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Archive for November, 2008

An interview with Winston was sure to yield much more than what was bargained for. His comments were sure to make a good copy  and often barely concealed the irrepressible impishness of the man. Fiercely loyal to Clementine his comments on the fair sex often brought out the battle of sexes;
When Churchill was told that savants are declaring that by the year 2100, the women would be ruling the world his rejoinder was, “still?”

2.
When asked by an American feminist for his comments about equality between the sexes and what woman’s future role should be , he replied after a pause: “The same, I trust, as it has been since the days of Adam and Eve.”

3.

Once he was asked if he knew any professional women. He answered promptly: “I’ve never met any amateur ones.”

4.

Once asked why he always seemed to miss trains and planes he said, ”I am a sporting man. I always give them a fair chance of getting away.”

5.

At a time when asked why he painted only landscapes he replied that ‘trees never complained about its likeness.”

6.

While talking about the Greek general Plasiras, during the Greek Civil War, 1944, Churchill exclaimed: “Plasterarse eh! Well I hope at least he hasn’t got feet of clay.”

7.

Churchill was asked by an admiring lady if he was a pillar of the Church. He replied that he was more likea flying buttress. “I support it from the outside.”
compiler:benny

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Place:in the spirit world
Time:hereafter

Phantoms in white are floating around and two among them discuss about a coming event.
Angel #1:The Venerable in Years have at last agreed to attend the show. Do we kick our heels high and present a dance routine?
Angel #2: we have past the age of levity. We have no ears to trick us; nor have we a heart to admire nimble footed chorus line.
The angel who is rather new to the world feels rather embarrassed and asks, “OK I spoke out of turn. You are rather familiar with what the Old Man likes.”(At this moment a horde of specters like voice of great thunder gravitate to them.)
In unison, “ Here we have a showstopper ,a new song parts written for four beasts.”
Angel #1: “Four beasts?”
“The chorus:”yes, the lion, I roar;you be the eagle”
Angel #2 ‘”yes I have talons”
Angel#1 you mean talent. Is it not?”
Angel#2: Don’t be a square. Don’t be too literal.
Angel #3 “ I play the part of the ox.”
Angel#1 ( brightly) It is a hoax then.
One angel buts in, “I play the part of man.”
(The crowd disperses in merriment. It is obvious the coming event has made them all livelier.Angel#2 also follows them asking the Angel#1 to come and enjoy the show.)
Angel #1 spots a mount with a lamb on it.
(aside) Mt. Sion.
A voice, ‘What did you say?’
Angel#1 ‘ Who are you?’
The voice: John of Patmos
Angel#1: ‘The show isn’t meant for you. Go back to your devotion,if that makes you feel better.
Angel#1 catches up with Angel#2 and asks in whisper,”Who are these an hundred forty and four thousand each having a symbol  stuck on their foreheads?
Angel#2: These are cues for a quiz show.(points to the four beasts)
Angel#1 ‘What do they represent?’
Angel#2 ‘since we are not the ones to guess, I will tell you. They represent Ezekiel. You know your Bible. Don’t you?’
Angel #1,’Oh Ezekiel’s vision by the river Chebar.’
Angel#2:’Right-o’ These 144000 are words from the Bible that we have not fully understood. They are going to tell us what they represent.
Angel#1‘Oh I see. I always had difficulty to digest the verse Mt 5:29-30
Angel#2: “Are you going to see with your eyes or with your inner eye?
Angel#1 with a laugh,”You know well we have no physical eyes but inner eye.”
Angel#1( in serious vein) Then I don’t have to be concerned. Come the show has begun.
Meanwhile St.John the Divine furiously scratches in a scroll:’And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion….’(rev:14:1)
benny

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After 103 years Einstein’s formula e=mc2 is proven right by using some of the world’s mightiest supercomputers. A consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France’s Centre for Theoretical Physics was behind this marathon computing.

‘According to the conventional model of particle physics, protons and neutrons comprise smaller particles known as quarks, which in turn are bound by gluons.
The odd thing is this: the mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five percent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 percent?’

