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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Special pictures of life

Pictures of life

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Indiana Governor Stunned By How Many People Seem to Have Gay Friends


INDIANAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—Indiana Governor Mike Pence is “stunned and amazed” that so many people appear to have gay friends, Pence has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters in his office in Indianapolis, Pence said that he made the astonishing discovery about gay friends late last week.

“A lot of everyday people have gay friends, and they’re not afraid to call and/or e-mail you to tell you that,” Pence said. “To be honest, I’m still trying to process it all.”

Pence said that from what he has been able to gather thus far, the phenomenon of “ordinary folks” having gay friends “has been going on for years.”

“You could be walking down the street, and without you knowing it, this person is friends with gays and that person is, too,” he said. “It really seems to be pretty widespread.”

“It’s the darnedest thing,” he added.

--more at NewYorker.com

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy World Bipolar Day!

Bi-Polar Bear

A few "Truisms"

Love is grand;
divorce is a hundred grand .

I'm in shape.
Round is a shape.

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.

Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember, amateurs built the ark,
professionals built the Titanic.

Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good.

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

Even if you are on the right track,
you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common.
They should both be changed regularly and
for the same reason.

An optimist thinks this is the best possible world.
A pessimist fears this is true.

There will always be death and taxes;
however, death doesn't get worse every year.

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

I am a nutritional overachiever.

I plan on living forever. So far, so good.

Practice safe eating -- always use condiments.

A day without sunshine is like night.

It's frustrating when you know all the answers,
but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

The real art of conversation is not only to say
the right thing at the right time,
but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing
at the tempting moment.

Brain cells come and brain cells go,
but fat cells live forever.

Age doesn't always bring wisdom.
Sometimes it comes alone.

Life not only begins at forty,
it also begins to show.

That's one hungry rat!

Earth Hour 2015 Highlights

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Awful Truth - REVEALED!

Dr. Joe

Doctor Joe had slept with one of his patients and had felt guilty all day long. No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn't.

The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming. But every once in a while he'd hear that soothing voice, within himself, trying to reassure him:

"Joe, don't worry about it. You aren't the first doctor to sleep with one of their patients and you won't be the last. And you're single. Let it go. "

But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality:

"Joe, you're a vet."
Dog and Vet

Their Sons

These 4 pals go out to play golf one sunny morning. One is detained in the clubhouse, and the other three are discussing their children while walking to the first tee.

"My son BIll," says one, "has made quite a name for himself in the home-building industry. He began as a carpenter, but now owns his own design and construction firm. He's so successful in fact, in the last year he was able to give a good friend a brand new home as a gift."

The second man, no to be out done, tells how his son began his career as a car salesman, but now owns a multi-line dealership. "George is so successful, in fact, in the last six months he gave his friend two brand new cars as a gift."

The third man's son, Albert, has worked his way up through a stock brokerage, and in the last few weeks has given a good friend a large stock portfolio as a gift.

As the fourth man arrives at the tee, another tells him that they have been discussing their progeny and asks what line his son is in.

"To tell the truth, I'm not very pleased with how my son turned out," he replies. "For 15 years, Frank's been a hairdresser, and I've just recently discovered he's gay. However, on the bright side, he must be good at what he does because his last three boyfriends have given him a brand new house, two cars, and a big pile of stock certificates."

The Strangest Wal Mart Customer

Strange Wal*Mart customer
Dear Mrs. Denner,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behaviour and may be forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Denner are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House-wares to go off at 5-minute intervals

July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in House-wares. Get on it right away."

August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpeted area.

September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.

September 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"

October 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.

December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"

December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fatal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"

December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"

Once again we cannot tolerate this behaviour in our store.

Regards, Wal-Mart

You KNOW this is a joke, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Oh the places you'll go!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own,
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one
Who’ll decide where to go.

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Technical Support

I worked in technical support at Silicon Graphics about a year ago, and I was part of the group that was first in line to handle problem calls. Oh, joy. Being only eighteen at the time, my experience in the field of technical support was somewhat limited, but I could still handle my own.

