India's Mata Amritanandamayi American Tour Ready To Roll | Digitizing Jewish History | Returning to AOC Roots
French Roast News
Anne is reading …
India’s hugging Amma
The comments connected to Amma’s Multifaceted Empire, Built on Hugs are as interesting as Jake Halpern’s story about India’s 59-year-old Indian guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known simply as Amma, or “mother.” I’d say that sister Simone and Nuns on the Bus has some serious competition when Amma hits the road on Friday, launching a two-month North American tour accompanied by 275 volunteers. They will ride across the continent from Bellevue, Wash., to Marlborough, Mass with stops in 11 cities, including New York.
It’s said that Amma has performed many miracles, but the greatest one of all is Amritapuri, an ashram so vast that it resembles a small metropolis, one where everything actually works as designed.
While the article is even-handed and generally positive, it does discuss the fact that Amma’s finances aren’t public. However, there has never been a taint of scandal — at least not referenced here — and the comments about this woman are quite extraordinary.
Asked how she manages such an incredible pace, Amma answers, “I am connected to the eternal energy source, so I am not like a battery that gets used up.”
“The guru was someone to be awed,” says Karen Pechilis, an expert in female gurus who teaches comparative religion at Drew University in Madison, N.J. “You stand back, you keep your distance, and you are dazzled.” Gurus weren’t big on snuggling, hugging and holding tight millions of people worldwide.
Digitizing Jewish History
The idea is to digitally cross-reference more than 100,000 document fragments that represent a tapestry of Jewish life over 1,000 years in the Mediterranean region. Relying not on memory but on sophisticated computing to match up pieces of the Cairo genizah and its works of the rabbinical scholar Maimonidea, parts of Torah scrolls and prayer books, reams of poetry, personal letters, contracts, and court documents, the project will become a powerful tool for research.
The genizah project, writes the New York Times, is part of a growing movement to unleash advanced technology in the humanities. It covers a period of time from the ninth century to the 19th.
“The 320,000 pages and parts of pages — in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judeo-Arabic (Arabic transliterated into Hebrew letters) — were scattered in 67 libraries and private collections around the world, only a fraction of them collated and cataloged. More than 200 volumes and thousands of academic papers have been published based on the material, most focused on a single fragment or a few. Perhaps 4,000 have been pieced together through a painstaking, expensive, exclusive process that relied a lot on luck.”
The current analysis of possible pairings in disparate documents began May 16 and should be finished around June 25, says the project’s website.
It would be so wonderful if international women’s history could be digitized in similar fashion.
Changes At AOC
How fitting that as I sit down to grab time to talk to readers — asking myself what visuals will I use — that I discover these luscious images of Victoria’s Secret Angels Candice Swanepoel and Doutzen Kroes in the new Flawless campaign.
The golden hues of the images remind me of a G5 flight to Paris years ago with three other VS executives — all women. I sat sipping scotch on the rocks, looking down into the Atlantic asking myself how the girl from Minnesota, who used to call the NYPD when she found drunks lying on the streets of New York found herself flying in this gorgeous jet across the Atlantic, listening to a conversation about gold water faucets.
When the jet landed at Paris Le Bourget Airport, our flight met by my regular driver who took us to our regular luxury hotel, I knew that I was leaving my job as fashion director of Victoria’s Secret to return to subjects that matter deeply to me.
After all, ‘flawless’ is not a word in my vocabulary, and I consider it to be one of the most debilitating words to women’s psyches used in the fashion and beauty industries.
You know how a guy will often say anything just to get you to go to bed with him? That can be the case with bloggers and male fashion photographers wanting exposure of a nonsexual nature — and Catholic brothers, too, in my case. Read on for an explanation of my return to values that matter.