Gary by campfire

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New Ether Book from Stonehaven

There’s a “new” book from Stonehaven Press: ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Einstein and Ether by Gary Matthews. (That is, by yours truly.)

Please note the quotation marks. This volume isn’t technically new, but it’s a vastly expanded second edition with so much new material, and so much formatting improvement, that it might as well be new.

Read my introductory article here, at GaryMatthews.com. Or find ordering-and-purchasing information here, at StonehavenPress.com.

If you’re interested in the connections between science and religion, reason and revelation, then this book may well appeal to you. Designed for the general reader, it’s a popular, non-technical overview of quantum [...]

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New Websites

Several long-term projects coming to fruition:

Please take a look at the all-new Stonehaven Press website at stonehavenpress.com.

This site, the storefront for the publishing company Cheri and I own, has been in the works for a long time. Way overdue, but we haven’t had the time needed to bring it into being.

Also its companion site, GaryMatthews.com. My personal author site, where I’ll talk about my writing, my books, publishing, book design, web design, and other topics. That site does not replace this one — The Astonished Tamale! — which is more for general-interest topics.

For me, the most [...]

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The Windows 8 Great Debate

To my stark amazement, I love Windows 8. Let me count the ways.

But first — why am I weighing in?

Because various tech experts, including two I know, are recommending we skip this latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. At least (the advice goes) we should hold off till we’re forced into it by the purchase of a new PC.

I couldn’t disagree more. My advice: If you’re buying a PC, and you have a choice between Windows 7 or 8 — go with 8.

Here’s why: (a) Windows 8 is easy to master. (b) It’s substantially faster. (c) [...]

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Seoul Pancake

Seoul004

Apologies to Rainn Wilson for the pun on his wacky, wonderful website. But facing a 13-hour layover in Seoul, Korea, I was ready to disclaim any further responsibility for anything.

Then Zabine and I got a clue: We remembered our Vietnamese home-stay host telling us of a terrific five-hour tour of Seoul we could take from the airport. Even if this tour hadn’t been a once-in-a-lifetime prize (and it was), we’d have seized it just to pass the time. (Do the math: Our 13-hour wait was sandwiched between a five-hour Hanoi-to-Seoul flight and a 10-hour Seoul-to-Seattle flight. Sleep, sorta-kinda included, [...]

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Vietnam Exit

May 9, 2012 (Tuesday) – Most of the past week – another blur. Our official reason for being in Vietnam ended with last weekend’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Hanoi Baha’i community. Normally we would have headed for home immediately. Did I explain that the earliest return flight turned out to be more than a week later?

Highlights of the past week include taking out our host families to dinner at a wonderful Hanoi lakeside restaurant, La Tre Place (aka The Bamboo Restaurant); dinners at the homes of various Vietnamese friends; a water puppet show; and a breakfast [...]

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Vietnam Villages, Hanoi Hospitality

April 30, 2012 (Monday) — Today we traveled to two neighboring villages in the Vietnamese countryside, conducting home visits with the believers who live there. Lunch, served at the home of a Baha’i friend, consisted of delicacies I didn’t even try to identify. All I know is that it was lavish and delicious.

As we were leaving the village, our driver, Binh (Hanoi’s Auxiliary Board member), had to dismount his car to move a motorcycle someone had left in the middle of the street. Speculation was that it had run out of gas — but why leave it there? Anyone [...]

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Historic, Healing Heartsongs

April 29, 2012 (Sunday) – Simple acts of kindness are miraculously effective at bridging deep divides. Among the many miracle workers we have met in Hanoi are Michael Orona; his wife, Selena; and their three children.

These beautiful Baha’i souls made history at the 20th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the Hanoi Baha’i community. There’s still a lot more other news and photography in the pipeline, so please stay tuned. But I could not wait to post the video below. The stage performance it depicts took my breath away because, as I was recording it, its significance suddenly struck [...]

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Vietnam Rice Dance

April 29, 2012 (Sunday) — Today is the big day of our trip, the reason we came: the 20th anniversary celebration of the founding of Hanoi’s Baha’i community.

I have a lot of notes and photos to document this milestone and will upload them Any Day Now. But while I’m organizing, please enjoy this video of the performance which opened the celebration. It’s a traditional Vietnamese “rice dance”, performed by a group of young women that includes Huyen, one of the two who guided Zabine and me during our second-day outing.

This video found its way onto YouTube minutes after [...]

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Vietnam Day Three

April 28, 2012 (Saturday) – This morning, Zabine had a wonderful and completely unexpected encounter with Rosalie Huibonhua, a Baha’i Continental Counselor. Her areas of responsibility include China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and other Asian countries. She is here, of course, to attend the celebration of the Hanoi Baha’i community’s 20th anniversary.

We met her at the home of a member of the Vietnam Baha’i national governing body. Although it seemed like a chance meeting, I don’t really believe in luck. Zabine and Rosalie, it turns out, share a common vision regarding social action and spiritual education. The Counselor instantly [...]

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