead of even North Korea, which has 38.5 suicides per 100,000 people. Among large countries, South Korea, with 28.5 suicides per 100,000 people, and Russia, with 18.5 suicides per 100,000 people, have particularly bad records. The suicide rate in the US is 12.1 per 100,000 people.

  6. If the world was as tightly packed as New York City, everyone could fit into Texas

    This fascinating infographic from Per Square Mileshows that if everyone in the world lived as close together as, say, New Yorkers, they could all fit into Texas. Which is all to say that we’ve got a lot more land than we have people. But there’s an important caveat: it takes a lot of land to support all those people. As Per Square Mile goes on to note, if everyone in the world required as much land to support them as Americans do, we would need four earths.

  7. Assault deaths in America are falling

    There are more gun-related deaths in America than anywhere else in the developed world. But people know that already. These are meant to be surprising maps and charts. So how about this: for all the horrible shootings in recent years, assault deaths in the Unites States have actually been falling sharply. This includes gun deaths. Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman of the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun homicides fell 39 percent between 1993 and 2011. (For much more on guns in America, ready Dylan Matthews’cardstack.)

  8. We’ve cut childhood mortality almost in half since 1990

    Let’s continue with the good news for a minute. Between 1990 and 2013 the mortality rate for children under 5 was cut nearly in half. This is some of the best news in the history of the human race. “That includes an over two thirds drop in East Asia, Latin America/Caribbean, and Northern Africa, and a 48 percent drop in sub-Saharan Africa,” wrote Dylan Matthews. Out of 195 countries, 191 have seen declines. There are no gains in development quite like saving a child: you haven’t only saved a life, but you’ve saved a life with many years yet to live. Still, there’s a ways yet to go: 17,000 children die every day, and the Millennium Development Goals commit us to cutting childhood mortality by two-thirds of its 1990 levels.

  9. UN

    Global population will explode to 11 billion people by 2100

    There were about 200 million people on earth at theturn of the first century. By the 10th Century, there were about 300 million. We didn’t hit a billion until the 19th Century. But things really sped up from there. Today there are almost 7 billion people on earth — and world population is growing quickly. The latest UN forecasts predict there will be roughly 11 billion people on earth come 2100. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, and we really don’t know how we’ll feed them.

  10. You are a tiny speck of nothingness

    This is perhaps the most surprising map of all. Think about yourself for a moment. You’re a pretty big deal, right? The things that happen to you feel very consequential, don’t they? And for you, and your family, and your friends, they are. But this is a map of our corner of the universe. It’s called Laniakea and it’s got more than 100,000 galaxies and stretches more than 500 million light years across. You can’t even see earth in it, much less your city, much less your house. “It’s hard to wrap one’s head around how enormous this is,” writes Brad Plumer. “Each of those points of light is an individual galaxy. Each galaxy contains millions, billlions, or even trillions of stars. Oh, and this all is just our little local corner of an even broader universe. There are many other galaxy superclusters out there.” You can see more in this video from Nature. It kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

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Good morning!


We have a silent, serene Sunday morning after our sittings and service. This is the

beginning of the fall equinox, equal in day and night and heat and chill. In Japan we

celebrate three equinox days as o-higan (彼岸), the yonder shore, beyond the rough

sea of samsara suffering, which means nirvana, ceasing of the wind of karmas.


Today people gather together and march to stop global warming, which causes

extreme weather like enormous hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, heavy rain, land

slides, flooding, even extreme earthquakes, causing tsunamis, nuclear disasters, etc.

Humans are the culprits of it along with the sixth mass extinction,  with more than a

hundred  species going extinct every day.


The Buddha showed how to still karmas in sitting samadhi, to stop the world from

destruction and demise. He foresaw that human karmas could cause the catastrophe

of the world on fire due to our senses being on fire, and eating the beloved one’s

flesh. The Triple Learnings of sīla, samādhi, and paññā is stilling the Triple Poisons

of attachment, aversion, and delusion.


In our conventional world we cannot see global warming, mass extinction, karma

kinetics, the Triple Poisons, etc., as they are too great to grasp, i.e., the mind miring

mega matrix, which can be only ceased and seen through still sitting and sober seeing

of the immense effect of karmas evolved and developed through billions of years and

constant conditioning.











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Hell or Paradise

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Fly Freely Function Fully from Karma Cocoon and Cave



Good morning!


After our sittings and service, we have a quiet, calm, and clear Sunday morning with

blue sky overhead and green trees around us. We had the Mindfulness Day event at

the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts yesterday. I spoke about individual karma

cocoons, social karma caves, and environmental karma catastrophe, using the story

of the blind turtle sticking its head into a hole of a floating log in the ocean to discuss

human evolution and the solution for it: sitting, stilling karmas, and seeing dharmas,



Regarding my comment on the common root of tree and true, enduring in time and

space, harmonizing with the wholly wholesome system, another speaker told me

about getting the core hardwood rather than the other parts of a tree. The Heart

(wood) Sutta was given by the Buddha after Devadatta left, telling us to attain the

heart(wood) or essence (sāra), not the leaves, branches, or bark. I told him about the

empty core of plantain trees (Foam Lump Simile Sutta), which teaches that

everything is empty (suñña) of substance, like a lump of bubbles or the core of

plantain trees.


The core, heart, or essence is nirvana, un-moved (a-kuppa, a-cala) in equanimity

(upekhā, lit. discarding) or emptiness (suññatā). When we sit like trees, we become

truth and peace in harmony with the wholly wholesome world empty of and

unmoved by karmas. The Buddha’s awakening was first expressed by a tree and

monasteries have been called sōrin (group or grove of trees). Becoming awakening

trees is the systemic, sustainable, saving, safe, simple, straight, sure way to still mind

monkeys and will horses and the Triple Poisons of attachment, aversion, and



For a questioner asking about the way to cope with a busy life, I spoke of the two

essential elements of concentration and continuity, like a water-jet cutting through

metal and dripping water piercing through rock. We must continue concentrated

practice to cope with the immense karma force accumulated through four billion

years and acting through our movements and functions. In this way only can we

break through cocoons and caves to fly freely and function fully in wholly wholesome,

limitless life, light, liberation, and love.





