Original article :
Summary of article:
A Greek football player has been banned for life for exhibiting a supposedly Nazi salute after scoring a winning goal. He said he didn’t realize the significance of the gesture.
This story worries me for a number of reasons:
Firstly, are we still that touchy about the Nazi gesture that we are willing to prohibit rising stars from their careers for using it ?
The “Nazi” salute was around long before the Nazis, and a straight arm in the air has long been perceived as a gesture of “great – fantastic – brilliant” – much like a punch into the air would be. Had he raised his arm 10 degrees there wouldn’t have been any fuss, he just happened to hit the corresponding angle that was used by the Nazis during the 2nd world war.
Is this sensitivity purely because of the connection between the salute and the atrocities conducted by its users in the war, or is it something a little closer to home. Are the Greek media jumping on the salute and associating it with the worrying rise of neo-nazism in Greece, and summarily punishing anyone who even looks like they may be leaning in that direction ?
The other side of the coin that worries me is that the player said he was not aware of the significance of the gesture.
Do our children not know of the history of the 2nd world war? Are they not told of what happened, and why we are so nervous about seeing signs of the Nazi in public?
Surely, in Greece of all places, the history of what happened during the war is the stuff of family history, told again and again lest it ever be forgotten.
How can a 19 year old live to that ripe age and claim not to know what that salute used to signify?
I find myself asking the question, “how much have our children been told of the war?”, “how much of it do they connect with?”, and how much do they put down to “things that grandpa saw”?
How long before it is totally forgotten, and allowed to happen again?
Just my musings.
These days, a sound rule for using Latin abbreviations (such as e.g., etc., et al., and i.e.) is not to use them at all.
Such abbreviations were popular when Latin was the universal academic language in Europe and America. That’s no longer the case. Because so few people study Latin anymore, expressions that once were common have fallen into disuse or misuse.
In our time, Latin abbreviations are generally appropriate only in special circumstances that prize brevity, as in footnotes, bibliographies, and technical lists. But if we must use Latin abbreviations, we should learn how to use them correctly.
Let’s look at four Latin abbreviations that still appear in modern English–and that are often confused with one another.
1) e.g. (for example)
Example: ”One and the same thing can at the same time be good, bad, and indifferent, e.g., music is good to the melancholy, bad to those who mourn, and neither good nor bad to the deaf.”
What e.g. stands for in Latin: exempli gratia
What e.g. means in English: for example
How e.g. is punctuated: with periods after e and g, followed by a comma
How e.g. is used: to introduce examples
How e.g. should not be used: as a synonym for etc. or to introduce an all-inclusive list.
How e.g. can be avoided: use “for example” or “for instance” instead.
2) etc. (and so on)
Example: ”None of my own experiences ever finds its way into my work. However, the stages of my life–motherhood, middle age, etc. –often influence my subject matter.”
What etc. stands for in Latin: et cetera
What etc. means in English: and other things
How etc. is punctuated: with a period at the end
How etc. is used: in informal or technical writing, to suggest the logical continuation of a list of things (not, as a general rule, of people)
How etc. should not be used:
How etc. can be avoided: specify all of the items in a list or use “and so on.”
3) et al. (and others)
Example: ”Why is it that any time any of us mentions that women can be something other than just mothers, teachers, nurses,
et al., some mother, teacher, nurse,et al. comes in demanding that we re-affirm that it’s okay to be a mother, teacher, nurse,
et al.?” (Shelley Powers)
What et al. stands for in Latin: et alii
What et al. means in English: and others
How et al. is punctuated: with a period after the l but not after the t
How et al. is used: in bibliographic citations or in informal or technical writing to suggest the logical continuation of a list of people (not things)
How et al. should not be used:
How et al. can be avoided: specify all of the items in a list or use “and so on.”
4) i.e. (that is)
Example: ”Software is like entropy. It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the second law of thermodynamics;
i.e., it always increases.” (Norman R. Augustine)
What i.e. stands for in Latin: id est
What i.e. means in English: that is
How i.e. is punctuated: with periods after i and e, followed by a commaHow i.e. is used: to introduce an explanatory phrase or clause
How i.e. should not be used: as a synonym forbecause
How i.e. can be avoided: use “that is” instead.
Hell has always fascinated me – even although I am an atheist – I still hold a morbid interest in it.
