While there’s a great deal of chatter about this weekend’s event, we
will always meet some uninitiated members of the general populace.
Hmm. This brings back some memories from a few months ago, when we had
just launched the event. As expected, the word ‘flugtag’ straight up
One guy actually thought flugtag is some sort of a water-craft. Like
it’s one single craft, called flugtag. Another person thought flugtag is
a type of laser-tag performed mid-air. There were at least two people
who asked us which country will be hosting India’s 1st Red Bull Flugtag.
A lovely lady figured it’s a musical instrument. Another asked us if
she could be cast on the flugtag show.
Sigh! Fortunately, by now a LOT of you know exactly what’s gonna happen this Sunday in Bangalore. If not, here’s ALL THE INFO about it.
Before you go… We’ll leave you teary-eyed with this last one: Someone thought India’s 1st Red Bull Flugtag is the 2nd time Red Bull Flugtag is coming to India.
What do you do when you find out the truth about your enemy?
India’s 1st Red Bull
Flugtag is meant to be an enjoyable day out for participants and
spectators, but there is clearly an element of risk involved in leaping
into a lake off a 22ft high ramp, relying on a homemade aircraft for
support. The basic rules here are an absolute requirement for
participants. All participants who jump MUST wear the buoyancy aid and
helmet provided by the organizers. The Pilot MUST NOT be strapped into
the plane, or enclosed in any capsule or cockpit from which they can’t
readily escape. Any costume you wear must not pose the risk of getting
caught in the aircraft or hamper the Pilot’s ability to see, breathe or
stay afloat. All Pilots and Ground Crew who jump must be able to swim
100 meters unaided. When you design your costumes, remember you will
have to swim in them… Each team is responsible for the safe design and
construction of their aircraft, and obviously we’ll help wherever we
can. Your design will be subject to inspection by our Safety Team, who
will do all they can to ensure your flight is safe. If the Safety Team
isn’t 100% satisfied, you will have to make suitable adjustments.
Without an Airworthiness Certificate you won’t fly. When you are
finalizing construction on site, and when you launch, the Pilot and
Ground Crew shall not be under the influence of alcohol or any other
intoxicant. This also means not jumping with a serious hangover. Any
team or person who does appear under the influence will be disqualified.
If any member of the team is injured during the jump, or feels unwell
afterwards, then you MUST be seen by our onsite medical team to ensure
nothing is seriously wrong. Bear in mind that you will be jumping into a
lake – it isn’t a swimming pool and lots of things live in there. The
Organizers can guarantee to keep the crocodiles under control, but if
you start to feel sick or unwell following the event, be sure to visit
your doctor and tell them you have flown into a lake.
You will be launching
into water, so make sure your craft floats. Wherever possible select
materials which are lighter than water anyway (wood and plastics) rather
than metal. Obviously there may be parts of the craft which require
metal in their design, in which case, make sure these are attached to
some kind of flotation device. Wherever possible, use tube and
box-section materials rather than solids. This will help with the
recovery of the craft – and also means you don’t run the risk of being
dragged to the bottom of the lake on landing. Only Human Power is
permitted – no motors, rockets, battery power or sneaky elastic bands.
Your entry must be entirely designed and constructed by the Team; you
cannot adapt or amend light aircraft or hang-gliders. Your design must
be no longer that 6 meters from wingtip to wingtip (assuming it has such
things as wings), and no longer than 6 meters from nose to tail
(assuming it has these too). Your aircraft needs to get up the ramp and
be recovered from the lake, so make it as light as possible – and
preferably use materials which don’t become waterlogged (like heavy
fabrics). This also applies to your costumes. Avoid the use of any toxic
material or substance which may dissolve into the lake. We have a duty
to protect the environment we’re using and this means selecting build
materials carefully. You are also strongly advised not to use materials
which may fragment or be hard to clear up – don’t make your flotation
device out of polystyrene beads, they are hell to clear up and it kills
the ducks. When you are designing and building, consider what is likely
to happen when it hits the water. Make sure there are no hard or sharp
surfaces around the cockpit which may cause injury. Round off those
corners and make sure no nails, screws or other sharp fixings project
near handholds or the Pilot. At junctions where big pieces join, try to
ensure nothing can break in a way which is going to leave dangerous
edges or fragments. Rotating blades or propellers add to the fun, but
make sure no-one ends up getting minced. All the aircraft will be
recovered from the lake by the Organizers and compacted in a skip on
site. No parts can be returned to participants. Your flying machine
should be no higher than 3m.
The team shall consist of four
people: one Pilot and three Ground Crew. All team members must be 16yrs
or over (please notify us if any of your team members are under 18yrs in
your application). All participants must be fit and well at the time of
the jump, and free of any medical condition which may be exacerbated by
participation. Any team member who jumps off the ramp must be able to
swim 100 metres unaided and must wear the buoyancy aid and helmet
provided by the Organisers. Make sure you have all read and signed the
Everything you know about the world is about to change.