Note: The Buddha was expressed as a tree, Dharma-wheel, Buddha’s feet for a long time before being depicted in human figures (statues and drawings).







Animals taking refuge to the Buddha





Drunken elephants tamed by the Buddha


Posted in Buddha Mind Seal: Zazen, Buddha mind/heart | Leave a comment


September 13, 2014, 1-3:30 p.m.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation – PXSTL The Lots
Come & Join us on this great event

Meditation under expert guidance
Mindfulness Day promotes a stress-free, happy & productive society

by the Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis

Saturday, September 13, 2014
1:00 – 3:30 pm

PXSTL – Lots
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108

1:00 p.m. – 1:05 p.m.: Introduction by Leonora Kham
1:05 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness – “The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness”
by Prof. Kongsak Tanphaichitr, M.D., Chairman, Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis
1:25 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: Mindfulness with Breathing through Sitting Meditation
by Prof. Dr. Rosan Yoshida, Ph.D., Director, Missouri Zen Center
1:45 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.: Mindfulness with Walking Meditation
by Ven. Master JiRu, Abbot, Mid-America Buddhist Association
2:05 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.: Mindfulness with Bodily Movement – Dynamic Meditation
by Prof. Kongsak Tanphaichitr, M.D.
2:25 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.: MBSR and MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
by Prof. Donald Sloane, Director, Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, St. Louis
2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion with Questions & Answers

This Event is Free and Open to the Public.

Attachments area
Preview attachment Mindfulness_Day_9_13_14_poster.jpg

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Calligraphy & Sumie Exhibit






Calligraphy Exhibit Postcard

Calligraphy & Sumie

by Keiu Yokoyama & Hajime Iwamoto (et al)

Opening Reception 
Sept. 3 (Wed.), 2014 C.E.
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
On View
Sept. 3 (Wed.) – Sept. 7 (Sun.)
Artist Demonstration
6 p.m. during the reception
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery
in the University Library
650 Maryville University Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141
Last Day:
Sun.: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Posted in Mind: World | Leave a comment



Good morning!


After our sittings and service, we feel a still, serene, and satisfied Sunday morning,

even with rather severe summer weather. I have been weeding and easing the steep

slope easement and clearing creepers covering trees at the farthest back yard and at

the fence there. Grass-like weeds and ordinary- looking trees would also cover and

choke grass and trees.


Even we cut them, they grow bigger and broader again and again, unless we clear and

cleanse them from their roots. Still, winds and wings may bring their seeds from

somewhere else so long as there is the fertile soil for them to ground and grow. Bad

karmas have the chances to ground, grow, cover and choke green grass and tall trees

from free, full functions for flourishing.


The Five Coverings and the Four Fluxes are cleared and cleansed by sitting and

stilling karmas as shown in the Four Zen (Jhāna) Stages. Formations (sakhāra:

past, present physical, verbal, and mental karmas) create roots of nescience and

craving, causing samsara and suffering as seen in the Twelvefold Dependent



People do not know karmas, much less are not able to cope with them, as in the

case of Ferguson shooting, etc. We must constantly care and cure ourselves by

cutting, clearing, and cleansing karma coverings and fluxes. Ryokan said that it

would be easier to commit suicide than continue practice. Only constant practice

makes perfect wholly wholesome way world.




Note: Regarding the Four Zen Stages and the Twelvefold Dependent origination,

please refer to the Download Documents in this website.














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Calligraphy & Sumie Exhibit

Calligraphy Exhibit Postcard

Calligraphy & Sumie

by Keiu Yokoyama & Hajime Iwamoto (et al)

Opening Reception 
Sept. 3 (Wed.), 2014 C.E.
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
On View
Sept. 3 (Wed.) – Sept. 7 (Sun.)
Artist Demonstration
6 p.m. during the reception
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery
in the University Library
650 Maryville University Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141

Mon. – Thr.: 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Fri.: 7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Sat.: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sun.: 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Posted in Cultivation: culture | Leave a comment

Steady Striving Step by Step



Good morning!


With last night’s rain, we have now fresh greens and refreshed flowers. With sittings,

we have a refreshed world with pure peace and prognosis. The Buddha said that to

be born as a human being is like a blind turtle living at the bottom of ocean, rising

to the surface once in a hundred years to stick its head into a hole of a floating log.

It is so rare. Is it precious or not?


He said that humans have shed oceans of tears. Living beings are blind with karmas

and humans have added karmas for self survival and suffering. Our life is as shown

in the 12 limbed Dependent Origination diagram - driven by formations (physical,

verbal, and mental karmas of evolution in time and space) with nescience and

craving roots resulting in samsara and suffering.


How can we be freed from this situation? Retract the head and limbs from the log,

return to the bottom, reunite with the wholly wholesome world, and regain

wholesomeness in peace (nirvana) before separation (sinfulness, selfishness).

Human babies develop senses and motor organs to increase self senses. Zen

stages are to free from this karma kinetics to Dharma domain.


This is to open blind eyes for awakening. If this turtle can climb a mountain step by

step, slow but steady, unlike the rabbit who could run faster but rested in sleep, it

will reach the summit to command all peaks and planets - knowing how they have

come to their present states. Prognosis comes from this perspective, proportion,

and priority to enjoy the Awakened Way in amrita.
































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