According to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, the 95 percent comes from the energy- from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons.
So cluster principle that I have been explaining in my earlier posts must hold the key. How we set chains of events in space and time also must cover energy as in the case of Theoretical Physics. We the people are gluons in real time and our worth, zero. Yet we keep holding while the big events like wars, slump in oil prices, fiscal bailouts, suicide bombs, Jihads, extraordinary renditions,G20 summits, pre-emptive strikes etc catch the headlines all across the globe. Missing mass of our inner lives (we who are shot at and caught in friendly fire or rendered homeless and thrown out of jobs) pack the punch to send all the calculations of politicians, oligarchs and mullahs to smithereens.
The Cluster principle throws light into the Finagle’s corollary to Murphy’s law, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will’.
benny

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Charles Townsend Copeland, a Harvard professor once invited some of his favorite pupils to his chambers. A sophomore asked, “How does one go about learning the fine art of conversation?” The professor lifted an admonishing finger and said:” Listen, my boy.” After a moment’s silence the student said, “Well I’m listening”
Copley said, “That’s all there is to it.”

John Howard Van Amringe of Columbia University was a sworn enemy of coeducation. “It is impossible,” he asserted, “ to teach a boy mathematics if there is a girl in the class.”
“Oh, come professor,” some one protested, ”surely there must be an exception to that.”
“There might be,” snapped Amringe, “but he wouldn’t be worth teaching.”

Sir. Herbert Warren of Magdalen College, Oxford was noted for snobbery. Once an oriental prince, who had entered Magdalen, confided apologetically that in his own language his name meant, ’son of god.’
Sir Herbert after a pause said, “You’d find sons of lots of distinguished men at the College.”

Professor Robert Tyrrell, of Trinity College in Dublin ( who taught Oscar Wilde while he was there,) while holding forth one day, was interrupted by a rude fellow who in the midst of a sentence, asked: “Where is the lavatory?” To which Tyrrell replied, ”First door on the right marked GENTLEMEN, but don’t let that deter you.

Ä. E Houseman the poet and a professor once gave an after dinner speech at Trinity, Cambridge thus: “This great College, of this ancient university has seen some chance sights. It has seen Wordsworth drunk, and Porson sober. And here am I a better poet than Porson, and a better scholar than Wordsworth somewhere betwixt and between.
compiler:benny

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Not long ago a Russian Jew who could finally immigrate to Israel made a starting discovery. He averred that all the hallowed names of Talmud teachers were encoded in the Torah. It made a ripple I think until some one demonstrated from a page picked at random out of a novel the name of late princess Di. He made up the name in step code from letters of each line. The trick was in knowing what to make. In this fashion one may with equal felicity pick out Lucifer or devil from any page in the Holy Book.  The question is this: is it worth the trouble?
In somewhat cavalier fashion we make doctrines out of text and attach great importance sentences taken out of context. Many cults would have no leg to stand on if it weren’t so. The ‘Mad Monk of Russia’ yes that one and only incomparable Rasputin indulged in orgies because of a Pauline verse, ‘Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?’(Rom 6:1) Only that he conveniently skipped the verse that followed the quote. He was always for grace flowing as if from a tap.
On the other hand there is another sect equally pernicious and narrower in their outlook.
In my time I have seen the rascally lot who call themselves Pentecostalists. They dress themselves in white, deny themselves (at least for public consumption) of man’s art such as medicine, TV or cinema. They have a form of godliness but they are as with any cults, ravening wolves. (I speak this from my direct experience.)
There are no two opinions as to the driving engine of two Covenants that make up the Bible. One is squarely based on Works while the New Covenant that replaced the old is solely dependant on Grace. Then mixing them both is straight from the devil’s kitchen. Remember the parable of wheat and the tares (Mt.13). While we do our apprenticeship here and now we do so as human beings. I am a humanist first and then a Christian (in the sense of belonging to a particular faith). The relevance of grace only applies to our flesh: we do our best humanly possible and where our weaknesses have made this less than adequate grace of God takes over.
In short if we cannot be faithful to what God has given our body and a rational mind, to know the difference between good and evil, we are like salt that has lost its savor.
Benny

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Through A Glass Darkly ©

Let the child in man
Speak without lisp;
And let its wisdom unalloyed
Give Old Adam the way out.
Kaleidoscope so I deem
What we through glass darkly
Trace our journey,-
Beginning by the end
Of all journeys we span
Yet another garden:
Old ‘Zekiel’s vision we must span
In our crack’d glass
Yet again: half child and half man.
See the child that I was
In a halo of light is merged
With Adam in a shroud:
Kaleidoscope, so I deem.
Benny

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Dekalog 7
‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’

