Friday, 30 November 2007
"In the Netherlands, I saw people we called infidels living an amazing life – men and women mixing, gay people being free, you could say whatever you wanted," she says. "Then I went back to the asylum-seekers' centre and almost everyone was from a Muslim country begging for the charity of these infidels. And I thought, 'If we're so superior, why are we begging from them?'"
Early on, he (Al Siebert) witnesses a disturbing incident where a resident brow-beats a newly admitted patient: "You must accept that you're mentally ill before we can help you." The patient refuses to do so, and the resident gets increasingly angry and overbearing. Siebert is shocked to learn that this is a routine ritual with new patients; there's been no mention of it in his training. Some residents are unhappy with this practice but are threatened with being dropped from the program if they don't go along. So much for fostering curiosity and re-examination of conventional wisdom!
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Its from Breaking News, but I include it here in case its gone tomorrow
It emerged today that the Government has turned down requests for separate schools and curricula for children of certain faiths.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dáil that representatives of some religions, as well as politicians in other countries had asked him personally to accede to the requests.
The Taoiseach said it would be inappropriate to segregate children depending on their faith, and that it would not be in the spirit of integration.
And this site here has the map in contrast to a modern Map.
Monday, 26 November 2007
"If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests."
Surprisingly the film is also a musical but the music is so neatly and realistically intertwined into the story it almost passes you by. But, at the risk of contradicting myself, it's also a third character and if I was a better writer and a big more creative I could probably wax on about how it symbolises something or other but I'm not, so I won't. And the music is very good, I'm fairly ambivalent about The Frames but this movie may have won me over, I'm not ambivalent about Irish film, but this one is worth seeing.
Friday, 23 November 2007
This clip about superconductivity wasn't in the show but they demonstrated the effect, I include it here because its so cool.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
The challenge when reading these books however is that Latro is an unreliable witness leading to sometimes ambiguous chapters. In addition he records conversations with mortals and gods but, because he lacks memory, fails to make important connections between people, motives and events, instead this is left for the reader to do. Several times I found myself wondering just what was going on as the narrative seemed to jump track or even contradict itself but usually the answer lay a few chapters further on (but not always).
Of the two books I preferred the first (Soldier of the Mist) more, I even liked its rather inconclusive ending. The second book (Soldier of Arete) was tougher going with another inconclusive ending which this time, to me at least, seemed a little rushed. Overall though both books are a great read and certainly recommended. Soldier of Sidon (a long awaited sequel apparently) is out now. I'll have to pick it up and see what happens next.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
The good news from the weekend was Munster's excellent win against Clermont Auverne, I just wish someone would take Donnaha O'Callaghan and Denis Leamy aside and bang their heads together until they finally stopped giving away stupid penalties - they are two of the most maddening players in Irish rugby the way the continue to do that!
Friday, 16 November 2007
A. Everyone knows fascism is evil
B. It allows the speaker to differentiate easily between between muslims and the "evil" muslims
C. It avoids pointing a finger directly at religion because, as we know, that finger could end up pointing anywhere and we wouldn't want that.
That aside watch Pat tear the Islamo-fascist-communist-scariest-craziest a new one...
Thursday, 15 November 2007
The important feature about brainwashing is that it is done over and over again to achieve the desired goal. When people stop thinking independently for themselves, when they stop questioning their own personal sense of right and wrong, and when they refuse to listen to information that conflicts with their own beliefs… then they have been effectively brainwashed.
but if you find it too long they provide this great summary at the end.
