The delusional prison of separation – Einstein

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ — a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.



The end of a three day weekend. Yep, my weekends always end on Saturdays. Supper of brown rice and leek fried in coconut oil. This after 20 minutes sitting, after an Iyengar class with Silvia who is still here on her summer visit. Busier classes now that people are back from the summer break – just the adults, with students here next week. I learn so much in an Iyengar class. The subtleties of a pose can be understood while the body is supported using aids, while feeling what the completed pose is like. The strain of moving towards a full pose is taken away, allowing the awareness to explore the anatomy and energetic movements of the asana you are in.

After class I was asking the optimum times to practice per week, having had a start-stop practice since the mid-90s and recently settling into a shorter session six mornings a week, plus a weekly evening class. She confirmed always to leave one day free from asana for the body to rest and assimilate, and recommended four to six times per week. The book Yoga: The Iyengar Way by the Mehta sisters was recommended for its practice programmes Not one review less than 3 stars.

It’s a cliche, but yoga practiced regularly will change your life. Bound to.

Otherwise, I’ve been at Brockwood since the walk on Thursday, not doing very much. Well, we are always doing something, no? My direction in what to do comes from learning about doing things that don’t affect negatively your next doings. This has been my learning for many years, from eating unhealthily today making me tired the next day; taking caffeine today meaning tomorrow I’ve go to do the same; high from drinking or drugs tonight meaning a slump tomorrow or longer; staying up late, grumpy in the morning; watching stuff for the sake of it, meaning the brain has to unwind it and body relax again. So, I’ve been learning about what makes me feel weller the next day, hour, moment. They say live in the now, not for the future, but I will not forsake the future for some weak gratification now. Sounds square but it really is not. I remember in my teens reading in a book about golf. It said the art of golf is to play the ball in such a way that it makes the next play the easiest. It’s like that. Not through resistance, will or effort though. Do and see, see and do.

Weekend Walk 38 – Hythe to Beaulieu – Solent Way

Continuing east-west along the Solent Way, from the ferry at Hythe to the Hampshire village of Beaulieu. This is an inland stage once leaving Southampton Water, entering into the New Forest through Fawley Inclosure, Beaulieu Heath, to Hilltop, then down into the village itself on the banks of the River Beaulieu where I was sort of attacked by a goose. Disappointingly, most of the walk is along roadsides, or very near the road. I’d really like to see an alternative route for the Solent Way to the East of Beaulieu.

Apologies for the dirty image. It’s not on the lens but inside the camera.



To the yoga mat: 20 minutes gentle morning stretches.
To the yoga blocks: 20 minutes sitting.
To bed again.
To the station: goodbyes and grey taxi drivers with Skodas.
To the bike shop: gleaming wonder cycles and padded shorts.
To bed again.
To Beaulieu: bus to Hythe.
To the Solent Way: 12km back to Beaulieu. Lanes, pylons, heaths and busy roads. Not the best section.
To home: Fast and safe. News on radio. Paralympic paralysed athletes cheating by breaking toes and sitting on sharp things to raise blood pressure.
To the hacker: Please do as you say you would. Ransom paid.
To the yoga blocks: 20 minutes sitting.
To the television: Sea birds. Then the the return of Vic & Bob. Glad they have been allowed to be weird. Pretty much as much as in Smell Of… and earlier. Funny!
To bed again.

Lengthen and randomise your passwords!

Your passwords vs:

a $12,000 computer, dubbed Project Erebus v2.5 by creator d3ad0ne, contains eight AMD Radeon HD7970 GPU cards. Running version 0.10 of oclHashcat-lite, it requires just 12 hours to brute force the entire keyspace for any eight-character password containing upper- or lower-case letters, digits or symbols.

Using features built into password-cracking apps such as Hashcat and Extreme GPU Bruteforcer, the same password can be recovered in about 90 seconds by performing what’s known as a mask attack. It works by intelligently reducing the keyspace to only those guesses likely to match a given pattern. Rather than trying aaaaa0000, ZZZZZ9999, and every possible combination in between, it tries a lower- or upper-case letter only for the first character, and tries only lower-case characters for the next four characters. It then appends all possible four-digit numbers to the end. The result is a drastically reduced keyspace of about 237.6 billion, or 52 * 26 * 26 * 26 * 26 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10.