The Economist recently published two very interesting articles about the subject.
The first is quite a fascinating talk on the evolution of hell.
This article shows that Hell was almost certainly a man made concept. Used to control the population – do something bad and you will go to hell and suffer eternal agony – live your life the way we want you to and you will go to Heaven and enjoy eternal bliss.
It also shows some of the contradictions regarding Hell and the religion that is presenting it – most religions that have a hell also have a forgiving god ( how can he be forgiving when he directs people to eternal pain without appeal )
The interesting thing in the article are the crimes you have to commit to go to hell – “eating sweets with rice” was my favourite.
Lastly the article shows that as mankind progressed, the churches in question have continually tried to back peddle away from eternal damnation and move onto something more of a moral concept.
The second a rather tongue in cheek look at Hell from a tourist guide’s point of view.
This one I quite like, it sort of makes it like a place to visit
Both are very good reads – you should read them.
Fugu – or Blowfish – served incorrectly is absolutely deadly, with no known antidote to the toxin that kills you.
It is a subject that has always fascinated me – food that kills.
The food itself doesn’t fascinate me, there are probably countless plants, animals, and fish in every culture that will make you severely ill or dead, and I have no intention of finding out what they are.
The thing that fascinates me is the evolutionary process we went through to end up eating the stuff.
Take fugu (blowfish) – unless it is cut precisely, with no trace of the liver cut or left on the dish it’ll kill you.
How many people died before they worked out it was the liver that was killing them ?
How long did they go before the matre-de came running out of the ancient hut to sing
“This one survived – it’s safe now ?“
( What did they do with the pile of unhappy dead customers in the back who didn’t get the right dish ? )
It’s the same with kidney beans – the main part of chilli-con-carne – a very popular dish.
Unless you soak the beans over night they can cause sever illness.
What combinations did the Mexican chefs go through with their original beans before their customers stopped keeling over ?
(With fugu, at least you had a process of elimination to follow -
- Head – Nope killed him
- Heart – Nope, dead
- Fins – coughed, choked, then fell over dead
- etc etc )
I mean did they roast them, fry them, skin then, mash them, leave them out in the sun – how many different things did they try before someone said “Ok, guys we are running out of people – let’s try soaking them in water overnight” ?
The speculation goes on and on with every different type of poisonous food – eat that mushroom – boom dead – this one, pretty lights , that, ok with sausages.
How many people have been planted in an early grave just so that we can have a luxury ( and very expensive ) meal that might ( just might ) bring an end to all of our worries the old fashioned way ?Pin It
Read the article from the BBC above.
What a strange idea – every time you are mentioned on twitter, facebook, google+ etc etc your little gadget gives of a little puff of smell.
I can imagine it to be a cute gadget for about ten seconds flat.
Then it will go one of two ways :
- (a) The Baby listener
- Because you’re not being mentioned you get no smells, so you will be constantly tapping the thing, plugging it in, checking the settings etc to see if it is still working.
- You will come back from dinner one day and discover the area around your pc smells like a Turkish Hareem, and switch the thing off.
It’s a nice idea – don’t get me wrong – but smell has always been a difficult sense to master – just the right amount at the the right time works – too much and people really do get annoyed at it.
Why not change the design to change colour or something :
- a deep red and nobody loves you
- a nice green and you are Mr popularity
(I think mine would remain pure black )Pin It
The article above talks about England preparing for a digital attack by group or groups unknown.
Now whilst, in my opinion, this is a very real and scary prospect. It will happen, and sooner rather than later, the prospect of allowing the digital defence of the realm to be handled by the people who usually handle such things – politicians, committees, and large bureaucracies – is even scarier.
The reason being is that conventional defence, and the decisions behind it take an age – look at how long it took to mobilise a force to Libya.
The digital world does not work in those time frames – it operates in the now, the instant.
The digital world evolves at a pace that most hi-tech companies (who are geared up to handle it) have difficulty keeping up with.
The thought of a committee coming up with a plan then spending 3 (plus ?) years implementing it is farcical, as the thing they have planned against will be ancient history by the time the plan goes into practise. And as it will have been through countless reviews and alterations the details of what is going to be implemented will be free to the people they are defending against (don’t for a second think that any hacker willing to take down an MoD site will balk at hacking a file server to get minutes of the various meetings)
What needs to be put in place is a team of geeks and hackers (sorry – it was the only word that seemed appropriate)
A team that can adapt in a second, who will be on top of the latest techniques (and counter techniques)
Of course they will need to be handled by the conventional people (for funding etc ) – but to put their actions through the treacle mill of normally defence decision making will make them useless.
