Monthly Archives: October 2010


“I am convinced that no one loses anyone,
because no one owns anyone.
That is the true experience of freedom:
having the most important thing in the world
without owning it.”
-Paulo Coelho

painting: night sky by Vija Clemens


Food Alchemy: Saffron

image from here

SAFFRON: The Dawn’s Light Solidified
Saffron is considered the most perfect of all spices. True saffron has a deep red color and imparts a golden yellow hue. The alchemists considered saffron the gold of the plant kingdom and believed it carried the “signature” of the great transmuting agent for which the alchemists spent their lives searching. It comes from the stigma of the stunningly beautiful violet crocus flower. During a two-week period in autumn, three stigmas from each flower are handpicked and dried. It takes 225,000 stigmas from 75,000 flowers to produce just a pound of the herb.

Eating saffron dispels depression and eliminates psychological inertia. It was once believed that you could die of “excessive joy” by eating too much of it. Drinking saffron tea is said to bestow the gift of clairvoyance and greatly enhance the body’s healing powers. Some modern psychics believe its odor and taste release the transcendent essences of childhood.

According to legend, Hermes created saffron when he accidentally wounded his friend Crocus, whose blood dripped to earth and sprouted as the flower that bears his name. Saffron was sacred to the Egyptian supreme god, Amen, and the Egyptians grew it in their sacred gardens at Luxor. Persian priests were said to have controlled the winds with saffron. Persian women attached balls of saffron to their bellies to facilitate safe pregnancies. Saffron was also sacred to Eos, the Greek god of the morning light, and the spice has been described as the dawn’s light solidified.


Anonymous French street artist “JR” was recently awarded a $100K  TED Award along with the likes of Bill Clinton. “JR works mainly in slums around the world—Brazil, Cambodia, and Kenya, for example—transforming the buildings in poor neighborhoods with huge, blown-up photographs of the residents plastered to the exterior. In some cases, the pictures serve as building material—in Kenya, the vinyl photographs became new, waterproof roofs for the residents’ homes.” SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL. [images / article on gawker here]

Living Wall

3000 ft2 + 10,000 plants + 120 species =  the largest and most biologically diverse outdoor green wall on our continent. Unveiled Oct 20 2010 at the Semiahmoo Public Library (Surrey, CANADA). The design was inspired by artwork of the Coast Salish First Nations People.

Design firm: Green Over Grey


Everything you can imagine is real. — Pablo Picasso

Figs, the inverted flowers

image: courtesy burekaboy

ALCHEMY OF FIGS. Figs are one of the most ancient foods and had an important role in the Mediterranean diet for millennia. Egyptian priests bit into a ripe fig at the conclusion of consecration ceremonies. The Greeks considered them the ideal food, and figs were never harvested until a priest declared them ripe. In Asia, the Banyan fig tree is sacred to Buddha and is said to have its roots in heaven. Figs symbolize the rewards of meditation. The fruits are actually flower cases that contain both the male and the female flowers during fertilization. After fertilization, the flower cases swell with seeds and ooze sweet nectar.

The word “fig” actually comes from the Arabian word for testicles, though esoterically, they are thought to embody only the highest powers of fertility and love. Growing a fig plant (such as Ficus carica or Ficus benjamina) indoors brings good luck and abundance to the room in which it is placed.

Having someone bite into a fig while you are holding it makes them instantly infatuated with you…

Metrication vs Burroughs

I Weigh with Kilos


Song: by Jimmy Van & Richard Hieronymus. Photo: Anti-Metric Campaign, William S Burroughs

“All around the world today, the kilo is a measure…” (Side note: All around the world…except 3 holdouts. According to the U.S. Metric Association and a recent CIA survey, all countries except Burma (Myanmar), Liberia, and the United States of America have officially adopted the metric system)