Cracking experts like Atom can use Passpal and other programs to isolate patterns that are unique to the website from which they came. They then write new rules to crack the remaining unknown passwords. More often than not, however, no amount of sophistication and high-end hardware is enough to quickly crack some hashes exposed in a server breach. To ensure they keep up with changing password choices, crackers will regularly brute-force crack some percentage of the unknown passwords, even when they contain as many as nine or more characters.

Even powerful computation engines have trouble cracking longer passwords using brute force. Assuming such an attack checks for all combinations of all 95 letters, numbers, and symbols available on a standard English-language keyboard, it takes a matter of hours for a desktop computer with an Intel Core i7 980x processor to brute-force crack any five character password. Increasing the password length by just one character requires about a day; bumping the length by one more character, though, dramatically increases the cracking time to more than 10 days. Rob Graham, the Errata Security CEO who calculated the requirements, refers to this limitation as the “exponential wall of brute-force cracking.”

So what can the average person do to pick a passcode that won’t be toppled in a matter of hours? Per Thorsheim, a security advisor who specializes in passwords for a large company headquartered in Norway, said the most important attribute of any passcode is that it be unique to each site.

“For most sites, you have no idea how they store your password,” he explained. “If they get breached, you get breached. If your password at that site is unique, you have much less to worry about.”

It’s also important that a password not already be a part of the corpus of the hundreds of millions of codes already compiled in crackers’ word lists, that it be randomly generated by a computer, and that it have a minimum of nine characters to make brute-force cracks infeasible. Since it’s not uncommon for people to have dozens of accounts these days, the easiest way to put this advice into practice is to use program such as 1Password or PasswordSafe. Both apps allow users to create long, randomly generated passwords and to store them securely in a cryptographically protected file that’s unlocked with a single master password. Using a password manager to change passcodes regularly is also essential.



Woke up in the bed of my love, the day lightening outside, the daylight alarm light bright on the left. We lay around a bit, no real hurry, and then while she brushed her teeth I put my legs up the wall, stretching them out after the cycle the evening before. For breakfast we ate homemade yeast free, wheat free bread fried in coconut oil

On leaving I cycled out to Sun Lane then right towards the south, over the bypass and out past the golf course, a 40 minute 8am cycle ahead of me. My first time in that direction. It went well but somewhat too soon after eating. After Cheriton, seeing the open gates of Hinton Ampner House I took the easier route up the hill through parkland but found no way through to the church and the lane beyond. So lifted the Marin over a gate and sped past the front of the house, only then remembering it’s a private home as well as National Trust. Morning! Then it was the country lanes, past estate cottages, farms, and to the long straights of Joan’s Acre and Brockwood Bottom. Back home I felt my heart return to resting and some inner swaying as I sat still to arrive back. Shower. To work.

The contact for paying the ransom said we had 48 hours or the price doubles. In something like a panic, I reiterate the instructions to the Americans, knowing that there are hours until the Californian morning but wanting it fixed now. Come the evening I am still waiting on word. Afterward, answering emails and reviewing remastered audio. Lunch outside hearing stories of Malaysia – hideous insect bites, perfect beaches – and Paris – cut toe and blood on the Eiffel Tower.

The water supply was turned off most of the day, still is, as they fit a new tank in the Edwardian water tower, taking longer than they hoped. Never take for granted free flowing indoor water. Never. We’ve not had it long, us humans, and it is a true luxury.

In the evening, read some letters I’d written 12 years ago, loaned back to me. Correspondence of love. So in some way it ended like it began.

