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Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.

What Is Trump Hiding?

As The Onion’s 300,000 staffers in its news bureaus and manual labor camps around the world continue to pore through the immense trove of documents obtained from an anonymous White House source, the answers that are emerging to these questions are deeply unnerving and suggest grave outcomes for the American people, the current international order, Wolf Blitzer, four of the five Great Lakes, and most devastatingly, the nation’s lighthouses and lighthouse keepers.

Deep Blue Quietly Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Garry Kasparov’s Ex-Wife

PITTSBURGH—Red wine and candlelight on the table before them, Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and Kasparov’s ex-wife, Yulia Vovk, quietly celebrated their 10th anniversary on Wednesday at a small French restaurant near Carnegie Mellon University, where Deep Blue was created.
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If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Probably Have A Few Possessions

When I think back to my time on earth, I have few regrets. The path I took, the simple life of a monk, allowed me to achieve the highest state of enlightenment. As one who renounced worldly attachments, I was free to lead a contemplative existence and to then share my wisdom with others. That said, I have to admit that if I were to do it all over again, I would probably choose to have at least a few possessions.

Not too many, of course. Maybe 10 possessions—20, tops.

To be sure, desiring earthly possessions only binds one to this life, and all beings must free themselves from the shackles of materialism to reach nirvana. That’s why, if I were to have a few belongings, I’d limit them to just some essentials: a fan, perhaps, to cool myself with, or a candle, so I could continue my study of ancient texts when the sun goes down. It’s not as if owning a candle would’ve halted my spiritual awakening. How could it? It’s just a candle, right?

I’ve always said that it is not objects themselves but our unwavering devotion to them that stands in the way of karmic progress and, ultimately, true awakening. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if it really would’ve been such a big deal if I’d had a pen or two to write with—not coveting pens or obsessing over them or anything like that, just having a reliable writing implement that’s great for copying down spiritual insights. If I lost the pen, I’d be absolutely fine with that, but there’s nothing about being liberated from the stranglehold of temporal attachment that says I shouldn’t be able to make a mark on a piece of paper.

And come to think of it, a canteen would’ve been a huge help. I probably would’ve attained perfect enlightenment sooner—a lot sooner—if I hadn’t had to stop meditating beneath the Bodhi tree and walk to the river Niranjana every single time I got thirsty.

I understand, perhaps better than anyone, how vital meditation is to finding the freedom that awaits us at the end of the eightfold path. And you know what would’ve made meditating a hell of a lot easier? A tent. Nothing big or ornate, just a humble cloth shelter to help keep the rain and wind off my body. It’s not as though a tent would’ve stopped me from teaching my disciples to forsake earthly things. I would just say, “Dispossess yourself of all things, except a tent. And maybe a blanket.” Pillows, an obvious worldly luxury, would be forbidden.

Oh, you know what else would’ve been great? A tea kettle. I would have killed for a tea kettle.

A sweater or a jacket really wouldn’t have been the end of the world either, and there’s also a lot to be said for a decent pair of shoes. And what harm would there have been in having, say, a flute? It’d be nice to unwind with some music at the end of a long day of rigorous reflection. Again, I’m talking about very modest possessions here. Nothing you couldn’t easily fit in a satchel, which, yes, would’ve been nifty as well.

How about a little carving of a monkey? Honestly, I think it would’ve been fun to have had that to look at from time to time—a wooden one, nothing carved from precious stones or anything. I can’t imagine not being able to break free from the eternal cycle of death and rebirth because of a tiny monkey figurine, can you?

If I’m being completely honest, it’s not just the lack of possessions I regret. I also probably spent way too much of my time on earth meditating. Just sitting there on the hard ground doing nothing but pondering the infinite day after day when there are so many wonderful things to see and do in the world. I could’ve meditated just once a week and probably been perfectly fine. What a waste. I lived 80 years, and frankly, I blew it. I should have just tried to enjoy myself.

Seriously, why suffer?

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