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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:52 am 
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massagio wrote:
What da flying fuck is that shit?? LMAO!!! :mrgreen:


It's something I found on Imagechan...

http://imagechan.org/

There's some really funny shit on there, as well as some really sick shit. Just remember to be careful. Once you see something really sick, you can't unsee it. ;-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:59 pm 
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suterb wrote:
There's some really funny shit on there, as well as some really sick shit. Just remember to be careful. Once you see something really sick, you can't unsee it. ;-)

I see what you mean. The first link I clicked was two asian men dressed like school girls. Not what I expected when I saw it was called "asian"!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:03 pm 
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just plain doug wrote:
I see what you mean. The first link I clicked was two asian men dressed like school girls. Not what I expected when I saw it was called "asian"!


That's nothing. Trust me. ;-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Don't bring the Chans here, if you thing Image-chan is bad, try 4chan. But seriously, don't become /b/tards.


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Zoroastrianism

Main article: Zoroastrian eschatology

Zoroastrian eschatology is the oldest eschatology in recorded history.[2][3][4] By 500 BC, Zoroastrians had fully developed a concept of the end of the world through a divine devouring in fire.

According to Zoroastrian philosophy, redacted in the Zand-i Vohuman Yasht, "at the end of thy tenth hundredth winter...the sun is more unseen and more spotted; the year, month, and day are shorter; and the earth is more barren; and the crop will not yield the seed; and men ... become more deceitful and more given to vile practices. They have no gratitude." "Honorable wealth will all proceed to those of perverted faith...and a dark cloud makes the whole sky night..and it will rain more noxious creatures than winter."

At the end of the Battle between the righteous and wicked, a Final Judgment of all souls will commence. Sinners will be punished for 3 days, but are then forgiven. The world will reach perfection as poverty, old age, disease, thirst, hunger, and death are halted. Zoroastrian concepts parallel greatly with those of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic eschatological beliefs largely due to the influence Zoroastrianism exerted on Judaism whilst the Levant was under Achaemenid control and the subsequent emergence of Christianity and Islam from Judaism.

Judaism

Main article: Jewish eschatology

In Judaism, the end of the world is called the Acharit hayamim ("End of days"). Tumultuous events will overturn the old world order[citation needed], creating a new order in which God is universally recognized as the ruler over everyone and everything. One of the sages of the Talmud says, "Let the end of days come, but may I not live to see them", because they will be filled with so much conflict and suffering.

The Talmud, in the tractate Avodah Zarah, page 9A, states that this world as we know it will only exist for six thousand years. The Jewish calendar (luach) functions completely on the assumption that time begins at the creation of Adam, the primordial man. Many people (notably Conservative and Reform Jews and some Christians) think that the years of the Torah, or Jewish Bible, are symbolic. According to the ancient Jewish teachings continued by today's Orthodox Jews, the years are literal and consistent throughout all time, with 24 hours per day and an average of 365 days per year. Appropriate calibrations are, of course, done with leap years, to account for the difference between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, since the Jewish calendar is based on both. Thus the year 2007 equals 5767 years since creation of man on the present Jewish calendar. According to this calculation, the end of days will occur at or before the year 2240 (the year 6000 in the Hebrew calendar).

According to Jewish tradition, those living during the end times will see:

1. Ingathering of the scattered Jewish exiles to geographic Israel,
2. Defeat of all of Israel's enemies,
3. Building (or divine placement) of the third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the resumption of the sacrificial offerings and Temple service,
4. Revival of the Dead (techiat hameitim), or the Resurrection,
5. At some point, the Jewish Messiah will become the anointed King of Israel. He will divide the Jews in Israel into their original tribal portions in the land. During this time, Gog, king of Magog, will attack Israel. Who Gog and the Magog nation are is unknown. Magog will fight a great battle, in which many will die on both sides, but God will intervene and save the Jews. This is the battle referred to as Armageddon. God, having vanquished this final enemy once and for all, will accordingly banish all evil from human existence. After the year 6000 (in the Jewish calendar), the seventh millennium will be an era of holiness, tranquility, spiritual life, and worldwide peace, called the Olam Haba ("Future World"), where all people will know God directly."

"All Israel have a portion in the world to come." (Talmud Sanhedrin 10:1) The Ramban (Nachmanades) interprets the world to come as the ultimate good and purpose of creation. He therefore holds that the world to come actually refers to the resurrection of the dead. An event that will occur after the messianic age has already begun. The Ramban holds that all Israel, even the sinners, have a portion in this epoch of resurrection. (The Tzemach Tzedek, Derech Mitzvosecha, Law of Tzitzis).[citation needed]

Buddhism

Main article: Buddhist eschatology

Buddha predicted that his teachings would disappear after 500 years. According to the Sutta Pitaka, the "ten moral courses of conduct" will disappear and people will follow the ten amoral concepts of theft, violence, murder, lying, evil speaking, adultery, abusive and idle talk, covetousness and ill will, wanton greed, and perverted lust resulting in skyrocketing poverty and the end of the worldly laws of true dharma.

During the Middle Ages, the span of time was expanded to 5,000 years. Commentators like Buddhaghosa predicted a step-by-step disappearance of the Buddha's teachings. During the first stage, arahats would no longer appear in the world. Later, the content of the Buddha's true teachings would vanish, and only their form would be preserved. Finally, even the form of the Dharma would be forgotten. During the final stage, the memory of the Buddha himself would be forgotten, and the last of his relics would be gathered together in Bodh Gaya and cremated. Some time following this development a new Buddha named Maitreya will arise to renew the teachings of Buddhism and rediscover the path to Nirvana. Maitreya is believed to currently reside in the Tushita heaven, where he is awaiting his final rebirth in the world.