Now, as you may or may not know, SGI sells top of the line computers used in many different industries. On average, they're about three times as expensive as personal PCs and are meant to be used by professionals in the industries they're used in.

Anyway, the following call came in:

Customer: "I just received an Onyx yesterday, and I tried to set it up today and it doesn't work."
Tech Support: "It just doesn't boot up?"
Customer: "It doesn't even turn on. I see nothing on the screen, and the fan doesn't even turn on in the back of the system."
Tech Support: "Is the monitor functioning? Is there a little green light in the lower right corner of the monitor?"
Customer: "Yes, there is."
Tech Support: "Ok, is the computer plugged in?"
Customer: (irritated) "Look, I think I know how to set up a system. I'm a college graduate, you know."
Tech Support: "Ok, let me finish typing up this report, and I'll send it off. You will get a reply within one business day."
Customer: (exasperated) "Thank you. Geez, I mean I paid a huge amount of money for this computer. The least you people can do it make sure it works before sending it to me!"
Customer: "I mean, to add to the poor quality control, you even sent me one extra power cord."
Tech Support: "One extra cord?"
Customer: "Yes, it looks just the one I used to plug in the monitor and computer, but that's all you sent to me. I have no use for this other one."
At this point, I thought I should inquire a little more...but use a bit of tact to do so.

Tech Support: "Sir, can you double check the serial number on the back of your computer?"
Customer: "On the back of the computer?"
Tech Support: "Yes, sir."
Customer: (sigh) "All right, all right, hold on..."
I heard a few muffled grunts as he crawled over his desk to see the back of the computer. He repeated the serial number from the sticker. I didn't bother to verify it.

Tech Support: "Thank you, sir. Oh, by the way, can you check to see if the computer is plugged in?"
Dead silence. I could just picture the man's face when he realized that the computer was never plugged in in the first place and that the "extra" power cord he was holding in his hand was for the computer. I didn't wait for a response from him. I thanked him for calling, hung up, and closed the case.

Admiral, there be Whales here!

Tesla Model S P85

by Arik Beremzon, Health Economics student, Quora, (in answer to What is the best first car for my teen for 100K USD? Post is below)
Tesla Model S
It's about $80k at the base level, so I took the liberty of adding a couple of extra's:

All-Wheel Drive Dual Motor ($5k)
Tech Package with Autopilot ($4,250)
Premium Interior Package ($3,500)
Ultra High Fidelity Sound ($2,500)

Total price: $99,320 ($91,820 if you live in a state that has a $7,500 tax credit) [not sure about Canada - would have to import it]

If you want to fiddle with the options, you can do that in the Model S Design Studio.

Why a Tesla Model S P85?

It's an absolute fu*king beast. This car does 0-60mph in 5.2 secs, while not as fast as the new P85D it still accelerates faster than a M5 or a Porsche Panamera. Because there's no transmission box the acceleration is smooth. It's also instant. While true that you can't sustain sports car (Ferrari) level speeds in this thing, that might just be good given you're gonna give it to a kid who's probably going to wreck it.

It's the future. Just test drive it, OK? It's a fu*king spaceship. It has a giant freaking touchscreen for controls. Your iPhone interacts with it, it has a shitton of next level features. It updates over-the-air, ffs it's awesome. Just...just read the Oatmeal about it:

Tesla on Oatmeal
Source: theoatmeal.com What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - A cartoonist's review of his magical space car - The Oatmeal

It has the perfect image. You want to buy your kid an S-class...what is he, fifty? No? Perhaps the wife of a Russian oligarch then? Again no? A Rover you said? That's for soccermoms. A BMW maybe? Well if he's a drug dealer I guess you could go for the black on black Beemer look. Tesla's aren't just cool, they're the "look at me, I have a great Sedan that can smoke your ass but is just as modest as an Audi...oh and it's all electric, but not in a Prius kind of way" car. The only people who shit on Tesla's are the "HURR DURR MY CAR NEEDS TO MAKE LOTS OF NOISE AND TIRESMOKE, HURR DURR MUSCLE CAR" people. Screw them, they are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Last but not least...

