Active Aggressive Impulsive Dynamic Flamboyant Friendly Impatient
Transhumanist ∙ Community Organizer ∙ Educator
Mr Bilas organized the first mainland China Humanity Plus (h+) transhuman conference July 27, 2013 at Jintai Art Museum and is looking forward to joining the Singularity in his lifetime.
I want to know what he sees in the future for 2016.
"I'm glad you asked, Cheryl Petty :) We witnessed the quantum computer winter thaw a lot in 2015, and that winter will be completely over in 2016. We will also see Virtual Reality launch into mainstream, and I don't think it will be the bust Google Glass turned into--which brings me to Augmented Reality (AR), something I still think is the most paradigm shifting personal device on the horizon, but 2016 won't be the year for AR. 2015 ended on a tremendously positive note for life extensionists with the discovery of methylene blue and Metformin both showing promises of being true anti-aging drugs. I hope this continues, however, discovery is much harder to predict than information technologies."
Here's a link to Mr Bilas’ quarterly meetup Beijing Technium帝都科魂.
As if news that the X Files are returning isn’t enough excitement, the government has declassified hundreds documents from 1940s and 50s relating to Unexplained Flying Objects including Roswell!!! Check out the CIA site.
David Ellsworth, my travel companion on most recent trip to DPRK last fall is an excellent photographer. He writes: Hi Cheryl-- I have finally edited and posted 150 pictures from our October trip. -- Hope you enjoy, David
Do you feel uninformed about the crises brewing on the Korean peninsula?
Here’s a site dedicated to providing intelligent and in-depth news and analysis on contemporary Korean topics. Site Editor and founder Chad O’Carroll has assembled a stable of world authorities. This link takes you to an essay submitted by Choe Un Ju Koreas Must Honor Three Principles of Independence, Peaceful Unification and Grand National Unity.
“Drugs” and “Bullying”, Premiere Showing in McCloud
2 Video Shorts by Local Students February 19th
Complex personal subject matters were the learning theme for McCloud High School students during their digital workshops with Christina Schmidlin while creating two short videos on “Drugs” and “Bullying.” Ms Schmidlin is a videographer and film maker in her professional life and was contracted by the McCloud Resource Center and the McCloud ARTS Society to work creatively with our high school students.
For the last two years McCloud students had the privilege to work with her in developing the storyline for the two short videos. Utilizing their input, talent, and their personal experiences these two short videos represent the efforts for over the two years. Students were enthusiastic participants in all aspects of the project including learning to act with drama coach Bennett Gale. The acting recreates some of their personal experiences regarding these vital social issues which youth everywhere are addressing on almost a daily basis.
In Bullying, “The story focus for this particular project was on the "making of" and "unraveling of" a bully. It is mostly told from the bully's perspective. Most students in the class experienced bullying both as perpetrators and victims, so we chose this particular, and in my opinion, very effective perspective for the story narrative. There was also one student in the class who experienced a bullying related suicide and ensuing drug use, which lent a powerful story element to the narrative.” said Christina Schmidlin.
She further explained that “all participating students linked the experience of bullying or being bullied to the risk of drug use and teenage suicide. Consequently, all the students wanted to explore this topic in depth in the story sessions.”
The Premiere Video Showing of McCloud High Student’s 2 Video Shorts will be Friday, February 19, 2016, 7 – 8:30 pm upstairs in the Mercantile Building. Admission is free in support of the students. The event is being organized by the McCloud ARTS Society. Jeff Wescott and some of the high school band members will provide musical entertainment to showcase their talents.
The community is invited to come to the premiere showing and support the students in the first effort to develop a meaningful video short that may later to useful to other students that may or may not be experiencing similar circumstances. --- Dorothea Schoenstein
On the way to DMZ we pass through tunnels as the road winds up through the mountain passes. The four-lane asphalt highway is divided by a median strip of trimmed hedges. We pass bicyclists, wood cutters and pedestrians. Road workers carry concrete road markers with reflective strips in a wooden harness on their backs and are installing them on both sides of the road every ten meters or so. Most of the work is done with hand tools, but I spot a man cutting grass on the median with a weed whacker, the only power tool I will see on this trip.
In the valleys I spy stone lined fish ponds, fields of rice, cotton, corn and orchards, already harvested.
We take a pit stop at a village about 9AM. Peasants have set out tables and chairs for refreshments or to display books and crafts for sale. The xi shoujian is clean with western style toilets and toilet paper. More tour busses arrive and suddenly we leave. Our driver likes to stay ahead of the crowds.