The decline of Buddhism in the world, and its eventual re-establishment by Maitreya, are in keeping with the general shape of Buddhist cosmology. Like Hindus, Buddhists generally believe in a cycle of creation and destruction, of which the current epoch represents only the latest step. The historical Buddha Shakyamuni is only the latest in a series of Buddhas that stretches back into the past.

Christianity


The Last Judgement - Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.
The Last Judgement - Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Main articles: Christian eschatology, Timeline of unfulfilled Christian Prophecy, Armageddon, Apocalypticism, and End times

Some Christians in the 1st century AD believed the end of the world could come during their lifetime since Jesus' had said to his followers, to be alert at all times of your life. When the converts of Paul in Thessalonica were persecuted by the Roman Empire, they believed the end was upon them[citation needed]. However, doubt rose when as early as the 90s AD Christians said, "We have heard these things [of the end of the world] even in the days of our fathers, and look, we have grown old and none of them has happened to us".[1] The Mark 13:8 passage, as well as Matthew 24:6-8, are often misunderstood (examples?[citation needed]) as these indicate that the wars and rumours of wars are signs that the End is yet to come, not that it has come. However, the world could not come to an end unless the prophecy of the Book of Revelation is revealed, also, Christians particularly the fundamental-type connect the end times with the New World Order (conspiracy).

Jesus, it was believed, had denounced attempts to divine the future, to know the "times and seasons", and such attempts to predict the future were discouraged in Matthew 24:36; yet some attempted to suggest a date for the End with the help of Jewish traditions in the Six Ages of the World. Using this system, the End was fixed at 202, but when the date passed, the date was changed to AD 500[citation needed].

Some current Christians place the end of the world within their lifetime or shortly thereafter[citation needed]. As evidence to support these ideas, many point to the prolific news coverage of tragedies around the world, and offer interpretations of various passages from the Bible. Also, some Catholics believed that the third part of the Fatima message, which was to be disclosed by the Vatican in 1960 but finally was published under the pontificate of John Paul II, was a prophetic message from the Blessed Mother about the end times, but they now believe it to be a symbolic message closely related to the assassination attempt of the late Pope[citation needed].

Millennialists concentrate on the issue of whether the true believers will see the tribulation or be removed from it by the Rapture, a question which causes division in evangelical circles. Amillennialists believe the end times encompass the time from Christ's ascension to the Last day, and maintain that the "thousand years" is metaphorical.

Still, some fundamental Christians anticipate that biblical prophecy will be fulfilled literally. They see current world and regional wars, earthquakes, hurricanes and famines as the beginning of the birth pains which Jesus described in Matthew 24:7-8 and Mark 13:8. Fundamental Christians believe that mankind started in the garden of Eden, and point to Megiddo as the place that the world system will finish.

Mormonism

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that at the beginning of the Millennial Era, Jesus Christ the Lord will appear in his Second Coming and usher in a thousand year era of peace called the Millennium, when Satan will be bound (Doctrine and Covenants 88:110). The wicked will be removed from the earth and the righteous will be "caught up to meet him," and a resurrection of the righteous who have died will occur--they will also "be caught up to meet him." (Doctrine and Covenants 88:96-97). During the Millennium, every man or woman to ever live on the Earth will be resurrected; those who were righteous will be resurrected at the beginning and be able to visit the earth to restore knowledge about family histories; the wicked will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium (D & C 76:85).

At the time of each person's resurrection, their Last Judgment will occur, during which all beings will be placed into one of three heavenly kingdoms; the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. In the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith Jr., who is believed to be the translator of the Book of Mormon and first prophet, leader, and seer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, puts the kingdoms into levels of glory in symbolic comparison to the sun, the moon, and the stars. The sun being the brightest, is relative to the glory of the celestial kingdom, which is for those who obey the commandments, live righteously, become baptized. The moon, being the second brightest, is relative to the terrestrial kingdom, which is for those who are righteous in a sense, but do not constantly obey the commandments and/or are not baptized. The stars, being the least brightest, are relative to the telestial kingdom, which is for those who are wicked and commit major sins without repenting, including murderers. A very small group of people who reject Jesus Christ after receiving full and indisputable knowledge of his divinity, will go to what is called Outer darkness, which is where Satan will eventually be sent with his hosts of angels.(D & C 76:43-46)

While the exact time of Christ's return is not known, certain signs are accepted as pointing to his return:

* The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, Isa. 2: 2-3.
* The Lord shall lift an ensign and gather Israel, Isa. 5: 26 (2 Ne. 15: 26-30).
* The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not cause her light to shine, Isa. 13: 10 (Joel 3: 15; D & C 29: 14).
* Men shall transgress the law and break the everlasting covenant, Isa. 24: 5.
* The Nephites (ancient fallen people of the Americas, descended from Joseph of Egypt) shall speak as a voice from the dust, Isa. 29: 4 (2 Ne. 27).
* Israel shall be gathered with power, Isa. 49: 22-23 (1 Ne. 21: 22-23; 3 Ne. 20-21).
* God shall set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed, Dan. 2: 44 (D & C 65: 2).
* War, dreams, and visions shall precede the Second Coming, Joel 2.
* All nations will gather against Jerusalem to battle, Zech. 14: 2 (Ezek. 38-39).
* The day cometh that shall burn as an oven, Mal. 4: 1 (3 Ne. 25: 1; D & C 133: 64; JS-H 1: 37).
* Great calamities shall precede the Second Coming, Matt. 24 (JS-M 1).
* Paul described apostasy and perilous times of the last days, 2 Tim. 3-4.
* Two prophets will be slain and resurrected in Jerusalem, Rev. 11 (D & C 77: 15).
* The gospel shall be restored in the last days by angelic ministry, Rev. 14: 6-7 (D & C 13; 27; 110: 11-16; 128: 8-24).
* Babylon will be established and fall, Rev. 17-18.
* Israel shall be gathered with power, 1 Ne. 21: 13-26 (Isa. 49: 13-26; 3 Ne. 20-21).
* The Book of Mormon shall come forth by the power of God, Morm. 8.
* Lamanites (Indigenous peoples of the Americas) to blossom, D & C 49: 24-25.
* The wicked to slay the wicked, D & C 63: 32-35 (Rev. 9).
* War will be poured out upon all nations, D & C 87: 2.
* Signs, upheavals of the elements, and angels prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, D & C 88: 86-94.
* Darkness to cover the earth, D & C 112: 23-24.


Prophetic movements

* In 1843, William Miller made the first of several predictions that the world would end in only a few months. As his predictions did not come true (referred to as the Great Disappointment), followers of Miller went on to found separate churches, the most successful of which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses have developed their own unique eschatology, involving the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the start of the Last Days. Witnesses believe that the Holy Bible is the word of God and his means of communicating with us. They believe that Bible prophecy has always been precisely fulfilled in the past. Therefore they also believe that future prophecy will also come exactly true. Witnesses believe that the term "last days" refers to the concluding time period leading up a divinely appointed execution that marks the end of a system of things. Scriptures had a minor fulfillment involving the time period before the end of the Jewish system of things in 70 C.E. and are now having a major fulfillment in this time period before God cleanses the earth of Satan's wicked system of things.

Witnesses believe that the last days began in 1914 when Jehovah God installed Jesus as the King of God's Kingdom. His first action is described in where Jesus cleanses heaven and casts Satan to the earth. Conditions on earth would then deteriorate to an all time low, culminating in war, pestilence, and earthquakes. Witnesses believe that history proved this date true with the start of World War I in 1914 and the worst global epidemic to date in the Spanish Influenza in 1918.

In the future, Witnesses believe that God will cleanse the earth of all wickedness and Satan will be bound for 1,000 years. During this time period, people will be resurrected to life on earth and given a chance to learn about God (Jehovah) and live under the invisible rule of Jesus Christ. (They believe Jesus sacrificed his earthly life, thus his "return" would not be of flesh and blood as a human, but instead would be an exercise of power over the earth). They feel biblical prophecy shows there will be no more death or sickness and people will live in peace and harmony, just as God originally purposed for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Hinduism

Main article: Hindu eschatology

Hindu traditional prophecies, as described in the Puranas and several other texts, say that the world shall fall into chaos and degradation. There will then be a rapid influx of perversity, greed and conflict, and this state has been described as:

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharata, Abhyuthanam Adharmasya Tadatmanam Srijami Aham". Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7)

"Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharatha And a rise of unrighteousness then I manifest Myself!"

Thus whenever there is intolerable evil and chaos in the world, there is an appearance of an avatar. In the current yuga, known as the Kali (the most evil) yuga, "The Lord shall manifest Himself as the Kalki Avatar... He will establish righteousness upon the earth and the minds of the people will become as pure as crystal."

In Hinduism, there is no eternal damnation of souls. There is no end times as well. After this evil Kali yuga ends, the next yuga or epoch would be Satya yuga where everyone will be righteous, followed by Dwapara yuga, Treta yuga and then another Kali Yuga. Thus time is cyclical and the epochs keep repeating infinitely. However, the extent of tolerable evil and degradation in each epoch is different and therefore the threshold that is necessary for the manifestation of God's incarnation is different for each yuga. The current yuga is the most evil and so the threshold for the appearance of the avatar is so high that the world needs to degrade to the maximum levels.

The length of Kalpa is said to be different by various groups from 5,000 years according the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to 4,320 million years in the terms of orthodox Hindus. The BKWSU is unique amongst Hindu cults in believing in a 5th age called the Confluence Age which correlates to the Christian concept of "End Times", a time of both destruction of the world and revelation of God. According to the BKWSU, humanity entered the End Times in approximately 1936 and the world will end in approximately 2036; although there was a failed prediction of the end of the world in 1976.

Islam
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Main article: Islamic eschatology

Islamic eschatology is concerned with the Qiyamah (end of the world; Last Judgment) and the final judgment of humanity. Eschatology relates to one of the six articles of faith (aqidah) of Islam. Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah (Heaven), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam (Hell). A significant fraction of the Quran deals with these beliefs, with many hadith elaborating on the themes and details. Islamic apocalyptic literature describing the Armageddon is often known as fitna (a test) and malahim (or ghayba in the shi'ite tradition).