It's a safe car.

In conclusion...

This car has awesome specs, a sweet brand image of luxury and forward-looking design without the negative connotations of other luxury brands, and it's a safe car.

Friday, March 27, 2015

What is the best first car for my teen for 100K USD?

The best first vehicle for a teenager for 100k might not be what you expect.

I have a feeling that you may be able to purchace a tank from a military surplus store. As long as the big guns are disabled, this will be the best choice for your child.

He will not be able to drive too fast, I believe the older tanks only have a top speed of 40 mph or something close to that. Tanks are notoriously stable and safe when hit by heavy objects. If your child is in an accident, he may have whiplash, but even that would not be too bad because the vehicle that hit him wont have enough momentum to seriously move the tank.

Tanks perform well in all environments and they are very safe in winter conditions as well as flash floods or even when they are the targets of drive by shootings. I believe that for the money, this is the safest vehicle you can get for your child. His friends will think its awesome and the only thing you may have to worry about is police chases and your child learning that the police cant stop him. This may be a bad idea for him to get in his head.

The tracks may need to be modified to make a tank street legal. This may cost a significant amount, but it will be worth your childs safety.

jump to Quora to read the other suggestions

Really? That easy? Wow!

square root stuff
The Wizard has a better question. Why would you want to do this?

People ask me why I bother with Earth Hour.....

They say that you are just one person. What's the point? What can you do? I say again what can YOU do? If I tell 2 friends, that is now just 3 of us. If those 2 friends tell two friends, we are now just 7. If those 2 tell 2 more friends we are now 16. Get the picture? If I tell no one, I am 1. One alone.

Earth Hour 60 is this Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 830PM.

 Click here to go to Earth Hour's Official Site!
It's not too late. Who will YOU tell?

Coke... It's the real thing

Snorting Coke. You're doing it wrong!

Wicked Witticisms

If dinosaurs had twitter
Paddy staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Paddy sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed..

In the morning, Paddy woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, 'You were drunk again last night weren't you?'

Paddy said, 'Why would you say such a mean thing?'

'Well,' Kathleen said, 'it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly, it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.'

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

The man said, 'I do, Father.'

The priest said, 'Then stand over there against the wall.'

Then the priest asked the second man, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

'Certainly, Father,' the man replied.

'Then stand over there against the wall,' said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and asked, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'No, I don't Father.'

The priest said, 'I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'Oh, when I die , yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.'

Nearly Became a Doctor!!.......

When I was young I decided I wanted to be a doctor so I took the entrance exam to go to Medical School.

One of the questions asked us to rearrange the letters PNEIS into the name of an important human body part which is most useful when erect.

Those who answered SPINE are doctors today.

The rest of us are sending jokes via email...

Pilot's Story
Once upon a time a pilot asked a beautiful princess, "Will you marry me"?

The princess said, "No"! And the pilot lived happily ever after and flew airplanes all over the world and drove hot cars and chased skinny, long-legged, big-breasted flight attendants and hunted and fished and went to topless bars and dated women half his age and drank Belgium beer and forty year old single malt scotch and never heard bitching and never paid child support or alimony and kept his house and guns and never got cheated on while he was at work and all his friends and family thought he was unbelievably cool. And he had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up.

The End

Now that I'm on a fixed income, I've disconnected my home alarm system and de-registered from the Neighborhood Watch.

I've got two Pakistani flags raised in the front yard, one at each corner, and the black flag of ISIS in the center.

The local police, sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching the house 24/7.

I've never felt safer, and I'm saving $49.50 a month!

Go Seniors!

One day, Harry the Eagle waited at the nest for Mary, his darling of 10 glorious years.

A while later when she didn't return he went looking and found her. She had been shot dead!

Harry was devastated, but after about six minutes of mourning he decided that he must get himself another mate.

