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About Taomeow

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  1. Fun word. I never let anyone get away with anything till I was 13-- and that's how I could get away with reading like a maniac without anyone even dreaming of counting me among the harmless bookworms. Past 13 of course I had to use a totally different strategy. It wasn't OK to fight anymore for a girl at that time in that place, you had to start learning docility and helplessness and weakness as part of feminine attractiveness and appropriateness. You couldn't defend yourself with your fists or all the knights in shining armor would have to file for unemployment. ))
  2. Mine, besides H.G.Wells, were the sci-fi novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Lost World, The Poison Belt, The Maracot Deep. Hated: most of Jules Verne
  3. I had a love-hate relationship with it. And also with Liu Cixin's trilogy. I just remembered that my first intro to sci fi was all of H.G. Wells, between the ages of 7 and 8. Blew my mind. The Island of Dr.Moreau!! I had the book on my lap and was reading it in class, the boy sitting next to me raised his hand and snitched on me to the teacher, the teacher confiscated the book just when the puma-woman escaped from the lab!!! I channeled her and stabbed the snitch with a wooden pointer through the hand he had raised to snitch on me. (I've learned to control my impulses much better since then.)
  4. Ah, I see what you mean. We don't necessarily see the exact correlation between the size of the stance and the size of the jin, it's more or less situational. Although it's true that you have to have mastered short jin for your small stance to "work" and it is the next-difficulty-level task compared to the medium and large, but only as a "general rule." There's other things at play too -- my teacher usually individualizes his requirements based on various factors -- e.g. the physical height of the practitioner and how opponents are matched in push-hands. E.g. taller people are asked to be able to go very low so shorter opponents don't inconvenience them. This way, push come to shove (which in push-hands it tends to ) you can always drop lower than your opponent if you have to. (Whereas a shorter opponent doesn't stand to gain much from a very low stance in this situation -- if they go too low I'm not going to uproot them, I'm going to break their root by digging it deeper into the ground since that's the vector they're offering.) But of course if short jin is your oyster, you can just stand there doing nothing externally. I can't do that yet. And it's true that at the beginner stage (some ten first years) the medium stance is preferred and progress is associated with being able to go lower and lower (the taiji way of course, with power -- something I learned when I just started out... I was a human pretzel then and could go as low as you please... the yoga way. Which got beaten out of me eventually. ) Thank you. The 13 "songs" or "powers" indeed -- peng, lu, ji, an, cai, lie, zhou, kao associated with the 8 trigrams of the bagua and embodied as forces and patterns of their application, and the 5 directions of the wuxing (left, right, front, back, center) with their associated patterns of motion (up, down, expand, contract, rotate), and the yin-yang pattern in every opening-closing move. Of course there's complex interplay of these energies involved. One distinct feature of Chen is that peng is implicitly associated with the "corkscrew" spiral force and is present pretty much throughout the rest of the forces. Some masters of old even referred to Chen as "the art of peng." And that's what's behind its robust external manifestations, its coiling, twisting, spiraling moves. They are much more pronounced in xinjia than laojia, even exaggerated -- but not because they are external (when it's the real thing that is) -- they are just external manifestations and visible continuations of the internal spirals 'breaking through" to the surface. Laojia hides most of them -- but the difference is merely stylistic, the internal essence is the same. Chen is for snakes, dragons, tigers. Cats. Mighty oxen and boars make great Yang players. Sun is for the sprightly rabbits, belligerent roosters, light-footed rats. (The last four sentences are my opinion only albeit experiential as a taiji player and bazi reader.)