In the seventh episode Kieslowski poses the question of whether you can steal something that is already yours. The world we live in is so complex and there are simple thefts and subtle forms of theft. A young woman, Majka (Maja Barelkowska) is planning to leave for Canada and at the passport office she also wants to obtain a child’s passport and that requires the mother’s signed permission. Majka is Ania’s birth mother, which in the eyes of law could be challenged. The same evening a girl of six, Ania (Katarzyna Piwowarczyk), is crying in a nightmare and Majka attempts to comfort her. The effort ends in failure though when their mother Ewa (Anna Polony) takes charge. The father, Stefan (Wladyslaw Kowalski), holds and soothes Majka, even as Ewa is doing the same with Ania. Could the two women with a child in between live in amity? For a casual observer they represent a happy family but between the women there is an undercurrent of tension. Majka was underage when she became pregnant so Ewa steps in for all intents and purposes as the mother. Ewa wants the sole control over Ania. (The irony is that Ania is actually sired by a young teacher, Wojtek (Boguslaw Linda), from the school where Ewa is headmistress.)

On the following day Ewa takes Ania to a pantomime with all of the other mothers and kids. However, Majka manages to take the child out of the building and disappear. Ania is a pawn in the tug-of- war and is the ultimate loser. As with the first Dekalog 7 proves Kieslowski’s to write for and direct children. He presents an extremely believable and thoroughly tragic commentary on the Commandment that essentially related to material goods. Stealing money and stealing affection are on the same scale but in the eyes of law are not punished equally.

Dekalog 8
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness’

In the woods close to a familiar apartment complex an old lady, Zofia (Maria Koscialkowska), jogs carefully and she exchanges a few words with her stamp-collecting neighbour and prepares for work. She is a professor of ethics within Warsaw University.  That day as usual she takes class with Elzbieta (Teresa Marczewska), an American translator of Zofia’s work, sitting in.

During the session when Zofia comments on a true-life tale, and impresses upon her students the point that a child’s life is of paramount importance, Elzbieta feels compelled to relate another tale. In this one, set in 1943, a 6 year-old Jewish girl is about to be lodged with some willing Catholic protectors, since her parents are in the ghetto. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the man and woman renege on their promise, leaving the child to an uncertain fate. A tragic story without a doubt but Zofia seems shaken far more deeply than the situation warrants, suggesting a hidden connection (since she is of roughly the correct age for wartime exploits). The question is, how does Elzbieta know the story and why is she choosing now to have her say?
Advancing in years and well grounded in logic and ethics do not remove life’s incidents perhaps forgotten or glossed over. Elzbieta and Sofia meets accidentally and yet there are points in the past that connect them.

Motives and actions do not exactly match point to point. An action carries so many overtones, some of which are of contrary to what is done. This point is brought home to Sofia by her translator.
compiler:benny

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Duality of life places man and woman as indivisible part of the same being. In the Mind of God from which every inspiration to do good resides they were as one. ‘Male and female created he them, ’so the Bible tells us. To this part I can wholeheartedly say ‘Amen’.
However in the same creation story we read of Adam’s rib and such like. I could explain it by making it as though an allegory. In the same fashion one may explain away every difficulty.  To my rational mind it sounds travesty of Truth. If we believe The Bible is God’s word and inerrant, any double somersaults with Truth confuses the issue.

The Book is meant as reproof, instruction and also building up our lives. I know now in part. On this earth we are merely beginners. In the worlds to come we may grow in knowledge and it is more likely after we have put away this corruptible body we may see the Word with a different mindset. Then what we may be concerned shall have different emphases too.. Law was engraved on stone tables during the time of Moses and law writ in our hearts signify different stations in our upward growth. As spiritual beings we shall need no Book. ‘To my curious mind I conceive notions of being a part of the same book. The congregation of saints in Zion has no Sun or Moon as such (rev.22:5) and no Bible either . But we are all pages, sentences,commas,parentheses and so on.’ :

‘For the love of money is the root of evil; which while some coveted after…pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
’Is this not sound advice for the year of the plague (economic meltdown is one such)? It is sadly human nature that the more street-smart we become we forget as many home truths as well. Do I think we would learn any lasting lesson from this global meltdown? I do not think so unless World governments are clear eyed and can sit together to enforce adequate controls for regulating the financial systems.
2.
Duality of man works its way outwards. Man is indivisible from nation and nations part of the whole.  Exploiting any nation’s wealth by a superpower as we have seen repeated in Asia, Africa and in the Middle East is one way of digging the very foundation of that power.
Is not the very Bulldog like trait of Great Britain now more like a mongrel?
Benny

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Dekalog 4:

Dekalog 4 hangs upon the Commandment, “Honour thy Father and Mother”. In the familiar apartment block, teenage Anka (Adrianna Biedrzynska) has lived with her father Michal (Janusz Gajos) all her life. Their bond is very close considering that her mother has been dead soon after she was born. Even the existence of a friend Jarek (Tomasz Kozlowicz) closer to her in age has not hurt the relationship. Her father leaves for abroad and she discovers a letter addressed to her, with instructions that it is only to be opened after Michal’s death. In succumbing to the temptation and breaking his command she realizes her own relationship with both have changed. Personal desire of  Anka compete with the moral obligations imposed on her by her father and also the society and in violation there are consequences. Anka finds a second letter, addressed directly to Anka in her mother’s handwriting. When Michal reappears, she confronts him with the contents and thereafter that bond which had held so securely for long is broken forever.