Since there weren't any lady eagles available he'd have to cross the feather barrier.

So he flew off to find a new mate. He found a lovely dove and brought her back to the nest.

The sex was good but all the dove would say is .......... 'I am a DOVE, I want to love! I am a DOVE, I want to love!'

Well this so got on Harry's nerves so he kicked the dove out of the nest and flew off once more to find a mate..

He soon found a very sexy loon and brought her back to the nest. Again the sex was good but all the loon would say is........

'I am a LOON, I want to spoon! I am a LOON, I want to spoon!' So it was out with the loon.

Once more he flew off to find a mate. This time he found a gorgeous duck and he brought the duck back to the nest.

This time the sex was great, but all the duck would say was.....

NO, The duck didn't say THAT! ... Don't be SO crude!

The duck said.... 'I am a DRAKE, You made a MITHTAKE!!

An older woman decided to give herself a big treat for her 85th birthday by staying overnight in an expensive hotel.

When she checked out next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for $450.

She exploded and demanded to know why the charge was so high. It's a nice hotel but the rooms certainly aren't worth $450 for just an overnight stay! I didn't even have breakfast."

The clerk told her that $450 is the 'standard rate,' so she insisted on speaking to the manager.

The manager appeared and, forewarned by the desk clerk, informed the woman:

“This hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center which are available for use.”

“But I didn't use them” she said. “Well, they are here, and you could have” explained the manager.

He went on to explain that she could also have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which the hotel is famous.

“We have the best entertainers from the world over performing here” the manager said.

“But I didn't go to any of those shows” she said. “Well, we have them, and you could have” the manager replied.

No matter what amenity the manager mentioned, she replied, “But I didn't use it!” and the manager countered with his standard response. After several minutes discussion, with the manager unmoved, she decided to pay; so she wrote a cheque and gave it to him.

The manager was surprised when he looked at the cheque. “But madam, this cheque is for $50 only”.

“That's correct. I charged you $400 for sleeping with me” she replied.

“But I didn't!” exclaimed the very surprised manager. “Well, too bad. I was here and you could have”.

Don't mess with Seniors!


A small boy named Hameed lived in a village in Morocco. None of his classmates liked him because of his stupidity, especially his teacher, who was always yelling at him "You are driving me crazy Hameed!!!!!"

One day Hameed's mother came into school to check on how he was doing. The teacher told his mother honestly, that her son is simply a disaster, getting very low marks and even she had never seen such a dumb boy in her entire teaching career!!!! The mother was shocked at the feedback and withdrew her son from the school & even moved to another town!!!!!

25 years later, the teacher was diagnosed with an incurable cardio disease! All the doctors strongly advised her to have an open heart operation, which only one surgeon could perform...... Left with no other options, the teacher decided to have the operation, which was successful......

When she opened her eyes after the surgery she saw a handsome doctor smiling down at her! She wanted to thank him, but could not talk. Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something but eventually died!

The doctor was shocked and was trying to work out what went wrong, when he turned around he saw our friend Hameed, working as a cleaner in the clinic, who had unplugged the oxygen equipment to connect his Hoover!!!!!

…don't tell me you thought that Hameed became a doctor!?!

50 Shades of Golf

Four guys have been going to the same golfing trip to St Andrews for many years. Two days before the group is to leave, Jack's wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn't going. Jack's mates are very upset that he can't go, but what can they do. Two days later, the three get to St Andrews only to find Jack sitting at the bar with four drinks set up!

"Wow, Jack, how long you have been here, and how did you talk your misses into letting you go?" "Well, I've been here since last night....Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my living room chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and asked, 'Guess who?"

I pulled her hands off, and there she was, wearing a very sexy little nightie. She took my hand and pulled me into our bedroom. The room had candles and rose-petals all over. Well she's been reading ‘50 Shades of Grey’......

On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes! She told me to tie her up and cuff her to the bed, so I did. And then she said, "Do whatever you want."

So--- Here I am!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A History Lesson...