  5. This is an urban legend methinks. Chen does require a lot more physical conditioning, but it also provides it as you go. I know quite a few people who started Chen past your time frame (in their 40s-50s) and ten years down the road are in a much better physical shape than they were in their 20s. Actually, in combinations of 2 (yin and yang) x 8 (bagua) x 5 (wuxing) As for Chen, it also comes in combinations of 2 2 frames (laojia and xinjia --old frame and new frame) 2 routines per each (laojia yilu -- old frame first routine, laojia erlu -- old frame second routine, xinjia yilu -- new frame first routine, xinjia erlu -- new frame second routine) 2 push-hands patterns (fixed step and active step) All the "short," "competition," "compact," "simplified" etc. versions are not part of the traditional curriculum and have to do with either "for sports" (wushu performance arts) or "for health" (non-martial adaptations that are essentially stepping qigongs) purposes. Speed is dictated by purpose and can be excruciatingly slow (with the extreme of the "square" form, coming to a screeching halt at every move and holding each pose for a minute or even several minutes -- the Four Tigers like to torture their students like that; "normal slow" for regular practice of the first routine, "normal fast" for regular practice of the second routine, "medium" for both when teaching/learning/demonstrating, "lightning fast" for both in application, etc.)
  6. @Earl Grey See, it worked! The reverse spell that is!
  7. Oryx and Crake is disturbingly similar to the current reality... ...which brings to memory another one -- The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre... it's not really sci-fi, though to those who get their picture of our reality from the telescreen it may seem like sci-fi -- but it was actually based on a true story that took place in Nigeria (and is currently taking place in West Africa on a much grander scale... but don't let me digress.)
  8. On my list too. also, among others, Margaret Atwood -- anything and the surprise appearance of the non-G.O.T. George R.R. Martin. Tuf Voyaging. But since we're in a love/hate thread, I have to say it. I will probably lose much street cred over this... but I can't properly serve my sci fi gods if I embrace the demons. I hate Dune.
  9. I read Bradbury when I was 12-13, and Fahrenheit 451 -- the temperature of burning books -- did the opposite in my case, to wit, ignited my lifelong interest in science fiction. What I love... the list would be long. All-time favorites are the Strugatsky brothers, but I've no idea if any good translations are in existence and worth checking out. Some of their novels, aside from being masterpieces of sci-fi, are also masterpieces of literary Russian, and that translates very poorly, far as I know. Lots of idiosyncratic humor and some of it doesn't translate at all. In their novels written in the 1960s -- 1980s they envisioned a future that was a bona fide utopia. What can possibly be interesting plot-wise in a perfect world? What can go wrong in a utopia? Ah... only everything. That was the best part -- exploring all the things that could (and did) test human beings when the world was finally off their backs, when the burden of injustice, poverty, disease, war, mind-numbing, life-sucking work has been lifted. And that's when the real men and women had a chance to emerge -- to find out who they are when they don't have to be at each other's throat for everything under the sun. And that's when they became truly interesting. Heroes and cowards, enchanted scientists and tragically reckless scientists, disillusioned immortals and contactees of a mysterious superior civilization whose goals, methods, and intentions remain fathomless, zoopsychologists psychologically "defecting" to the side of intelligent canines, and of course "special forces" who, for lack of engagement on Earth, attempt to intervene at other planets (which closely resemble Earth as we used to know it and as we know it today rather than the Earth of the authors' creative dreams that left all that shit behind). And the painful conflicts of some but not all people evolving to be something else, something no longer human and immeasurably superior -- and not interested anymore in humanity they came from... beginning with their loved ones, their families. And tragedies -- human tragedies, not the money-power kind. And hardly anywhere a happy ending -- nothing ends, we are not supposed to "end" anywhere, according to the brothers, we're an eternal beginning.
  10. Sounds like fun, but all you're going to get from tech support is a PPD. The sections aka threads are up to you to create. Looking forward.
  11. Taoist triva and memorabilia

    A fire on board USS Bonhomme Richard at San Diego Naval Base (that's some 25 miles from where I live) started yesterday and is expected to take days to put out. I didn't know until this morning when I woke up to strong smell of chemicals in the air. People all over the area, even a few dozen miles away, report smelling all kinds of nasty stuff, some were woken up by the smell in the middle of the night. Saw an advisory about keeping the windows closed, but didn't catch yet how official it was and how strongly advised, just folks sharing whatever anyone knows. About 60 sailors, firefighters and civilians were injured, mostly due to smoke inhalation. Fortunately no fatalities were reported.
