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Inspiration Meets Sandstone


Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness


“Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.” ~ Bhagavad Gita

This is a short, meaningful read.

Ra Paulette is an amazing confluence of passion, creativity, inspiration and living at choice. He is proof that people can follow their chosen path, as unique as it may be.

At 69, Ra demonstrates that even when we play, our efforts and contributions can stir the hearts and imaginations of others. To say the man has a vision might be an understatement.

For 25 years Ra has been axing, sanding, and forming exquisite sandstone caves in Taos County, not far from where I live in the New Mexico High Desert.

Following is a CBS video of Ra and some of his work. Or is it really work? If you enjoy being inspired and awed, sit back and enjoy this 5.5 minute story.


If you’re looking for the intersection of…

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Found, Hacked, And Crazy People


Text in lost language may reveal god or goddess worshipped by Etruscans at ancient temple

“The lengthy text is inscribed on a large 6th century BCE sandstone slab that was uncovered from an Etruscan temple.
A new religious artifact is rare. Most Etruscan discoveries typically have been grave and funeral objects.
“This is probably going to be a sacred text, and will be remarkable for telling us about the early belief system of a lost culture that is fundamental to western traditions,” said archaeologist Gregory Warden, co-director and principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which made the discovery.”

US hacks iPhone, ends legal battle but questions linger (Update)

“The extraordinary legal fight pitting the Obama administration against technology giant Apple Inc. ended unexpectedly after the…FBI used the unspecified technique to access data on an iPhone used by gunman Syed Farook, who died with his wife in a gun battle with police after they killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December. The Justice Department said agents are now reviewing the information on the phone.”

US company to sell smartphone-shaped gun

“Americans will soon be able to buy a smartphone-shaped gun that can hold two bullets and easily slip into a pocket. The Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal says it will sell the new weapon from mid-2016.
“Smartphones are everywhere, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment,” it adds. “In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.”

That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Get ready for more gun violence.

And A Catch All Post


Seattle’s Dark Knight rescues stolen bikes

“Bike Batman uses Bike Index to cross reference suspicious bikes for sale on Craigslist, then arranges a meeting with the suspected bike thief. To ensure safety, he usually informs the police of his actions. Like Commissioner Gordon’s team in Gotham, the Seattle Police complement Bike Batman’s work. In more than half of the successful attempts to retrieve a stolen bike, the culprit has been arrested by the police. As exciting as his work is, Bike Batman maintains important differences from his namesake. “I’m not out fighting crime and punching people,” he says. “I’m telling people: this is not yours.”

Children spend less time outside than prison inmates

“Children spend less time outside each day than prison inmates do in the United States. Inmates are guaranteed two hours of outdoor time daily, whereas one in two children is outside for less than an hour. A recent survey of 12,000 parents in 10 countries, who have children aged five to 12, found that one-third of kids spend under 30 minutes outside each day. The initial survey was conducted by laundry brands OMO and Persil, which, upon realizing how dire the situation is for children, launched a new campaign called “Dirt is Good – Free the Children.” The U.K.-based campaign is headed by Sir Ken Robinson, known for his work in the area of creativity and innovation in education, and Dr. Stuart Brown, head of the National Institute of Play.”

But you know, Monday through Friday they’re in school till, what, 3-3:30? How many are expected to come straight home and do their homework? That same homework that can take hours. So of course by the time they’re done it’s dark outside and is no longer deemed “safe” to go outside and play. So that leaves the weekends. Some people go do things, some people are tired and need the weekend to recover/reboot/ re-energize from the busy weekdays. Not to mention how attached so many people have become to their screens. Most would rather stay home and play games on their consoles while being connected to other people that way. So I can’t say I’m surprised by this, but in my opinion, it’s still super sad.

Update your Kindle by March 22 or lose access to books and more

“It will be possible to update an older Kindle after March 22, but it will be much more difficult. Instead of updating the device when it’s connected to the Internet over a wireless or Wi-Fi connection, you’ll have to do it manually with your computer and a USB cable.”

You’ll have to excuse me, I’m just happy I have yet another reason to be glad I stuck with real books.


“In simple terms E4K is a global endurance event. Participants are invited to pick an activity and invite their friends, family and members of the local community to pledge money. The more you do the more you’ll raise and the more acts of kindness you’ll help fund.
To learn more try these links:
Random Acts – E4K
About Random Acts and More about their fundraising


Malaria parasite found hiding out in North American deer

“The new findings were discovered by chance. Researchers led by Ellen Martinsen, a biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s genetics center in Washington, D.C., were searching for the source of malaria parasites in birds at the national zoo. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which amplifies DNA to make it easier to study, they identified a genetic signature of an unexpected malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei, previously unknown in the Americas. The researchers were able to obtain a large enough sample of blood from the mosquito’s enlarged abdomen to trace its origin to white-tailed deer. “We weren’t out there, testing a hypothesis,” Martinsen says. “We serendipitously stumbled upon this weird sequence.”