The Wizard was watching 'Dances with Wolves' and got curious about the Sioux and The Lakota People. So I did some research and thought it should go in 'OZ'.. so here it is:

Lakota son

The ways of the Lakota have been passed down from generation to generation, long before the white man first stepped onto North American soil. An important part of Lakota culture focuses on the larger community of their people, as represented by the council fires. For this community of the Great Plains, the buffalo was not only key to Lakota survival, it also held great spiritual significance.

In the tradition of their ancestors, the Lakota family extends beyond the parents and their children: younger generations learn from their elders, who hold the wisdom of the tribe. The Lakota way places an emphasis on home, and spirituality plays a role in every action. Read more about the Lakota traditions that continue to this day among the families of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The People

Michael Littleboy and son

The Lakota people belong to the larger group Oceti Sakowin (meaning "the seven places of fire"), called the Sioux by the white man after the Chippewa (Ojibwa) word for their enemies "nadouessioux," meaning "little snakes." Legend tells that long ago at a sacred lake, Sun (Wi), who appears as fire on earth, revealed the tribal organization to the Sioux people. Thus began the tradition of the seven council fires, the Lakota among them.

Lakota is one of the three similar languages spoken by the Sioux; the others are Dakota and Nakota. The Lakota are made up of seven bands: Oglala ("dust scatterers"), Sicanju (or Brulé, "burnt thighs"), Hunkpapa ("end of the circle"), Miniconjous ("planters beside the stream"), Sihasapa (or Blackfeet, different from the Blackfeet tribe), Itazipacola (or Sans Arc, "without bows") and Oohenupa ("two kettles").

The Buffalo

"We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as 'wild.' ...To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery."
- Luther Standing Bear, chief of the Oglala Lakota, 1905-1939

Lakota people are also called Teton Sioux or Titunwan, meaning "who live on the prairie." The name recalls the migration of the tribe from the woods of Minnesota to the Black Hills of the great plains territories, where they learned to live with the buffalo. On the wide open lands Tatanka, the spirit in the form of the buffalo, provided for both body and soul. Hunters ate the fresh liver of the newly killed buffalo, and boiled, roasted and dried meat nourished the entire village. The Lakota used buffalo hide for clothing, tipis and shrouds for their prayer lodge. They made saddles, tools and weapons from the bones. They carried water in buffalo bladders and used buffalo droppings for incense and fuel. Every part of the animal served a purpose, down to the hooves, which were made into glue. The Lakota would not dishonor the Earth by wasting a single portion of Tatanka's precious gift.

Little Wound, wife and son studio portrait, 1899 (Denver Public Library, Western History Collection)

The Family

Lakota Symbol

"The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man's heart away from Nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon lead to a lack of respect for humans too."
- Luther Standing Bear, chief of the Oglala Lakota, 1905-1939

Kinship is central to the Lakota way of life. Courage, fortitude, wisdom and generosity are among the most celebrated virtues. The Lakota learn these traits from their elders and prove them in their daily lives. Every act and judgment is considered in terms of its duty and benefit to the extended family, which often includes hundreds of people. The worst insult a Lakota can give is to say "you live as if you had no relatives."

The Home

"There was once a Lakota holy man, called Drinks Water, who dreamed what was to be....He dreamed that the four-leggeds were going back to the Earth, and that a strange race would weave a web all around the Lakotas. He said, 'You shall live in square gray houses, in a barren land....' Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking."
-Black Elk (1863-1950), holy man of the Oglala Lakota, written in 1932

(Denver Public Library, Western History Collection)

The tradition of the Lakota household dates back to an ancient legend. Wisdom (Ksa) created the first lodge, which had a circular floor. He placed the fire from Sun (Wi) in the center. The door faced east, giving honor to the rising sun. Traditional lodges still follow this plan. In individual tipis, the husband sleeps on the west side of his wife, who is in charge of the household. They keep their belongings by the wall near their respective sleeping places. Movement within the tipi should always be in the direction of the sun (clockwise). A good guest sits to the right of the door until invited to move further inside. Wood and water are stored on the left. Keeping things in good order is of vital importance.