  12. I'm not sure where Google put it since I've seen it, but what I did find instead when I went back trying to find that reference is Ammo.com statistics for a bunch of other states -- I hope these might be conductive to your believing me when I say I have indeed seen them about CA too. Ammo.com aren't allowed to ship to CA so our modest 900% didn't make it to the list -- and a very modest figure it is compared to what the statistics referenced below tell you of a few other states: the leftist strongholds are as well, or better, represented as the rightist ones. State Ranking by Sales Volume Most Popular Caliber by Sales Volume 2nd 3rd State % Increase % Increase % Increase % Increase 1. Texas +524% 9mm ammo +1,016% 223 ammo +2,478% 40 S&W Ammo +1,321% 2. Florida +435% 9mm ammo +758% 223 ammo +1,385% 45 ACP Ammo +600% 3. Illinois +400% 9mm ammo +599% 223 ammo +1,577% 45 ACP Ammo +255% 4. Georgia +334% 9mm ammo +568% 223 ammo +2,252% 40 S&W Ammo +543% 5. Colorado +746% 9mm ammo +1,263% 223 ammo +5,970% 45 ACP Ammo +1,334% 6. Arizona +628% 9mm ammo +1,473% 223 ammo +1,556% 45 ACP Ammo +734% 7. Virginia +242% 9mm ammo +617% 223 ammo +1,032% 40 S&W Ammo +349% 8. Ohio +469% 9mm ammo +674% 223 ammo +2,217% 40 S&W Ammo +374% 9. Washington +795% 9mm ammo +1,377% 223 ammo +1,539% 40 S&W Ammo +538% 10. North Carolina +430% 9mm ammo +823% 223 ammo +2,083% 40 S&W Ammo +732% https://ammo.com/coronavirus-impact-on-ammunition-sales With all due respect, I don't think it's exclusively the far right who are driving the numbers way up above the clouds in every one of them. I can only envy people who are capable of making instant clear-cut enemies out of anyone who is not their political clone. How simple their lives are. For me it's never simple. If I had to buy some kind of package politics, I would have to make enemies out of all my friends. That's because one is far on the anti anti-Trump left (yup, there is such a thing -- ask Tulsi Gabbard), one votes Republican and makes equal-opportunity-offensive jokes all the time but teaches math in all-black schools in all-black neighborhoods while being white himself (chose this job out of conviction that good education matters and is willing to do something about it personally), one is a Jewish woman teaching English at a Muslim school to little immigrant kids who hit her with Islamic radical fundamentalist ideas reinforced in the family on a daily basis -- and manages to win their hearts and minds -- she absolutely hates all things socialist/communist/anarchist though -- then again, another one is a black woman who supports BLM and is a feminist but is otherwise extremely conservative -- she's a scientist working for one of the biotech companies, a Christian, and a vehement homophobe with extremely negative stance on the whole LGBTQ agenda. I could go on and on and on. But what about folks who don't stress me out with these controversies, the ones who buy prepackaged politics? The caricature right or caricature left? Well, I don't maintain friendships with either because I get nothing out of communicating with folks who are unable to think for themselves (regardless of whether their thinking is right or wrong, or right or left) and can only regurgitate whatever MSM of their choice has put in their head. So, nobody to lose there.
  13. This seems to contradict your earlier assertion that it's leftist groups you are glad to see training with arms. Nevemind though. Your next statement which I guess is supposed to be sarcastic proves that I've no business participating in this thread. Marxist takeover? I've lived through the Eastern European aftermath of that, which is more than I can say about a whole bunch of my ancestors who died in the process and as a direct outcome (so I never had a grandfather, e.g.), and I can assure you -- I'm as sarcastic about the proposition as you are, but for an entirely different set of reasons.
  14. Which groups specifically? Here in CA the very people who always campaigned against the second amendment bought all the guns and all the ammo all of a sudden, leaving gun stores stark bare months ahead of the protests. In March the sales of firearms in democratic CA skyrocketed by 900%. People formed hours long lines to get their lock, stock and barrel. Any idea which groups had this kind of foresight, and how exactly did they know? "Leftist" is such an elastic term... nice people believe it merely stands for all things nice in politics, but not-so-nice people define it by markers that elsewhere in the world, at least in the first world countries, would place them squarely at moderate right to far right and beyond.
  15. Paintings you like

    Alexey Raevsky is a contemporary Belarusian artist.