Shia Islam

In Shia Islamic thought, there is a worldly reality that is mentioned to occur before the end of human life on earth. The events that occur in the final moments of humanity will mainly revolve around Dajjal and his ability to woo humanity to a new world religion, one that is not divinely issued. The idea of a Mahdi returning to help humanity against the "Great Deception" is also mentioned in Sunni traditions, but is specifically outlined as Muhammad al-Mahdi in Shia sources. There are many sources that have prophecies regarding the last days, with only some that are accepted as repeated in different sources by different people. A majority of Shia scholars agree on the following detail of events that will occur in the final days:

1) The Dajjal will claim to be the savior of humanity and people of all faiths will unite under his religion
2) Most people around the world will be able to communicate with each other and see each other in the palm of their hands
3) There will be mass killings of Shias in Iraq (around the Euphrates), and there will be prices put on their hands, even if they are not criminals
4) In Palestine and Syria (the region may be allied or one), there will be nearly 70,000 Jews of illegitimate birth serving in the army
5) There will be a revolt by a "Yamani" who will be defeated in his efforts
6) The Mahdi will reappear and make a speech at the Kaba and will gather an army of 313 generals and thousands of followers to defeat the Dajjal
7) A person by the name of "Sufyani" (his religion is not mentioned, though he is a descendant of the disintegrated Ummayyad dynasty whose scattered descendants may have been in the Levant and Spain or Morocco over the last 12 centuries) will lead forces from Syria across Iraq to Arabia to defeat the Mahdi's forces along with his Allies
8) At the battlefront near Mecca, Dajjal's forces will be swallowed by the sand
9) The Mahdi will re-establish the true Islam and the world will find harmony
10) There will be 27 years of his reign on earth
11) A hypocrite Jewish woman will kill him by dropping a (poisoned) rock on his head
12) The resurrection of men and women will begin as the Day of Judgement will commence

Sunni Islam

1- Messiah-Dajal(fake messiah or imposter) will appear to people, nations will follow him as he will appear to them as Jesus Christ. Only those who are true believers of God will not follow him.
2- Jesus will descend from the heavens. True believers will follow him and assist to vanquish the Messiah-Dajal.
3- A great battle will take place near Jerusalem, where Jesus with his followers, defeat the Messiah-Dajal and his army.
4- Ajoj and Majoj tribes will re-emerge bringing destruction and famine but again they will be defeated by true believers.
5- All nations follow Jesus and believe in one God(Allah) and there will be prosperity everywhere.
6- The Holy Qur'an will be 'lifted' to heaven and not a single copy will exist on earth.
7- The moon splits in half and the earth's orbit reverses.
8- An Ultra-sonic boom will cause every last being to die instantly.
9- The resurrection of men and women will begin as the Day of Judgement (yum al qiamma) will commence.

American Indian


Several American Indian tribes hold similar beliefs concerning the end times.

Hopi

Tribal leaders of the Hopi tribe, such as Dan Evehema, Thomas Banyaca and Martin Gashwaseoma, prophesize that the coming of the white man signals the end times, along with a strange beast "like a buffalo but with great horns that would overrun the land". It is prophesied that during the end times, the earth would be crossed by iron snakes and stone rivers; the land would be criss-crossed by a giant spider's web, and seas will turn black. (A common speculative interpretation is to equal "iron snakes" with trains, "rock rivers" with highways and the giant spiders web with powerlines or even the world wide web.)

It is also prophesied that a "great dwelling place" in the heavens shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star, and the earth will rock to and fro. White men would then battle people in other lands, with those who possess wisdom of their presence. There would then be smoke in the deserts, and the signs that great destruction is near.

Many would then die, but those who understand the prophecies shall live in the places of the Hopi people and be safe. The Pahana or "True White Brother" would then return to plant the seeds of wisdom in people's hearts, and thus usher in the dawn of the Fifth World.

Lakota

According to an Oglala Lakota medicine man - "darkness would descend over the tribe...the world would be out of balance. Floods, fires and earthquakes would then ensue."[citation needed]

A "White Buffalo Calf Woman" will then purify the world. She will then bring back harmony and spiritual balance.

White bisons have been born in 1994, in 1995 and in 2006 at a farm in Janesville, Wisconsin. Many tribal leaders thus feel that the prophecy is being fulfilled.[citation needed]

Maya

Main article: 2012 and the Maya Calendar

The ancient and many modern Maya groups believe that the universe has been renewed four previous times. The first attempt at human life produced animals instead; the second produced a people made of clay who would eventually become certain insects (such as ants and bees); the third attempt produced monkeys; and the fourth attempt produced us: "true humans." Each prior attempt at the human creation was destroyed by a different catastrophe which ended the universe. These stories vary by Maya group: the animals were nearly destroyed by a flood, the people of clay were nearly destroyed by a flood and then a global firestorm, the monkey-people were attacked by their own belongings and their animals.

The astronomically-based Mayan calendar will be completing its first great cycle of approximately 5,200 years on the 21 December 2012. Although there is no substantial evidence that the ancient Maya considered the date significant, many people have postulated that this is the "end of the Universe" from the Mayan perspective, and others believe that the Mayans meant this to symbolize the "coming of a great change."

Norse mythology

Main article: Ragnarok

In Norse mythology a strong winter called the Fimbulwinter will seize the earth and bring disorder and fighting between the people of Midgard just before Ragnarok. Ragnarok ("fate of the gods") is the battle during the end of the world waged between the gods (the Æsir, the Vanir and the Einherjar, led by Odin) and the forces of Chaos (the fire giants, the Jotuns and various monsters, led by Loki). Not only will the gods, giants, and monsters perish in this apocalyptic conflagration, but almost everything in the universe will be torn asunder. Only the gods Váli and Vidar will survive to rule over a new world, with a resurrected Baldr.