"In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world."
- Lame Deer, Miniconjou Lakota

Eagle image belongs to all Indigenous Peoples (compiled by Glenn Welker)

Lakota religion is polytheistic, that is, believing in many gods or spirits. Nature and cosmology play an important role: before the creation of the earth, the gods lived in a celestial realm and humans in a subterranean world without culture. On earth, spirits reside in every part of the natural world. Among the gods are Something That Moves (Takushkanshkan); Sun (Wi); Moon, who is married to Sun; and their daughter Falling Star (Wohpe). Other spirits include Spider (Inktomi), Old Man and Old Woman, and their daughter Face (Ite), who is married to Wind and has four sons, the Four Winds.

Reflecting the elements earth, fire, air and water and the seasons winter, spring, summer and fall, the number four is an essential symbol of Lakota spirituality. It also represents the directions north, south, east and west and the four races: red, black, white and yellow. Another important symbol is the circle, the foundation for the traditional house, the tipi. In the Lakota way, everything is circular in the journey of life and death. Time passes slowly in the full observation of life. Man and nature live in concert with one another, rather than in a struggle for domination.

From the legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman came the tradition of the seven sacred rites and the smoking of the sacred pipe. The seven rites are the Keeping of the Soul, Sweat Lodge, Vision Quest, Sun Dance, Making Relatives, Puberty Ceremony and Throwing of the Ball. All but the latter have survived among contemporary Lakota people, despite being periodically outlawed by the U.S. government. When the White Buffalo Calf Woman appeared to the people, she told them that in a time of need, they should smoke from the pipe adorned with eagle feathers, and the smoke would carry their prayers upward to the gods.

Seven Sacred Rites of the Lakota Sioux

1. The Keeping of the Soul: Nagi Gluhapi Na Nagi Gluxkapi
In order to reconcile the death of a loved one, this ritual permits the resolution of things left undone, the healing of the Spirit and growth for the greater community. It allows the transition of the deceased into the Spirit World.

2. The Rite of Purification (Sweat Lodge): Inipi
In this ritual, the smoke from the pipe, the heat and steam from the fire in the sweat lodge, and ancient rituals release guilt, burdens and evil from the participant, bringing him closer to Wakan Tanka (the Great Spirit).

3. Crying for a Vision (Vision Quest): Hanblecheyapi
The Vision Quest gives the participant responsibility for setting and honoring limits. After a period of fasting, the participant focuses on prayer in order to hear "the voice of the Sacred."

4. The Sun Dance: Wiwanyag Wachipi
In a ceremony that involves abstaining from food and water and dancing for four days, participants endure suffering - formerly shedding their own blood - so that others will not suffer. The suffering can be symbolic, spiritual or, as in the past, very real.

5. The Making of Relatives: Hunkapi
Through prayer to Wakan Tanka (the Great Spirit), the exchange of sacramental food and smoking from the sacred pipe, an enduring bond of community is formed between people.

6. Preparing a Girl for Womanhood (Puberty Rite): Ishna Ta Awi Cha Lowan
This puberty ceremony purifies a girl who has her first menstrual perdiod, preparing her for womanhood and childbirth. In a tipi built by the girl's family, a holy man conducts the ritual with the proper sacred objects, including a buffalo skull painted red.

7. Throwing of the Ball: Tapa Wanka Yap
This former rite, performed only by women, used a ball filled with buffalo hair covered with a red-and-blue painted buffalo, which represented the material and spiritual aspects of the universe. In order to receive a great blessing, participants must choose to reach for the ball, while acknowledging that not everyone will catch it.

A Contemporary Rite Yuwipi
Used for healing, divining, and for finding lost persons or objects, this nighttime ceremony involves a holy man whose hands are tied behind his back and whose body is wrapped in a blanket and tied with ropes. The lights are extinguished while the holy man prays audibly and the spectators sit holding hands in a circle. When the lights are turned back on, the holy man is free from his bindings, released by the spirits