1) Find lonely, desperate people
2) Break them down: Make them feel much worse about themselves
3) Build them back up: make them feel good about themselves again
4) Repeat 2-3 until their sense of self-worth is completely dependent on you
5) Reveal the “true” beliefs of the cult and take all their money
Sir Salman Rushdie should never have been knighted, he says. "He caused a huge amount of distress and discordance with his book, it should have been pulped."Because no conversation with a muslim moderate would be complete without at least one call for censorship ... theres also;
"Alcohol is the worst drug long-term," he says, and adds that the Government should consider banning drinking in public places, as it has done with smoking.I can't help but think that if these guys relaxed and drank a little more they wouldn't be so scrary, on the thorny issue of stoning women he adds;
"It depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances," he replies. "When our prophet talked about stoning for adultery he said there should be four [witnesses] - in realistic terms that's impossible. It's a metaphor for disapproval."Yes, but involving real rocks. Something tells me I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of any islamic metaphor, I'll close with this little gem;
In Dr Bari's view, suicide bombers are victims as well as aggressors. "I deal with emotionally damaged children," he explains. "Children come to hate when they don't get enough care and love. They are probably bullied, it makes a young person angry and vulnerable.This ones so sick it actually made me laugh, meanwhile "polite" society reckons we should respect this medieval horseshit! The correct response should be to burst out laughing at their backwardness and then offer them a cold beer and some physiological help.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
When to the pub afterwards to watch Munster and despite the result felt maybe Irish Rugby is not about to collapse. Roll on next weekend.
Friday, 9 November 2007
The worrying thing from an Irish perspective is that Harney et al seem intent on bringing the US model here and the way to do that is to throughly undermine and destroy public confidence in the health service while at the same time touting the benefits on competition and private health insurance. I'm sad to say I imagine they will be successful, not only where the current bunch of crooks and liars returned to office but the Greens have totally sold out and the opposition are a bunch spineless centrists who will continue to do the bidding of whomever's got the money. We're screwed!
The polytheistic Greeks didn't advocate killing those who worshiped different gods, and they did not pretend that their religion provided the right answers. Their religion made the ancient Greeks aware of their ignorance and weakness, letting them recognize multiple points of view.
She argues that it also allowed them to be more open and tolerant to different ideas and faiths, even merging them into their own religion from time to time.
The Greeks and Romans did not share the narrow view of the ancient Hebrews that a divinity could only be masculine. Like many other ancient peoples in the eastern Mediterranean, the Greeks recognized female divinities, and they attributed to goddesses almost all of the powers held by the male gods.Now I think the author is presenting a rather rosy view of the ancients as they could be incredibly cruel and they tended to treat women abysmally even though they worshiped goddesses, but the idea has merits. A whole pantheon of rowdy, randy and petty gods carousing around the place cause all sorts of mayhem would be a welcome change from the stiff, uptight, guilt ridden austere god we have at present. It would also open a whole new dimension to believers Sunday morning, "Shall we go to the temple of Zeus or Athena this week?" or "I need to know whether or not to take that new job, lets go worship Apollo today and ask him for a sign". It all sounds like great stuff to me and would make a welcome change from the dry mumbling I grew up with. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not about to start praying to Zeus or anything but the ancient Greeks did have a God of Wine ........ perhaps I'll offer a libation at some point over the weekend and see if anything happens.
The world, as the Greek philosopher Thales wrote, is full of gods, and all deserve respect and honor. Such a generous understanding of the nature of divinity allowed the ancient Greeks and Romans to accept and respect other people's gods and to admire (rather than despise) other nations for their own notions of piety. If the Greeks were in close contact with a particular nation, they gave the foreign gods names of their own gods: the Egyptian goddess Isis was Demeter, Horus was Apollo, and so on. Thus they incorporated other people's gods into their pantheon.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
the terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.
The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: "On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.
"I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it.
Theres two more episodes to come;
2. The Biotech Revolution
3. The Quantum Revolution
Monday, 5 November 2007
* strike that, its been done.
Friday, 2 November 2007
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Its a strange book to describe as it starts off as a mystery surrounding a supposedly cursed book (The End of Mr Y) but then quickly delves into the philosophical world of existence, language, thought, creation, religion, time travel, while at the same time not forgetting the ubiquitous bad guys chasing our heroine and trying to kill her. Its a fun read but its major weakness is in its characterisation, the heroine Ariel Manto is a supposedly emotionally damaged young woman due to her tough and impoverished upbringing but only for the fact she keeps telling you this (with the occasional reference to self harm) you'd never guess. In fact she sounds like a regular person, a regular American person even, certainly not a northern English girl with a degree from the 'Life of Hard Knocks University'. The other characters pretty much suffer from this paper thin portrayal as well which is handy as it enables them to leap plot holes in a single bound and provide the necessary impetus to move the plot forward to a neat, if not surprising conclusion. In short its a good fun read but if you want philosophy and physics I'd look elsewhere.