Other religions

Ancient Greek mythology claimed that, as Zeus had done to his father Chronus, Zeus would too be overthrown by a son. This can be seen as the equivalent to the end of the world, or the end of an age. Prometheus revealed to him that this son would be born from Zeus and Thetis, if they copulated. In order to prevent this from happening, Zeus married Thetis to Peleus, a weak mortal. This union still produced Achilles, the protagonist of the Illiad and one of the greatest heroes of Greek myth.
This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

Philosophy

Eschatology has also been a belief shared, sometimes theorized, by philosophers. Saint Augustine has been one of the most famous eschatological thinkers, followed by Hegel's philosophy of history, and, some have argued Marxists – as a secular religion. Theodicy has gathered together most Enlightenment thinkers, among whom are Kant and Rousseau.

More recently, many involved in futures studies and transhumanism note the accelerating rate of scientific progress and anticipate a technological singularity in the 21st century that would profoundly and unpredictably change the course of human history[citation needed]. Artist/futurist Michael E. Arth, for example, speculates about the emergence of a hive-like distributed being that would be self-conscious, connected to the Internet, and also able to exhibit any individualized form, or speak any language. This collective intelligence, UNICE: Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Energy, would supposedly connect everyone on the planet before it spreads outward into space.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschatology

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A friend sent me these funnies, think he said they were jokes by someone called Mitch Hedburg, they tickled me anyway...

------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck.

I got my hair highlighted, because I felt some strands were more important than others.

I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.

I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap.
(Hahahahaha)

I think Pringles initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles is a laid back company. They said "Fuck it. Cut em up."

You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.

I would imagine if you could understand Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy.

I went to the park and saw this kid flying a kite. The kid was really excited. I don't know why, that's what they're supposed to do. Now if he had had a chair on the other end of that string, I would have been impressed.

I played golf... I did not get a hole in one, but I did hit a guy. That's way more satisfying...

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".

Someone handed me a picture and said, "This is a picture of me when I was younger." Every picture of you is when you were younger. "...Here's a picture of me when I'm older." You son of a bitch, how'd you pull that off? Lemme see that camera.

I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run. He's fuzzy. Get outta here.

I was walking down the street with my friend and he said "I hear music." As if there's any other way to take it in. I tried to taste it...didn't work.

At my hotel room, my friend came over and asked to use the phone. I said "Certainly." He said "Do I need to dial 9?" I say "Yeah. Especially if it's in the number. You can try four and five back to back real quick."

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aspy_2nd_bunch wrote:
A friend sent me these funnies, think he said they were jokes by someone called Mitch Hedburg, they tickled me anyway...


Good ones, aspy... I sent those off to a bunch of folks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:50 am 
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I have one of Mitch Hedburg's albums - he was a funny guy (he's dead now, unfortunately). I recall one joke about how Kit-Kat bars have the name of the candy engraved on the bar itself, and how that "robs you of chocolate" so you should go to the company and demand that additional chocolate they left out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:36 pm 
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feetlightup wrote:
I have one of Mitch Hedburg's albums - he was a funny guy (he's dead now, unfortunately). I recall one joke about how Kit-Kat bars have the name of the candy engraved on the bar itself, and how that "robs you of chocolate" so you should go to the company and demand that additional chocolate they left out.


Hahahahaha!!! You have to admit, he's got a point! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:37 pm 
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sleeping in a jar wrote:
aspy_2nd_bunch wrote:
A friend sent me these funnies, think he said they were jokes by someone called Mitch Hedburg, they tickled me anyway...


Good ones, aspy... I sent those off to a bunch of folks.

This one in particular made me laugh...

"I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap."

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:49 am 
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Some top tips for ya...

BOOKSHOP owners. Annoy Christians by putting the Bible in the 'Fiction' section of your shop where, joking aside, it actually belongs.(HAHAHA!)

HOUSEWIVES. Make the normally mundane task of switching the central heating on a little more exciting by singing 'The heating's on' to the tune of 80s hit The Heat is On by Glen Frey as you are doing it.

OLD PEOPLE. Save having to get a flu jab each year by not queuing outside the Post Office every Tuesday morning in the pouring rain an hour before it opens. They won't run out of money. It's not like the queue outside the butcher's during the war.

PARENTS. When people ask how old your child is, they want to know how old he is at the moment. The phrase 'he/she will be five next birthday' involves some tricky calculations and is not very useful.

MOURNERS. Read the dress code instructions on funeral invitations very carefully. Sombre, whilst being only 2 letters away from sombrero, is a world apart in tone.

MUMS. Confuse your children by mixing butter with their I can't Believe It's Not Butter. They won't know what to believe.

CONTESTANTS on Wife Swap Try not to be so surprised at how different the other family is. That is, and always has been, the format of the show.

DAILY Mail editors. Confuse your readers by claiming that asylum seekers are the natural predators of paedophiles.

STATELY home owners. Sprinkle pepper into the helmets of suits of armour so as any intruders who hide in them when being chased will give themselves away by sneezing just after you walk past.


DEFY the government at the start of British Summer Time by refusing to put your clocks forward at 2.00 in the morning. 'Save' the hour for later in the day. You still get your lie-in and you can fast forward your day when it suits you, like when there is nothing on telly.


