CDL 26: Victory

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 31

Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of the Tao never used them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man’s tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart.
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.

On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,
On sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left,
The commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed,
They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.

(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)


CDL 25: A rush of endorphins

A combatant must pay a physiological price for an enervating process so intense. The “price” that the body pays is an equally powerful “backlash” when the neglected demands of the parasympathetic nervous system become ascendant. This parasympathetic backlash occurs as soon as the danger and the excitement is over, and it takes the form of an incredibly powerful weariness and sleepiness on the part of the person.


CDL 21: Crimson Lake


He stood before a lake of blood, as the fiercely setting sun lit the thick water with the guilt of war. The last place to be built here was, like the husk of a boiled insect, beautiful, yet no longer wild. It had surrendered to the inevitable, adulterated with cinnabar and starch, dissolved with ammonia, part of the relentless expansion into any suitable land left inhabitable.


CDL 20: Twelve Eight RePulse

Twelve Eight RePulse

The names of the numbers: one, two, three, ten, twenty, thirty, … are different, of course, in the various languages. Number symbols (see Arabic_numerals, Babylonian_numerals, Egyptian_numerals, Greek_numbers, Indian_numerals, Mayan_mathematics) have also differed widely. Those we are accustomed to, which we call Arabic numerals, came into use relatively late in history. In primitive ages, before the invention of writing, there were names for numbers but no number symbols. Without referring to any particular number symbols, or any particular language, let us see how an extended counting process can be carried out using only the ten fingers of man. In one South African tribe, it goes along smoothly in the following manner.


CDL 19: That Was August

The Met Office revised its seasonal forecast for the UK’s summer weather in June, July and August 2009, following a period of wet weather across the country.

Earlier this year, the organisation had declared that there was a 65% probability that the summer would be warmer and drier than average, and that it was “odds on for a barbecue summer”. Residents and tourists were advised to seek ways to stay cool, to find shade during the hottest times of the day, and to stay hydrated.

However, following a long period of wet and windy weather across the UK recently, it has adjusted its forecast. According to the Met Office, August will have near or above average rainfall – around 84.6mm – while temperatures will probably be near or above the average for the year, which is 14.7 degrees Celsius.

The Met office defended its earlier seasonal forecast. In a statement, it said: “We acknowledge that the weather we have seen through the last month has been disappointing, especially after the fine weather through June and the heatwave at the end of June and beginning of July.

“At no time did the Met Office state that summer 2009 would be hot and dry throughout, or forecast a ‘scorcher’.”


CDL 18: The Van Allen Belt

The Van Allen Belt

It is believed that protons of energies exceeding 50 MeV are the result of the beta decay of neutrons created by cosmic ray collisions with nuclei of the upper atmosphere. The source of lower energy protons is believed to be proton diffusion due to changes in the magnetic field during geomagnetic storms.