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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
14th March 1885: The First Performance of The Mikado
The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. It opened on 14 March 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances, which was the second longest run for any work of musical theatre and one of the longest runs of any theatre piece up to that time. Before the end of 1885, it was estimated that, in Europe and America, at least 150 companies were producing the opera.
The Mikado remains the most frequently performed Savoy Opera, and it is especially popular with amateur and school productions. The work has been translated into numerous languages and is one of the most frequently played musical theatre pieces in history.
Setting the opera in Japan, an exotic locale far away from Britain, allowed Gilbert to satirise British politics and institutions more freely by disguising them as Japanese. Gilbert used foreign or fictional locales in several operas, including The Mikado, Princess Ida, The Gondoliers, Utopia, Limited and The Grand Duke, to soften the impact of his pointed satire of British institutions.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Client prep and session
Twitter Followers = 2,093 (down 1)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 2
New Followers followed back = 0
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Sunday proceeded as smoothly as expected and included a long meditation in the afternoon - I closed my eyes, and when I opened them again it was two hours later! I'm not one of those who goes visiting other astral planes or commune with Divine Beings in meditation - my life story just pauses for a while! From the point of view of conscious experience, it's no different from sleep or General Anaesthesia. This suits me fine - I do not meditate in order to have some kind of natural acid trip. I do it for the sole purpose of promoting wellbeing.
I believe that once the mind is quiet and suitably focused over a period of years, the most deep-seated scars begin to heal. After eight years of frequent meditation, I'm still seeing new benefits emerging. I was walking back home from the Weekend job on Friday and drifted into a Daymare - a scenario where I respond to an injustice with extreme violence. Unscripted and unplanned, a Chinese guru appeared in the vision, and rested hands on my head - the daymare evaporated.
What was interesting was this doesn't qualify as an "idea" - I didn't derive it whilst thinking about the problem. Spontaneously from subconscious, the guy simply "arrived". I said to him:
"I could have done with you quite a few years ago!" He replied:
"When the student is ready, the master appears"
Now he's there most of the time. I have had subsequent daymares, but he eventually showed up and shut the thing down again.
It is to me the final proof that consciousness never has run the show - it's only the observer of a drama in which swirling fields of energy manifest as a movie. It simply sees and experiences whichever aspect of the picture it focuses on. I feel privileged that this form possesses curiosity and a thirst for knowledge that has led to a great Enlightenment. Consciousness, shed of its delusions of control, can now simply relax and enjoy the movie.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
What is this thing that you call "me"?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
1038 millibars and falling slightly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
I entered ten puns in a contest, and I thought I would win, but unfortunately, no pun in ten did :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Bill Burr on taking a break and other matters
The border between Canada and the United States is officially known as the International Boundary. At 5,525 miles, including 1,538 miles between Canada and Alaska, it is the world’s longest border between two nations.
9. ZEN WISDOM
The deadliest storm on record is the 1970 Bhola Cyclone in Bangladesh, which killed between 150,000-300,000 people.