TOURETTES sufferers with an interest in Victoriana. Simply replace shouting 'fuck', 'cunt' and 'wanker' with 'poppycock', 'fiddlesticks' and 'balderdash' to recreate an authentic Victorian experience. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

CONVINCE neighbours that you own an old fashioned typewriter by wearing metal thimbles and drumming your fingers on a plastic tray. Every ten seconds ting a wine glass with a pencil and run a butter knife along the teeth of a comb before continuing drumming your fingers.


MOBILE party DJs. Having trouble getting nervous guests up and dancing? Try petulantly demanding "What's wrong with you?", and calling them all "boring". That should do the trick.

DAILY Mail editors. Underline important words in your headlines just to make sure that your readers are clear about what it is you want them to think.

OLD people. If you feel cold indoors this winter, simply pop outside for ten minutes without a coat. When you go back inside you will really feel the benefit.

8)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:18 am 
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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

History of the WWW

Wikinews: Why did the WWW emerge at a particle physics lab such as CERN? What need did it serve the scientific community at its origin? Was the making of the WWW a case of the right time and the right place/circumstances for someone with the right IT knowledge?

Robert Cailliau: There were quite a number of hypertext systems around: the Microcosm, Hyper-G, Gopher, even Xanadu. Everyone was experimenting. There were even two independent attempts inside CERN (Tim's and mine)! CERN is an infrastructure used by physicists from all kinds of universities who after their experiments at CERN go back to their institutes. A single experiment brings together many physicists from universities scattered over the globe. Obviously they stay in contact: they have been users of networks and computers for a long time.

It's therefore not so surprising that we looked for a system that would allow such a group to consult documents without having to know where the author was or which of the different computers, operating systems, usernames or passwords was needed. There was a need for an automated library.

The two attempts at CERN were personal initiatives. When I learned that Tim wanted to use the internet and had made progress towards an implementation, I immediately teamed up with him. But it remained for quite a time a project that was looked at with some apprehension by CERN management.

It was partially the result of the right people in the right place, partially chance, but partially driven by a real need. And everything happened under the benevolent eyes of Mike Sendall, Tim's boss.


(...)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:12 am 
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Illuminating the net's Dark Ages

Imagine a history of World War 2 that failed to cover the events in 1930s Germany. Conventional histories of the internet are that incomplete, according to a researcher.

It is difficult to conceive of a world without the internet - today more than a billion users worldwide are connected - but just 25 years ago global network connections were vanishingly rare.

During the 1980s, small research networks linking a few hundred universities were gradually replaced by a commercial network with 300,000 users.

But history has failed to document this transitional period in any detail. Dr Doug Gale, president of Information Technology Associates, in Montana, is devoting his spare time to filling in the gaps.

In the early 1980s, Dr Gale worked as a network administrator at the National Science Foundation (NSF), a US government agency that promotes research and education.

He says that at the time, there was just one research network, called Arpanet. It was run by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency within the US Department of Defense.

Computer networking

But access to Arpanet was limited to universities with connections to the Department of Defense. As the advantages of computer networking became apparent, other universities began developing their own networks.

Ultimately, the NSF launched NSFNET, the immediate forerunner of the modern internet, to link all the networks together. But there are so few historical records from that time that Dr Gale describes the period as the internet's Dark Age.

"The Arpanet period is somewhat well documented because the corporation in charge - BBN - left a physical record," says Dr Gale. "Moving into the NSFNET era, it became an extraordinarily decentralised process. The record exists in people's basements, in closets."

Dr Gale has a simple explanation for the decentralised nature of the NSFNET era.

"It was such an exciting project that lots of people just wanted to drop what they were doing and get involved," he says.

There were collaborations between universities, governments, corporations and individuals in the private sector, Dr Gale explains. Although that led to rapid progress in the development of the internet, it has left a poor historical record.

"So much of what happened was done verbally and on the basis of individual trust," says Dr Gale. "If something needed to be done, there was never a formal contract; it was just done on the basis of a telephone call."

He says the more he explores the missing history, the more complicated the picture becomes.

"I thought I had some sense of what was going on. But it's a much richer history than I ever dreamed," he says. "A number of individuals were making important contributions in multiple areas."

Standard language

One of the most important of those individuals was Dr Dennis Jennings, now director of Computing Services at University College Dublin.

In the early 1980s, Dr Jennings made the key decisions at the NSF that would shape the modern internet. One of those decisions was to insist on a standard language, or set of protocols, to allow easy communication between networks.

Dr Jennings settled on the TCP/IP protocols, which had been developed by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf at Arpanet in the 1970s.

"I became known as 'Mr TCP/IP' because I was going around saying it has to be based around these protocols," Dr Jennings says.

"The decision to go with TCP was radical," he continues. "It was a great decision technically, but implementation of the software was poor and the initial performance was dreadful. But at the time we envisioned a few hundred users, not ten thousand."

Gradually, the software improved and more networks switched to TCP/IP.

But having a number of isolated networks speaking the same language wasn't enough. There needed to be a central backbone to connect the networks together. Moves began to form a network of networks, the first internet.

"That was the last piece of the jigsaw," says Dr Jennings.

The impetus for an internet came from the academic research community and a feeling that resources needed to be more evenly distributed, according to Dr Jennings.

'Concern'

"There was concern that some US researchers were not getting enough access to supercomputers," he says.

The NSF thought about a network to connect a handful of supercomputers, but Dr Jennings pressed for a more radical solution. In September 1985, he suggested creating a general purpose 'backbone' to connect any network user with any other user.

"The supercomputer centres thought it was an appalling idea," he says. "But then they caught on to the idea that if there was a backbone, everyone would be able to access their network."