Unfortunately the politico’s and generals of this world are not ready (or even aware) of the speed with which they will need to react in the digital world, so will balk at employing a bunch of pizza eating teens to defend the country.
Which will mean it won’t happen.
What we will be left with will be an enormously expensive white elephant that will be able to stop nothing, and will face the public with a bright red blush when the first attack comes and goes straight through them.
The world of government and law needs to wake up and get out of it’s dinosaur attitudes and processes if it wants to work in, and defend against the world digital.Pin It
Copied from Google+ – but I liked it so much I am going to keep it here as well as a reminder to me and anyone that looks that we all have work to do to make our lives happier.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Some ideas to get you started:
1.) Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
2.) Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
3.) Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled .
4.) Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
5.) Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
6.) Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
7.) Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
8.) Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
9.) Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
10.) Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
11.) Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
12.) Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
13.) Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.– Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
14.) Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
15.) Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
16.) Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
17.) Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
18.) Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
19.) Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
20.) Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
21.) Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
22.) Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you. Little Wonders – Rob Thomas
23.) Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.
24.) Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
25.) Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
26.) Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
27.) Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
28.) Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
29.) Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
30.) Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.Alanis Morissette – Thank You (Video) (a-ha!;)
From the fantastically uplifting blog that is +Marc Chernoff‘s |www.marcandangel.com | You needta get’cha some of his magical potions in your circles here. If I ever find myself having a “funk” day? Never fails that I can pop by his incredible website and usually pick any one article that not only helps me see things more clearly, but makes me feel like I can handle just about any obstacle that falls into my path.Set those “Worry Birds” Free, Mamma’s! (and Poppa’s!;) Lynyrd Skynyrd-Free bird o/~~~Pin It
This is a thing that has always puzzled me, but has jumped into my mind again this week because a few of the news stories.
Two people come to mind :
Greece’s prime minister Mr Papandreou, and Italy’s own Berlusconi.
Both are very rich men (rich enough to retire and bask in luxury for the remaining days they have)
Both are almost certainly finished politically.
Yet both continue to try everything they can to cling onto to what ridicule remains to them – for neither have any respect left, and very little support.
So …. why ?
As a prime minister you have to spend long hours trying to sort out various problems, deal with factions, stop and start arguments, etc etc etc – It’s a hard life.
If you had the money to stop wouldn’t you ?
If you knew that you were having no effect at all on the current situation and that the popular opinion towards you was closer to hatred than respect, would you continue, or say “bugger off, I’m alright Jack, sort out your own problems – I’m off to a luxury villa some where” ?”
But this isn’t just a political thing, it spans all walks of life.
Pop stars who have more money than they can eat insisting on hitting the road when most doctors would warn them to stop – just keep going and hoping for another hit that will never happen.
CEO’s who captain’d epic disasters and are left with pension funds that will last several generations – just roll into another job when most of us are looking to retire.
Self made business men who work themselves into the grave when they could have handed over the reins and retired to a life of absolute luxury.
Have we turned into workaholics or is it just a buzz thing – “the power – I need the power” ?
Personally I would love a life of leisure, and if I ever make enough to pursue it, you won’t see me for dust as I park my bum on a sunny beach somewhere.
The world is a strange place.Pin It
Have a little read of the above story.
Protesters at St Paul’s etc…
Here’s the quote that interested me :-
Lucy, one of the protesters, welcomed the speech but said they needed a promise from the church that they would not be forcibly removed.
Now, ok – I agree it aint nice using physical force in an eviction.
But, sometimes it is necessary.
If the church goes through the appropriate legal channels and gets a court order saying that the protesters have to leave and they don’t ( which I suspect they won’t ) – what happens ?
You have to remove the people – physical force is the only remaining alternative.
Now – were the protesters to agree ( indeed give, in their own words, “a promise”, or “cast iron guarantee” ) that they will leave when told to do so, I would say “yep – the church has to agree to that as well”.
But they haven’t have they ?
They want assurances from the church that physical force will not be used, but they have offered no assurances themselves that they will go peacefully if told to do so.
The door swings both ways people – too many people so often forget that.Pin It