China probably has the largest number of
Buddhists in the world, yet so little is known about the practice of
Buddhism in the world’s most populous country.
Namaste Dagoba in the Famen Temple complex. The temple has been
redesigned as a place of worship, and features a relic of the Lord
Buddha which was unearthed in the Famen pagoda.
That is about to change as China seizes the opportunity to show the
world how vigorous it has been in its bid to promote freedom of religion
when it hosts the 27th general conference of the World Fellowship of
Buddhists between Oct 16 and 19.
It is the first time China has hosted a WFB meeting, which will be
held at the city of Baoji in western Shaanxi province. The opening and
closing ceremonies will be organised at the Famen Temple, also in
Delegates from Thailand, a founding member of the WFB, will be able
to broaden their horizons, share their experiences with Buddhists from
other countries, and gain knowledge and draw inspiration from China to
improve Buddhism back home.
China has more than 300 million Buddhism followers, with more than 20,000 Buddhist temples and about 200,000 monks.
With the theme “Buddhism: Public Benefit and Charity”, this year’s
WFB conference in China is expected to broaden the appeal of Buddhism to
the world. Zhan Lin, deputy secretary-general of the Buddhist
Association of China (BAC), said the theme of this year’s meeting had
been devised to confirm that Buddhism is a religion of peace and
Lord Buddha’s teachings are intended to end people’s sufferings, bring them inner peace, and enlighten the world.
“Buddhist teachings offer an approach to ending suffering within
ourselves and teach people how to show compassion towards others and
help those who are in distress and helpless,” Mr Lin said.
He said Buddhist teachings have been translated into numerous
languages — including Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese and Thai, with all sharing
the same aim of giving people of various countries a wider opportunity
to study and practise Lord Buddha’s words of wisdom that will guide them
to inner peace and enlightenment.
Mr Lin said the conference has the full support of the Chinese
central and local governments as well as the Chinese people and the
Chinese private sector.
Devotees light candles as they pay their respects to the Lord Buddha.
The meeting will show the world Chinese people enjoy the freedom to
follow, observe, practise and worship any religion or faith, he said.
He said the meeting will let the world know how compassionate
Buddhists are, and this will help contribute to the propagation of
Speaking at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in
Beijing on June 30, Phallop Thaiarry, secretary-general of the World
Fellowship of Buddhists, thanked the Chinese government and the BAC for
putting in a major effort to hold the conference.
“The theme of the meeting is fitting for the propagation of Buddhism
and holding charity and humanitarian activities to help victims of
natural disasters, regardless of race and religion,” Mr Phallop said.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the meeting will be held at the
1,800-year-old Famen Temple, about 90km west of the city of Baoji.
The ancient temple is a landmark to the arrival of Buddhism in China from India more than 1,800 years ago.
Baoji was said to be among the first cities to embrace Buddhism when
the religion was introduced to China, before it spread to and flourished
in other parts of the giant country and its neighbours.
The temple has grown in significance, especially after a golden
casket carrying a relic of the Lord Buddha — a finger bone — was
unearthed from the plinth of an inside pagoda.
Mr Phallop said he believed the meeting will be successful even
though China is hosting it for the first time. He expects more than 600
delegates from around the world to attend the meeting.
China is no stranger to international Buddhism. It played a role in
founding the WFB in 1950. The WFB’s head office is in Bangkok.
Located in Haidian district of Beijing, Longquan Monastery is another
important Buddhist monastery that should serve as a model for Thailand
and other countries to follow in terms of peaceful coexistence between
monks and laymen.
Built in 951 AD, the monastery experienced rises and falls until 2005 when it was officially reopened for Buddhism services.
It is also the first Buddhist monastery to complete the “Three
Jewels” — Buddha, dhamma and the Sangha — since the People’s Republic of
China was established. The monastery offers Buddhist education in both
Chinese and English.
The temple applies new technology including the social media such as
Facebook to spread Buddhist teachings in eight languages such as
English, Japanese, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Korean and Thai,
allowing teenagers more access to the philosophy.
The monastery is popular with visitors from many countries who spend
long holidays studying dhamma and practising meditation. They also
volunteer to clean the monastery.
Venerable Master Xuecheng, the abbot, also answers dhamma questions online himself.
The monastery is self-sufficient in that it grows rice and vegetables
organically for its own consumption and for distribution to the poor.
It also offers help, food and relief to victims affected by disasters
such as the massive earthquake that hit Sichuan province in 2008. Monks
from the monastery also held prayers to soothe the souls of affected
Buddhists from all over the world are expecting to draw valuable
lessons and inspiration from the meeting as well as the experience of
Chinese perspectives on the faith for the betterment of Buddhism in
their respective countries.
Venerable Master Xuecheng, the abbot of Longquan Monastery, leads
visitors and representatives from many countries on a tour of his
monastery ahead of the 27th general conference of the World Fellowship
The 47m high main pagoda of the Famen Temple. Photos by Onnucha Hutasingha
Valuable objects, including a golden receptacle with a relic of the Lord Buddha, inside the Famen Temple.