Ice volcanoes spotted on Pluto, suggest internal heat source/a>

“Researchers on NASA’s New Horizons mission have discovered evidence on Pluto for what appears to be two cryovolcanoes—volcanoes built out of frozen ice that once oozed molten ice from the inside of the dwarf planet. The discovery points to an internal heat source that, at some point in Pluto’s past, drove the melting of interior reservoirs of volatile ices, such as nitrogen and methane, that then erupted at the surface. It also suggests that the cryovolcanoes were a way for Pluto to periodically rejuvenate surface supplies of these volatile ices, which sublimate into the thin atmosphere and are eventually lost to space.”

Researchers take small step toward silicon-based life

“Researchers reported in San Diego, California, this week at the semiannual meeting of the American Chemical Society that they have evolved a bacterial enzyme that efficiently incorporates silicon into simple hydrocarbons—a first for life. Down the road, organisms able to incorporate silicon into their cells could lead to a novel biochemistry for life, although for now creating actual silicon-based creatures (like the Horta from Star Trek, pictured) remains a long way off.”

Nano-balls filled with poison wipe out metastatic cancer in mice

“Now, researchers have come up with an approach that tricks these spinoff tumors into swallowing poison. So far the strategy has only been tested in mice, where it proved highly effective. But the results are promising enough that the researchers are planning to launch clinical trials in cancer patients within a year.”

Not a fan of testing on animals, but I’m glad there’s some promise in the technique.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg meets China’s propaganda chief

“Liu Yunshan told Zuckerberg that he hopes Facebook can share its experience with Chinese companies to help “Internet development better benefit the people of all countries,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Zuckerberg was in Beijing to attend an economic forum.”

Notable Current Events


China’s booming renewable energy market set to blow away emissions targets by 2020

“China originally intended to slash its carbon emissions per GDP unit by an ambitious 40-45% of 2005 levels by the year 2020, but now it’s looking like the final figure will be even higher. As of the end of 2015, China’s wind installations were generating an all-time global record of 32.5 gigawatts, 20.7 of which came online in 2014 alone.”

New law in Italy forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need

“Italy’s government is preparing to approve a measure that will require supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need. Following in the footsteps of France, where a similar law became effective earlier this year, the arguably food-obsessed Mediterranean nation seeks to cut down on the enormous amounts of food that go to waste each year. The proposed legislation will require supermarkets to donate unsold or unused food to organizations that use it to feed hungry people, making it both a win for the environment, society and the economy.”

World’s largest ‘mosquito factory’ in China to release 20 million bugs a week

“Mosquitoes may be small, but they are a pretty big problem when it comes to public health in many areas of the globe. Now, a Chinese ‘mosquito factory’ is doing something about it that may become a widespread practice: releasing millions of male mosquitoes each week so they can breed with wild female mosquitoes and eventually kill off the species. How will that work, exactly? The mosquitoes they release will be infected with a bacteria that results in infertile eggs in female offspring, so after a few generations, the numbers will fall dramatically.”

New Wheelys 4 bike café cleans smoggy air and turns coffee grounds into fertilizer

“Wheelys just unveiled an incredible wind and solar-powered bike cafe with a built-in air purifier that sucks in smoggy city air and releases fresh, clean air. It also transforms used coffee grounds into plant fertilizer — allowing owners to pack the grounds into easy-to-plant seed cubes that can be buried anywhere.”

One in four deaths related to environmental issues, according to the WHO

“A new study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) says that nearly one in four deaths are linked to environmental causes and are avoidable. The agency’s new report is the first comprehensive evaluation of environmental health risks since 2006, and it concludes that some 12.6 million people die each year from diseases and injuries related to environmental risks. Increases in air pollution, as well as climate change and chemical exposure, all contribute to deaths that the WHO says could be prevented.”

Farming preschool would teach kids how to grow their own food

“Part farm and part school, “Nursery Fields Forever” offers three approaches to learning: learning from nature, learning from technique, and learning from practice. “We think that kids should enjoy nature,” said Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta to Fast Company. “So we designed this strange school: No classrooms, but open spaces where vegetables grow inside and animals can come in too. It’s a mixing of the two things, school and nature.” The school is designed as a cluster of gabled buildings that overlook a variety of garden plots and livestock pens.”

Humane Society’s “Day of Giving” is March 31
“Every dollar raised provides pets in underserved communities with essential care.”

Teen scientists make health, environmental breakthroughs

“At the recent Intel Science Talent Search, high schoolers around the country showed off the various ways they were using math and science to solve the world’s issues. Top awards, with prizes of $150,000 each, went to three students whose projects went leaps and bounds beyond the old science fair triboard, creating applicable solutions to real-world health and environmental issues.”

Gymnast with 1 leg defies the odds