The thought of all that extra traffic and revenue was enough to persuade the supercomputer centres to support Dr Jennings' calls for a general purpose network. The NSF launched NSFNET in July 1986.

That was a crucial turning point, says Dr Gale.

"There was an understanding that, although NFSNET was billed as a supercomputer network, that would soon become a less important component," he says.

Central backbone

"And within months, if not weeks, supercomputers did become just a small part of NSFNET. The rest was - well, you know the internet - everything else."

In Europe too, there were calls for a central backbone to connect existing networks. But the picture was more complex, says Dr Kees Neggers, managing director of Dutch research network SURFnet.

Public networks in Europe were running a set of protocols called X.25 rather than TCP/IP, he says.

Soon the networks could no longer handle the demand and consensus emerged among users to start a TCP/IP backbone in Europe.

In 1991, Dr Neggers chaired a meeting in Amsterdam which helped establish a TCP/IP network called Ebone, which would become the European equivalent of NSFNET.

In both Europe and the US, TCP/IP was viewed as an interim communication solution, to be replaced with superior protocols in time, says Dr Neggers. But by the mid 1990s, TCP/IP had become so ubiquitous that it was never replaced.

The internet had become commercial by this time, according to Dr Gale. The turning point came in 1987 when the NSFNET backbone was upgraded to 1.544 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Although slow by today's standards - broadband connections of 24Mbps are now available to UK users - it was fast enough to encourage commercial organisations to take a more active role in running the emerging internet. By 1990, the Internet boasted 300,000 users and numbers have been growing ever since.

"It didn't hit home at a gut level the changes it would have for culture and society. I saw it as a scientist; I didn't see it as a human," says Dr Gale.

Dr Gale has barely scratched the surface of internet history, but in the future he intends to extend the focus of his studies. Once he has a good record of internet history in the USA, he will look at the history in Europe and elsewhere in the world. He will also extend the record further into the past.

"When I started the history project the initial focus was that Dark Age in the 1980s and early '90s," he says.

"But the archive is not going to focus on a particular era. There's more to human history than the Dark Ages."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6959034.stm

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:31 am 
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Nonoverlapping Magisteria

by Stephen Jay Gould

Incongruous places often inspire anomalous stories. In early 1984, I spent several nights at the Vatican housed in a hotel built for itinerant priests. While pondering over such puzzling issues as the intended function of the bidets in each bathroom, and hungering for something other than plum jam on my breakfast rolls (why did the basket only contain hundreds of identical plum packets and not a one of, say, strawberry?), I encountered yet another among the innumerable issues of contrasting cultures that can make life so interesting. Our crowd (present in Rome for a meeting on nuclear winter sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) shared the hotel with a group of French and Italian Jesuit priests who were also professional scientists.

At lunch, the priests called me over to their table to pose a problem that had been troubling them. What, they wanted to know, was going on in America with all this talk about "scientific creationism"? One asked me: "Is evolution really in some kind of trouble. and if so, what could such trouble be? I have always been taught that no doctrinal conflict exists between evolution and Catholic faith, and the evidence for evolution seems both entirely satisfactory and utterly overwhelming. Have I missed something?"

A lively pastiche of French, Italian, and English conversation then ensued for half an hour or so, but the priests all seemed reassured by my general answer: Evolution has encountered no intellectual trouble; no new arguments have been offered. Creationism is a homegrown phenomenon of American sociocultural history—a splinter movement (unfortunately rather more of a beam these days) of Protestant fundamentalists who believe that every word of the Bible must be literally true, whatever such a claim might mean. We all left satisfied, but I certainly felt bemused by the anomaly of my role as a Jewish agnostic, trying to reassure a group of Catholic priests that evolution remained both true and entirely consistent with religious belief.

Another story in the same mold: I am often asked whether I ever encounter creationism as a live issue among my Harvard undergraduate students. I reply that only once, in nearly thirty years of teaching, did I experience such an incident. A very sincere and serious freshman student came to my office hours with the following question that had clearly been troubling him deeply: "I am a devout Christian and have never had any reason to doubt evolution, an idea that seems both exciting and particularly well documented. But my roommate, a proselytizing Evangelical, has been insisting with enormous vigor that I cannot be both a real Christian and an evolutionist. So tell me, can a person believe both in God and evolution?" Again, I gulped hard, did my intellectual duty, and reassured him that evolution was both true and entirely compatible with Christian belief—a position I hold sincerely, but still an odd situation for a Jewish agnostic.

These two stories illustrate a cardinal point, frequently unrecognized but absolutely central to any understanding of the status and impact of the politically potent, fundamentalist doctrine known by its self-proclaimed oxymoron as "scientitic creationism"—the claim that the Bible is literally true, that all organisms were created during six days of twenty-four hours, that the earth is only a few thousand years old, and that evolution must therefore be false. Creationism does not pit science against religion (as my opening stories indicate), for no such conflict exists. Creationism does not raise any unsettled intellectual issues about the nature of biology or the history of life. Creationism is a local and parochial movement, powerful only in the United States among Western nations, and prevalent only among the few sectors of American Protestantism that choose to read the Bible as an inerrant document, literally true in every jot and tittle.

I do not doubt that one could find an occasional nun who would prefer to teach creationism in her parochial school biology class or an occasional orthodox rabbi who does the same in his yeshiva, but creationism based on biblical literalism makes little sense in either Catholicism or Judaism for neither religion maintains any extensive tradition for reading the Bible as literal truth rather than illuminating literature, based partly on metaphor and allegory (essential components of all good writing) and demanding interpretation for proper understanding. Most Protestant groups, of course, take the same position—the fundamentalist fringe notwithstanding.

