I don’t generally engage in hero-worship. But I do sometimes get wound up in interesting people and stories.
And speaking of such, George Lucas is one of the people I’ve only “gotten close to meeting.” So when a group of our Project Happiness students from Mount Madonna School were able to interview him last year (for the Project Happiness movie), I really enjoyed it.
Well, the “next best thing” to time with George was also really interesting. George’s assistant, Jane Bay, has been with him since just after the first Star Wars film was released. Almost every day she deals with guys like those in the picture to the left. She and I both waited in line to see the film at the Coronet Theater on Geary Blvd. in San Francisco – though a couple of weeks apart. She got a job with George shortly thereafter, and I did not – I remained an academic for a couple more years and then started DesignWare (an edutainment software company), which ended up being my eventual reason for a few visits to Skywalker Ranch. (Continue for the audio interview…) (continue reading…)
No time is more apt than right now for me to post an audio interview I conducted a few months ago. The time is apt because of what’s happening in Tibet over the past two weeks (best reports are at the BBC – search for Tibet). During most of its human history, Tibet was an isolated and difficult-to-reach high plateau, which only remotely came under the influence or control of the Mongols or the Chinese from time to time. The Dalai Lamas were in fact assigned their name and governmental role by Mongol overlords around 1578.
Tibet only “opened up” to the non-Asian world in mid-twentieth century. My introduction was via Lowell Thomas Jr.’s book Out of this World (published in 1950 – I will have more to say about the book elsewhere). And I read this book when I was a teenager in middle America, some time after Tibet was occupied by the Chinese army and just before the 14th Dalai Lama went into exile in India. The Chinese government claims that Tibet has always been a part of China. Those of us who have come into contact with Tibetan people know them as hard-working and dedicated, open and welcoming, and will never forget our encounters.
Last year I met Jane Bay. Jane has worked within the film industry for some time, and Jane came to know Tibet thru some interesting events – but most directly because she sponsored and adopted a Tibetan refugee daughter. Initially her daughter, Namgyal, lived at the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, India, but due to circumstances and political pressure she moved back to Tibet. And Jane lost touch with her. This story is told in Jane’s first book, Precious Jewels of Tibet.
Late last year, as The Missing Peace (TMPP) was being prepared for exhibition in San Francisco, I began working on an adaptation of my Pervasive Interactive Technologies so that I could run a location-based mobile phone “game” in conjunction with TMPP and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. My idea was to have mobile phone users begin this new game at home and complete the game at YBCA, where they would visit the exhibition. Please join us at Making Peace after you read this article!
I had met Joel Barraquiel Tan, the Director of Community Engagement for YBCA, about two years ago, so he already knew about my technologies and games – one of which is played at Yerba Buena Gardens, right outside his front door. In one quick conversation, however, we took a huge jump forward…
|The first Dalai Lama scholars…
with the 14th Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama Scholars program was envisioned by Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez of the University of California at Irvine, and formed as an honorarium to His Holiness in conjunction with his appearance there in 2004. The Dalai Lama does not receive any payment for his appearances – instead, all net proceeds from tickets and other sales (after expenses) go to benefit appropriate causes and organizations. [UCI Juniors Rajiv Ramdeo and Aswathi Sreedharan, recipients of the inaugural scholarship 2006, are pictured here with the Dalai Lama.]
Lori Warmington was instrumental in the creation of the scholarships, and in this interview, she describes for us how they came about as well as what they’re about.
|Click the arrow to hear the interview:||
The Dalai Lama Foundation featured the scholars in its March 2007 newsletter. The University describes the endowed scholarships on its web site. His Holiness gave two talks at the University of California Irvine, both of which are archived online (video/RealPlayer).