FYI June 25, 2017

1900 – The Taoist monk Wang Yuanlu discovers the Dunhuang manuscripts, a cache of ancient texts that are of great historical and religious significance, in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China.
The Dunhuang manuscripts are a cache of important religious and secular documents discovered in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China, in the early 20th century. Dating from the 5th to early 11th centuries, the manuscripts include works ranging from history and mathematics to folk songs and dance. There are also a large number of religious documents, most of which are Buddhist, but other religions including Daoism, Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism are also represented. The majority of the manuscripts are in Chinese. Other languages represented are Khotanese, Sanskrit, Sogdian, Tangut, Tibetan, Old Uyghur language, Hebrew and Old Turkic.[1] The manuscripts are a major resource for academic studies in a wide variety of fields including history, religious studies, linguistics, and manuscript studies.

The documents were discovered in a sealed cave by the Daoist monk Wang Yuanlu on June 25, 1900.[2] From 1907 onwards he began to sell them to Western explorers, notably Aurel Stein and Paul Pelliot. Japanese, Russian and Danish explorers also acquired collections of manuscripts.[3] But largely due to the efforts of the scholar and antiquarian Luo Zhenyu, most of the remaining Chinese manuscripts, perhaps a fifth of the total, were taken to Beijing in 1910 and are now in the National Library of China. Several thousands of folios of Tibetan manuscripts were left in Dunhuang and are now located in several museums and libraries in the region.[4] Those purchased by Western scholars are now kept in institutions all over the world, such as the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. All of the manuscript collections are being digitized by the International Dunhuang Project, and can be freely accessed online.
Studies of the Dunhuang manuscripts

While most studies use Dunhuang manuscripts to address issues in areas such as history and religious studies, some have addressed questions about the provenance and materiality of the manuscripts themselves. Various reasons have been suggested for the placing of the manuscripts in the library cave and its sealing. Aurel Stein suggested that the manuscripts were “sacred waste”, an explanation that found favour with later scholars including Fujieda Akira.[5] More recently, it has been suggested that the cave functioned as a storeroom for a Buddhist monastic library,[6] though this has been disputed.[7] The reason for the cave’s sealing has also been the subject of speculation. A popular hypothesis, first suggest by Paul Pelliot, is that the cave was sealed to protect the manuscripts at the advent of an invasion by the Xixia army, and later scholars followed with the alternative suggestion that it was sealed in fear of an invasion by Islamic Kharkhanids that never occurred.[6] Even though cave 16 could easily have been enlarged or extended to cave 17, Yoshiro Imaeda has suggested cave 16 was sealed because it ran out of room.[8]

Languages and scripts
The variety of languages and scripts found among the Dunhuang manuscripts is a result of the multicultural nature of the region in the first millennium AD.[9] The largest proportion of the manuscripts are written in Chinese, both Classical and, to a lesser extent, vernacular Chinese. Most manuscripts, including Buddhist texts, are written in Kaishu or ‘regular script’, while others are written in the cursive Xingshu or ‘running script’. An unusual feature of the Dunhuang manuscripts dating from the 9th and 10th centuries is that some appear to have been written with a hard stylus rather than with a brush. According to Akira Fujieda this was due to the lack of materials for constructing brushes in Dunhuang after the Tibetan occupation in the late 8th century.[10]

The Dunhuang manuscripts represent some of the earliest examples of Tibetan writing. Several styles are represented among the manuscripts, forebears of the later Uchen (dbu can) and Ume (dbu med) styles.[11] Both Old Tibetan and Classical Tibetan are represented in the manuscripts, as well as the undeciphered Nam language and a language that some have identified as the Zhang-zhung language.

Other languages represented are Khotanese, Sanskrit, Sogdian, Tangut, Tibetan, Old Uyghur language, and Hebrew,[12] as well as Old Turkic.[citation needed]

Buddhist texts
By far the largest proportion of manuscripts from the Dunhuang cave contain Buddhist texts. These include Buddhist sutras, commentaries and treatises, often copied for the purpose of generating religious merit.[13] Several hundred manuscripts have been identified as notes taken by students,[14] including the popular Buddhist narratives known as bian wen (變文).[15] Much of the scholarship on the Chinese Buddhist manuscripts has been on the Chan (or Zen) texts, which have revolutionized the history of Chan Buddhism.[16] Among the Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts, the texts of early Tibetan tantric Buddhism, including Mahayoga and Atiyoga or Dzogchen have been the subject of many studies.[17]

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1484 – Bartholomeus V. Welser, German banker (d. 1561)
Prince Bartholomeus Welser (25 June 1484 in Memmingen – 28 March 1561 in “Amberg im Unterallgäu”) was a German banker. In 1528 he signed an agreement with Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, granting a concession in Venezuela Province, which became Klein-Venedig until the concession was revoked in 1546.