Dekalog 4 deals with sexual love and when it is between May-December it is treading on thin ice of social conventions. Given the family structure in which this is expressed the result could be explosive indeed.

Dekalog 5
‘Thou shalt not kill.’
A state is a vast machinery where man is a cog that enmeshes with other parts to keep it running. Some are small and others have much more importance. The Fifth segment deals with three such cogs whose lives are bound to meet. Jacek (Miroslaw Baka) is one of the luckless youths with a mean streak. The middle-aged taxi driver (Jan Tesarz) is the second and Piotr (Krzysztof Globisz), a young and idealistic lawyer is the other. The cabdriver picks up Jacek and heads out of town; behind, Jacek fingers a cord, nervous yet determined to kill. In a horrifying act, all the more brutal for its mindless nature the taxidriver is killed. There are two deaths in this film in fact, one reckless and the other legal. Both are executed without an iota of compassion. Do two deaths set thus in juxtapposition cancel each other out? What follows is a sort of carnaval where Law takes its course with regards to the condemned man while his failed defence lawyer Piotr looks on.

Dekalog 6 (1988)

“Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”is a commandment that needs be examined afresh considering how lack of living space bears upon ordinary people in Warsaw to settle for concrete high rise apartments where privacy is often lacking. Voyeurism was practiced then as now. Of course Susannah had to deal with the elders and Bethsheba, with David, a royal admirer. But in the modern times couples copulate under the very noses of everyone else. All one needs is to have a yen ‘for watching how others live across the block.’ Tomek (Olaf Linde Lubaszenko) who works in the local post office spends his free time spying on Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska) and her succession of lovers. Lust in the eyes calls for desperate measures and Tomek does what he can with all the skills in his possession. He can make silent phone calls or even disguise as her milkman. When his brief contacts however unsatisfying, feeds his lust, one day he chases Magda down after creating a crisis at the post office. He pours out his lust that repels Magda. But that night Magda titillates Tomek, and coolly tells her lover of the peeping Tom. Following this there is a fistfight in the carpark. Magda doesn’t believe in love but in sex.
Irony of love is such Magda becomes now obsessed. Love redeems and lust enslaves. But given the flawed human nature condemned to guilt, loneliness and fear even lusty Magda must own up to her role and be vulnerable.
compiler:benny

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The Galapagos archipelago is a group of volcanic islands situated under the equator created barely some 2.5 million years old. Being young its flora and fauna have helped scientists from all over to study evolutionary process that takes place at any ecosystem. Charles Darwin modeled his theory of natural selection from his extensive studies on that island. Finches blown there by a freak storm for instance developed into a separate species. The birds having developed a taste for worms from the tree trunks or mites from the body of turtles have their beaks modified for the specific purpose. They also are known to eat eggs rich in protein, which they break by dropping on the rocks below.

Marine iguanas are unique to the island. The species are some 5’(150 cm) long and larger than the iguanas found in South America. These marine iguanas specially feed on special algae that grow only on the rocks under water. It is essential for their growth. They can remain underwater for half an hour foraging their food. They have sharp claws that they use to hold on to the slippery rocks despite the strong currents. Chance may drive finches and iguanas to an inhospitable terrain but the skills acquired by them to make available resources adequate for survival speak of something else.
I do not mind if I sound being contradictory. I have no trouble with Science: the mind who shouts ‘Eureka’ does so under the inspiration of the Highest. Why? Archimedes, to give him a name, from a casual event of a bath found something else that could benefit whole mankind. The act of a bath in his tub must have held the secret always. Only that he needed was inspiration.
Similarly cannot God let a chance create universe as though it was ever meant to be?

Tailspin: what we call Chance is a cocoon from which certainty of life must burst through. Inversion principle works here. Which comes first chicken or eggs? Neither. Both are to be seen indivisible of life in its power. Duality of life and dissolution reconciled into one depending upon what you want to look at.
Benny

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