eight things tagged “reference”

Telugu Script Components

Telugu is a phonetic language, written from left to right, with each character representing generally a syllable. There are 52 letters in the Telugu alphabet: 16 Achchulu which denote basic vowel sounds, 36 Hallulu which represent consonants. In addition to these 52 letters, there are several semi-vowel symbols, called Maatralu, which are used in conjunction with Hallulu and, half consonants, called Voththulu, to form clusters of consonants.

Improved Symbol Segmentation for TELUGU Optical Character Recognition

A Hundred Humans

Allysson Lucca is a Brazilian designer who took this original list (cached) of what the world would look like with a 1,000 people and shrank it to a hundred.

The idea of reducing the world’s population to a community of only 100 people is very useful and important. It makes us easily understand the differences in the world. There are many types of reports that use the Earth’s population reduced to 100 people, especially in the Internet. Ideas like this should be more often shared, especially nowadays when the world seems to be in need of dialogue and understanding among different cultures, in a way that it has never been before.

Transcribed from the graphic:

  • 50 men, 50 women
  • 61 Asians, 14 Africans, 14 People from the Americas, 11 Europeans
  • 33 Christians, 22 Muslims, 14 Hindus, 7 buddhists, 12 People who practice other religions, and 12 people not aligned with a religion
  • Only 7 would have a college degree
  • 51 would live in urban areas
  • 14 people live with some disability
  • 15 would be undernourished
  • 37 of the community’s population still lack access to adequate sanitation
  • The village military expenditure is $1.7 trillion and only $18 billion in humanitarian assistance
  • 20 people own 75% of the village income
  • 30 would be active internet users
  • 48 would love on less than $2 per day and 80 on less than $10 a day

Levels of Jhana

When I was a kid, I’d close my eyes and allow the strange shapes caused by the night lamp and blood flow in my eyelids to put on a small dance and lull me to sleep. Many a time, as I’d relax and drift away, I would suddenly feel this ‘inflation’ and loss of personal boundary and sense of geometry. In one instance, I’d be the infinitely small nucleus of a sphere whose inner surface would race away very quickly from me. In another, I’d be viewing an animal (mostly elephants because I love them) or an object that would grow and warp very quickly in size and texture. I don’t know how to even express the rest. They should’ve sent a poet, etc. While most were very pleasant, a few would be horripilating enough where I’d have to open my eyes and situate myself to snap out of whatever was happening.

Finding out that you’re not the only weirdo who experiences (and likes) certain things is probably one of the greatest joys of the Internet. Just off this one thread on /r/meditation:

I sometimes get strong changes in my sense of physical size and location. These either pass as my concentration increases or they stick for a while. My head might feel very high up or large. My feet feel as if they’re below the floor or further behind me than they could possibly be. My whole sense of physical space can get warped and skewed so that even thoughts that arise about physical space seem to be confused, e.g. flattening 3D space into 2D or flattening everything into a line. It’s enough to be a distraction sometimes. (source)

Cool, this is the first time I’ve heard someone express a situation similar to mine. During a sit one time I kept inflating to the size of a massively obese man. The effect was so real I had to stop and open my eyes to make sure nothing bizarre was actually happening. (source)

Mhm, I’ve had that too. It felt like I was turing into the marshmellow man from ghostbusters. (source)

What I felt as a child is common and normal in children, and in adults who are red-belts at meditation. It’s a level of jhana (that’s a Pali word, dhyana is its Sanskrit twin), one of the two forms of meditation in Theravada Buddhism (vipassana being the other.)

Jhana has eight levels of practice “first codified by Buddhists over 2,000 years ago.” I’m going to smush this article (“A”) and this Britannica entry (“B”) into a quick description of each.

Level One

A - When internal concentration is strong enough, J1 is entered, accompanied by strong physical pleasure—“better than sexual orgasm” ([9] p.151)—and greatly reduced vigilance with smaller startle responses[…]

B - Initially, the Theravadin meditator seeks to achieve detachment from sensual desires and impure states of mind through reflection and to enter a state of satisfaction and joy.

Level Two

A - In J2 joy “permeates every part of the body,” but with less physical pleasure. | In the second stage […], intellectual activity gives way to a complete inner serenity; the mind is in a state of “one-pointedness” (concentration), joy, and pleasantness.

B - In the second stage of this form of meditation, intellectual activity gives way to a complete inner serenity; the mind is in a state of “one-pointedness” (concentration), joy, and pleasantness.

Level Three

A - In J3, the character of joy changes to “deep contentment and serenity.”

B - In the third stage, every emotion, including joy, has disappeared, and the meditator is left indifferent to everything.

Level Four

A - J4 is described by “equanimity—a profound peace and stillness.”

B - In the fourth stage, satisfaction, any inclination to a good or bad state of mind, pain, and serenity are left behind, and the meditator enters a state of supreme purity, indifference, and pure consciousness.

Levels Five to Eight

A - The higher-numbered jhanas J5–J8 are characterized by more subtle and profound perceptions […] Each jhana is reported to be deeper and more remote from external stimuli than the last

  • J5 is called “infinite space,”
  • J6 is “infinite consciousness,”
  • J7 is “nothingness,” and
  • J8 is named “neither perception nor non-perception.”

B - The dhyanas are followed by four further spiritual exercises, the samapatti-s (“attainments”):

  1. Consciousness of infinity of space,
  2. Consciousness of the infinity of cognition,
  3. Concern with the unreality of things (nihility), and
  4. Consciousness of unreality as the object of thought.

So there 🙏🧘‍♀️📿

The Schmidt Pain Index

This is the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, an eponymous and subjective measurement of the pain caused by bees, wasps, and ants (and other things in the order hymenoptera.) It ranges from 0-4. In Level Zero, you don’t feel any pain whatsoever; the stinger doesn’t even penetrate your skin. The humble and familiar honeybee will deliver a Level 2.

Schmidt describes Level 4, the absolute worst, as follows:

Bullet Ant

“Pure, intense, brilliant pain… like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel”

“That really shuts you down. It really felt like a bullet. It was instantaneous, almost even before it stung me. It was absolutely riveting. There were huge waves and crescendos of burning pain—a tsunami of pain coming out of my finger. The tsunami would crash as they do on the beach, then recede a little bit, then crash again. It wasn’t just two or three of these waves. It continued for around 12 hours. Crash. Recede. Crash. It was absolutely excruciating. There wasn’t much I could do except be aware of it and groan.”

Tarantula Hawk

“Blinding, fierce [and] shockingly electric”

“A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath”

“Like you were walking underneath a high-voltage electric line in a wind storm, a wind gust snapped the line, and it fell on your arm. You get 20,000 volts all at once cascading through your body. It’s pure electrifying pain. Instantaneous. Very clean and sharp.”

Warrior Wasp

“Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?”

Here’s Dr. Schmidt with a giant bug on his face.

Dr Justin O. Schmidt

Some quotes and that image are from this article he penned in Esquire (cached) where he touches upon why the pain profiles are different.