Welser was head of the German banking firm, Welser Brothers, and with his brother claimed descent from the Byzantine general Belisarius. They were very rich, and lent large sums to Charles V, for which Bartholomeus was created a prince of the empire and made privy councillor to the emperor. In 1527, he was granted the newly discovered Province of Venezuela, with the proviso that he conquer the country at his own expense, enlist only Spanish and Flemish troops, fit out two expeditions of four vessels, and build two cities and three forts within two years after taking possession. As Venezuela was reputed to contain gold mines, he later obtained permission to send out 150 German miners.

In virtue of his contract, Welser armed a fleet, which sailed from Sanlúcar de Barrameda early in 1528, under the command of Ambrosius Ehinger, whom he appointed captain general. After Ehinger’s death in 1531, Georg von Speyer became captain general, and fitted out a new expedition, which sailed in 1534. In 1540 his son, Bartholomeus VI. Welser journeyed to Venezuela. Finding Speyer dead on his arrival he joined the expedition of Philipp von Hutten. After his return to El Tocuyo in April 1546 he and von Hutten were taken captive by the Spanish conquistador Juan de Carvajal, and later executed. After that the crown of Spain claimed the right to appoint the governor, and finally, in 1546, Charles V revoked Welser’s charter.

Welser did much to establish trade between the Netherlands, Germany, and South America. His enterprise has been commended by many writers, and is eulogized by Henri Ternaux-Compans in his collection, but it was detrimental to the interests of the banker, whose losses in his colonization schemes were estimated to reach the sum of 3,000,000 florins.

In 1889, Welser’s banking house still existed, as did the old family mansion, which is one of the curiosities of the city of Augsburg.


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907 Updates June 25, 2017

By Victoria Taylor: Gov. Walker signs bill establishing Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska
By Samantha Angaiak: Thousands of Alaskans attend Equality Parade during Pride week
Comments on dismissing Domestic Violence charges? How does dismissing charges work out for abusers and victims in the long run?
By KTUU Staff: Travis Beals allowed to race Iditarod XLVI in spite of previous domestic violence charges

By Travis Khachatoorian: “Alaskans on edge” after two deadly bear attacks in one week
By Daniella Rivera Photojournalist: Beth Peak: Alaskans rally ahead of U.S. Senate health care vote

Quotes June 25, 2017

Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
Carl Jung

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
Victor Hugo
How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”
William Shakespeare

“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.”
Joseph Addison

“Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul.”
Francis Bacon

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
Robert H. Schuller

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
A. Milne

“The test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones.”
Solomon Ibn Gabirol

How small the vastest of human catastrophes may seem at a distance of a few million miles.
H.G. Wells,

Kindle June 24, 2017

Paper Wings
by Les Abend (Author)
When a boat and its grisly cargo are found adrift off Fort Lauderdale …

… the investigation leads to more than “just” murder. In fact, the evidence points to a connection of an in-flight emergency that resulted in passenger fatalities and forced a diversion of Patriot Airlines Flight 63 to Bermunda.

As the accidents investigation chairman of the pilots’ union, Captain Hart Lindy will find himself reluctantly drawn into the National Transportation Safety Board’s inquiry only to discover that someone is going to great lengths that include murder and kidnapping to prevent the facts from being exposed. But who? And why?

These are the questions Lindy will need to answer in order to get at the truth about what really happened to Flight 63. His task is complicated by his own personal demons, including the horrors of past airline crash investigations, as well as having to walk a diplomatic tightrope with an eccentric FBI special agent who is barely tolerating NTSB protocol, and an ambitious female NTSB investigator with eyes for Hart.

Written by a veteran airline pilot and aviation analyst, Paper Wings will keep you up in the air and on the edge of your seat in first class. You’ll want to keep your belts fastened while in flight!

Informed Risk
by Robyn Carr (Author)
Mike Cavanaugh is a firefighter: he rescues people. Inviting them home isn’t usually part of the job description. But when he pulls Christine Palmer out of her burning house, something about the gutsy single mom makes him want to protect her, to make her life a little better. Only somehow Chris and her family end up giving Mike’s life new meaning, and he is happier than he’s been in years. He’s ready to love again. Chris wants to get back on her own two feet—sooner rather than later. When she no longer needs Mike’s support, will she be ready to risk her heart with him?

Originally published in 1989

DREAM WITH ME, COWBOY Enhanced Edition (Texas Matchmakers Book 1)
by Debra Clopton (Author)
Dream With Me, Cowboy is book 1 of an addictively fun Christian romance series! Hairstylist Lacy Brown believes love is in the air and the hair when she drives her ancient pink convertible into town and joins forces with three matchmakers who’ve started a national “wives wanted” ad campaign to save their dying town. The women will come~she believes and she’ll help each of them find their happily-ever after… But she’s not looking for love…

Note: This book was previously published as The Trouble With Lacy Brown. This enhanced edition includes some fun extras.

Images June 24, 2017

All Images by Henry Do Photography

Aerial View of One World Trade Center, New York City
Photograph by: Henry Do


Aerial view of NYC
Photograph by: Henry Do



Monument Valley, UT
Photograph by: Henry Do


Sunset at Horseshoe Bend, AZ
Photograph by: Henry Do


Forest fire in San Gabriel Canyons, Los Angeles, CA
Photograph by: Henry Do