I’m a big fan of the new Battlestar: Galactica television show. It’s arguably among the edgiest and most brilliant things that’s ever been attempted in a mainstream TV show. It’s also unremittingly grim and depressing; fitting, I think, for a program whose premise is the genocide of the entire human race.
One of the things I particularly like about the show is the music in it. It’s unlike any science fiction program’s music I’ve ever heard before; stark, simple, and absolutely lovely. I’m especially fond of the opening title music, which I use as figmentj‘s ringtone on my phone:
What I didn’t know, though, is that the lyrics are in Sanskrit. Specifically, they are the Gayatri mantra (Sanskrit: गायत्री), an ancient Hindu hymn:
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ।
तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं ।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Transliterated, it reads:
oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreniyaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
It’s a mantra that appears in the Ŗg Veda, and it’s the second most important mantra in Hindusim.
And I think that’s pretty cool.
physicsduck has spent a tremendous amount of time and effort working on a project called Astrolounge, intended to serve the college and local music communities in Kalamazoo. Unfortunately, he’s run into some difficulties with the landlord–difficulties that threaten to scuttle the project.
So, in true open-source, community-building style, he’s looking at a nonintuitive solution to the problem–buying the facility by raising money through the sale of ten dollar gift cards for five bucks. The upside: It solves the problem with the landlord, gives the group a way to finance the build-out, and helps distribute caffeine to needy college students throughout Michigan. The downside: it takes a lot of $5 sales to build a cafe.
Now, if it were me, I’d be all over this like white on rice–can’t get enough bang for my caffeine buck! Hell, I spend more than five bucks on hot chocolate alone every time I walk into a Starbuck’s–that paragon of bland, soulless corporate consumerism. Sadly, however, I don’t live anywhere near Kalamazoo, Michigan.
However, I suspect some of you do, or know folks who do. And this is no idle project, folks; these guys are willing to bust ass to make this happen.
(Lots more cool vids like that here.)