In the mountainous areas we pass tree plantations. The red sumac is starting to turn color, but the locust is green amid banks of feather grass. Our class A driver dodges patched potholes on the road empty of any other vehicles. We are driving into the sun toward the DMZ.
Every so often we pass a check point. Sometimes the driver presents his documents to the guards and sometimes one of our guides disembarks for the same purpose. These are places that no pictures are allowed. An ox cart with round wooden wheels slowly plods beside the road. To my western eye this is a charming sight, but it’s not the image they want representing their country. Little girls picking bouquets of cosmos wave as we pass.
At the Panunjom checkpoint we disembark and wait in the warm sun for the big tour busses to catch up with us. We all walk across to the busses waiting on the other side, passing through a barbed wire section protected with concrete military barriers which can be rolled into the road at a moment’s notice and block traffic in either direction. The barriers look old and stand as a mute testament to the decades of unresolved problems.
What’s the big deal about finalizing the end of hostilities? Can’t we step back a bit at a time and create a peaceful and constructive mechanism to end this old mess? Apparently the UN has been sitting on a diplomatic solution, hammered out a long time ago, which does this exact thing. So, get on with it.
The world is sick and tired of this dumb situation. Now that everyone has cell phones, including DPRK people, and communication is easy, the stupid lies and cover ups about this so called war won’t persist much longer. The truth will come out. Might as well own up to our mistakes and work to create a better place for the Korean people to live together without fear.
The actual DMZ is kind of a disappointment. For all the hype, all I can see is a few little huts, some blue and some silver. A few guards standing in the mild sunshine. Behind this, on the ROK side, is a large building a few stories high which houses some army types I imagine are bored out of their minds from the eternal stalemate and wishing they could call their girlfriends or play computer games instead of bristling with hostility. To one side is an elevated Asian style pavilion for family members, but today it is empty. Dark green Korean pines frame the scene where we stand on the second floor porch of a building on the DPRK side. Tourists mingle and take photos. A good-looking second lieutenant poses for pictures. Not very scary.
Even so, I’m overcome with emotion and stand in a corner of the porch, gazing down at the ridiculous scene and crying. My travel companions cheer me up with a photo opp with the handsome soldier before descending to the ground level and soberly returning to our bus.
You may recall a situation recently when South Korean soldiers stepped on a mine on their side and were injured. The first statement from our side accused the DPRK of sneaking over and planting the bomb. How ridiculous. Of course with modern forensics it is possible to determine the age and origin of the mine. Later news, largely ignored by the western mass media, was that the unfortunate young soldiers wandered into an area still planted with active mines, I’m imagining to have a cigarette. Recent rain eroded portions of this area. Whereas all the mines have been removed from the north side and farmers utilize land right up to the border for growing crops, the south has maintained a bizarre no man’s land.
We stop for fabulous lunch set out in small brass dishes of condiments. I will try to remember them all: potato wedges, sliced cucumber salad, sliced mushroom with red slivers, corrugated buckwheat noodle, rice balls that look like eyeballs in sweet bean paste, dried shrimp, tofu, hardboiled egg, mung bean accompanied by shots of soju, rice, water.
On the way back, we pass farming villages. The peasants load their blue tile roofs with corn on the cob to dry and spread hulled corn and rice on the side of the road. No one looks starving.
Teams of young men and women demonstrate the perfection of their routines in the Taekwon-Do Tul (pattern) and Self-Defense Techniques fighting styles at an event organized by the Korean Taekwon-Do Committee (KTC).
My favorite routines involve a girl attacked by a group of men and watching her clean their clocks! Very instructive for young women everywhere to have some knowledge of self-defense!
The day our tour visited the Pyongyang Taekwando exhibition coincided with the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) visit from the USA. This large delegation of Americans and Canadians was visiting Pyongyang, as we were, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party of Korea on October 10.
Taekwando symbolizes the iron spirit and soul of the Korean people who display wisdom and valor from olden times and represents national pride and precious cultural wealth. Today Taekwon-Do claims global recognition as a most excellent and powerful martial art.
The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) represents sixty million trainers and over one hundred member states from every world continent. Korean Taekwondo instructors and demonstration groups travel internationally, and the KTC, founded by Gen. Choi Honhg Hui, April 11, 1955, cooperates expanding and spreading the knowledge and art of Taekwondo.