More fun than a 41 year old is supposed to have

Bombing down lanes in the countryside, unpaved lanes centuries old, often little wider than the handlebars, pedals catching greenery, stingers and brambles getting my shins. Out beyond Bramdean, up towards Cheriton and Tichborne Down, the bumpy tracks crossing the battlefields of the Civil War, where the sign tells me the lanes ran with blood, as the Royalists retreated and were shot down. Around Cheriton wood, I’ve never been in all these years, and then shooting downhill as fast as I dare on bumpy tracks, not knowing what’s around the corner. Pretty damn fast, having so much fun in the late summer, returning to the joys of cycling.

Abstinence Based Recovery Documentary – Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery

Very good documentary about abstinence based recovery. It’s not really about Russell Brand but the nature of addiction and how best to deal with it, personally and in society. Here’s the torrent for downloading.


The BBC says:

Ten years ago Russell Brand was addicted to heroin, his career was unravelling and he was told he may only have six months to live. The story of how he battled to stay clean of drugs is at the heart of this eye-opening and searingly honest, personal film in which Brand challenges how our society deals with addicts and addiction.

It comes in the wake of the tragic death of his friend Amy Winehouse, which was the spur to this exploration of the ‘condition of addiction’ which, he believes, is misunderstood and wrongly treated. Brand meets a whole range of people from whom he draws insights – scientists at the cutting edge of research into the psychology of addiction, those involved in innovative recovery treatments and drug addicts themselves.

Is addiction a disease? Should it be criminalised? And is abstinence-based recovery, which worked for Brand, a possible way forward? In this documentary Brand challenges conventional theory and practice as well as government policy in his own inimitable style, confronting the reality of addiction head on. Along the way he draws on his own experience to try to help one of the addicts he meets to take the first steps towards recovery. Armed with his own heartfelt beliefs and new insights gained during his journey, Brand has the opportunity to change the hearts and minds of policy makers when he is invited to give evidence before the Home Affairs Select Committee investigating the efficacy of current drug addiction treatment in the UK.

The Circle of Life – A Lion’s Point of View

THE SERENGETI—According to a male lion currently dying on the Serengeti Plain, his agonizing demise certainly doesn’t seem as though it’s part of some transcendent cosmic circle of life, but rather as if he’s slowly and painfully bleeding to death.

The expiring lion, who dragged his weakened body onto an isolated patch of grassland Monday after being mortally wounded by a poacher, confirmed to reporters that he is not experiencing a tranquil, satisfying sense of harmony with the universe, but is instead mainly feeling intense physical torment brought on by a fatal wound to the abdomen.

“I could be wrong, and maybe this is all an enchanting and noble chapter in life’s great cosmic narrative, but right now it pretty much just feels like I’m dying alone on the ground in a puddle of my own blood,” said the 500-pound big cat, releasing a deep moan as violent spasms seized his body. “Shouldn’t I be feeling a stirring sensation of kinship with all living creatures or something? Yeah, I’m not getting any of that.”

“Plus, I was illegally shot by a poacher. How does that fit into this ancient, majestic cycle in which all of nature is connected as a unified being?” the lion added.

Observing his surroundings, the moribund lion reported that he has seen no brilliant gleaming light shining down from the heavens that makes him realize he’s part of a sacred tradition as old as life itself, nor has a hush seemed to fall over the land in a reverent acknowledgment of his passing.

In addition, the large African mammal noted that succumbing to a gunshot wound hasn’t resulted in a spiritual awakening in which he suddenly feels at one with the universe, so much as it has made him feel terrified, alone, and utterly insignificant.

The lion also reported that he has heard no triumphant string music backed by thundering tribal drums swelling all around him, but rather only the sound of flies buzzing around his soon-to-be lifeless body.

“I guess I thought there’d be a choir of chanting, melodic voices, and that all the animals of the African valley would gather on a distant ridge to respectfully view my last moments and recognize our essential interconnectedness,” said the lion, drawing his last labored breaths. “But there’s nobody else around at all, except those vultures.”

Added the lion, “Am I supposed to feel pride and great dignity knowing that my body will decay and a bunch of birds will eagerly tear into my rotting flesh with their beaks?”

As he closes his eyes for the final time before yielding to one last series of convulsions, the lion is reportedly pondering whether shitting all over himself really played any role at all in some vast, beautiful, and endless saga of life, death, and rebirth.