Compassion, Richard Gere, and getting over myself

I spent the last 10 weeks going through a rather intensive investigation of myself.

I can hear my Kansas friend Mary already saying, oh, Dr. Richard Gere. You’ve become a Buddhist.

I’ve revisited a lot of old wounds, tried to make amends, and learned – sorta — to be compassionate to myself.

I’ve always been my biggest critic.

I use to write about food safety, and other stuff, because, I can.

Don’t like it, go start your own thing.

Guess that was drilled into me when I was appointed editor-in-chief of the University of Guelph student newspaper, The Ontarian in 1986, with a weekly circulation of about 20,000.

After one semester, I left, because I had a 6-month-old child, was trying to finish my MSc in genetics, and was really pissed off that the advertising and business managers made about double what I did.

I took it to the Board of Directors, who assured me they would back me, and then bailed once they saw which way the wind was blowing.

Those folks are still employed by the University of Guelph, which says a lot about ethics, and sucking dick.

I’ll just do my thing.

Hundreds get food poisoning from free meal in Myanmar


I used to look like Buddhist, Richard Gere, but I’ve aged and he hasn’t.

A free lunch for villagers in southern Myanmar turned sour after it landed more than a third of the rural community in hospital with food poisoning.

Hundreds of villagers from Eain Ta Lone, west of Yangon, fell ill after eating fish stew served at a Buddhist ceremony to celebrate the ordination of local novices.

The entire 1,000-person village was taken to the nearest hospital, where 367 were admitted for treatment, said charity worker Wai Lin Aung, who helped to transport the villagers. ‘

Food taster, Dalai Lama style (it’s all fairytales)

Amy had a student who used to call me Dr. Richard Gere, because at one point I used to look like him: not so much now.

dalai.lama.richard.gereMaybe if I were a practicing Buddhist I wouldn’t age so much.

I agree with many of the Buddhist philosophies, but the idea that the divine leader is born, not chosen, seems ridiculous.

And their take on microbial food safety really sucks.

The Dalai Lama reportedly used a food taster when he visited Brisbane last month.

In Medieval times, men of power had tasters who valiantly sampled their food in case an enemy tried to poison them.  This practice was built on a myth that survives today – if you get food poisoning, it’s from the last thing you ate, and the symptoms will commence rather immediately.

Several  years ago, Amy and I had the privilege of an after-hours chat with some FDA-types who spoke of the precautions they would take when preparing safe salmon for Laura Bush and any other meal fit for a President. They had thermometers. And knew how to use them.

We had salmon for dinner tonight. It was temped and safe.

Buddhists barf too: Visitors to NY Buddhist festival fall ill

At least 150 people who attended a Mother’s Day garden party at an upstate New York Buddhist monastery have fallen ill with food poisoning.

Eric Gross, spokesman for the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, says about 700 people were at the festival at Chuang Yen Monastery in Kent Cliffs, 55 miles north of New York City. About 500 of them came on buses from Chinatown.

Gross says people starting getting sick with vomiting and diarrhea around 3:30 p.m. Sunday after they had left the party on buses bound for Woodbury Commons shopping outlets. As of 7 p.m., Gross said 150 had been taken to hospitals in Putnam, Orange and Westchester counties.

Officials urged people who attended the party and feel ill to call the Putnam County Health Department: 845-808-1390.