The position that I have just outlined by personal stories and general statements represents the standard attitude of all major Western religions (and of Western science) today. (I cannot, through ignorance, speak of Eastern religions, although I suspect that the same position would prevail in most cases.) The lack of conflict between science and religion arises from a lack of overlap between their respective domains of professional expertise—science in the empirical constitution of the universe, and religion in the search for proper ethical values and the spiritual meaning of our lives. The attainment of wisdom in a full life requires extensive attention to both domains—for a great book tells us that the truth can make us free and that we will live in optimal harmony with our fellows when we learn to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

In the context of this standard position, I was enormously puzzled by a statement issued by Pope John Paul II on October 22, 1996, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the same body that had sponsored my earlier trip to the Vatican. In this document, entitled "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth," the pope defended both the evidence for evolution and the consistency of the theory with Catholic religious doctrine. Newspapers throughout the world responded with frontpage headlines, as in the New York Times for October 25:

"Pope Bolsters Church's Support for Scientific View of Evolution."

Now I know about "slow news days" and I do admit that nothing else was strongly competing for headlines at that particular moment. (The Times could muster nothing more exciting for a lead story than Ross Perot's refusal to take Bob Dole's advice and quit the presidential race.) Still, I couldn't help feeling immensely puzzled by all the attention paid to the pope's statement (while being wryly pleased, of course, for we need all the good press we can get, especially from respected outside sources). The Catholic Church had never opposed evolution and had no reason to do so. Why had the pope issued such a statement at all? And why had the press responded with an orgy of worldwide, front-page coverage?

I could only conclude at first, and wrongly as I soon learned, that journalists throughout the world must deeply misunderstand the relationship between science and religion, and must therefore be elevating a minor papal comment to unwarranted notice. Perhaps most people really do think that a war exists between science and religion, and that (to cite a particularly newsworthy case) evolution must be intrinsically opposed to Christianity. In such a context, a papal admission of evolution's legitimate status might be regarded as major news indeed—a sort of modern equivalent for a story that never happened, but would have made the biggest journalistic splash of 1640: Pope Urban VIII releases his most famous prisoner from house arrest and humbly apologizes, "Sorry, Signor Galileo… the sun, er, is central."

But I then discovered that the prominent coverage of papal satisfaction with evolution had not been an error of non-Catholic Anglophone journalists. The Vatican itself had issued the statement as a major news release. And Italian newspapers had featured, if anything, even bigger headlines and longer stories. The conservative Il Giornale, for example, shouted from its masthead: "Pope Says We May Descend from Monkeys."

Clearly, I was out to lunch. Something novel or surprising must lurk within the papal statement but what could it be?—especially given the accuracy of my primary impression (as I later verified) that the Catholic Church values scientific study, views science as no threat to religion in general or Catholic doctrine in particular, and has long accepted both the legitimacy of evolution as a field of study and the potential harmony of evolutionary conclusions with Catholic faith.

As a former constituent of Tip O'Neill's, I certainly know that "all politics is local"—and that the Vatican undoubtedly has its own internal reasons, quite opaque to me, for announcing papal support of evolution in a major statement. Still, I knew that I was missing some important key, and I felt frustrated. I then remembered the primary rule of intellectual life: when puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary documents—a rather simple and self-evident principle that has, nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American experience.

I knew that Pope Pius XII (not one of my favorite figures in twentieth-century history, to say the least) had made the primary statement in a 1950 encyclical entitled Humani Generis. I knew the main thrust of his message: Catholics could believe whatever science determined about the evolution of the human body, so long as they accepted that, at some time of his choosing, God had infused the soul into such a creature. I also knew that I had no problem with this statement, for whatever my private beliefs about souls, science cannot touch such a subject and therefore cannot be threatened by any theological position on such a legitimately and intrinsically religious issue. Pope Pius XII, in other words, had properly acknowledged and respected the separate domains of science and theology. Thus, I found myself in total agreement with Humani Generis—but I had never read the document in full (not much of an impediment to stating an opinion these days).

I quickly got the relevant writings from, of all places, the Internet. (The pope is prominently on-line, but a Luddite like me is not. So I got a computer-literate associate to dredge up the documents. I do love the fracture of stereotypes implied by finding religion so hep and a scientist so square.) Having now read in full both Pope Pius's Humani Generis of 1950 and Pope John Paul's proclamation of October 1996, I finally understand why the recent statement seems so new, revealing, and worthy of all those headlines. And the message could not be more welcome for evolutionists and friends of both science and religion.

The text of Humani Generis focuses on the magisterium (or teaching authority) of the Church—a word derived not from any concept of majesty or awe but from the different notion of teaching, for magister is Latin for "teacher." We may, I think, adopt this word and concept to express the central point of this essay and the principled resolution of supposed "conflict" or "warfare" between science and religion. No such conflict should exist because each subject has a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority—and these magisteria do not overlap (the principle that I would like to designate as NOMA, or "nonoverlapping magisteria").

The net of science covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for starters, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the arch cliches, we get the age of rocks, and religion retains the rock of ages; we study how the heavens go, and they determine how to go to heaven.

This resolution might remain all neat and clean if the nonoverlapping magisteria (NOMA) of science and religion were separated by an extensive no man's land. But, in fact, the two magisteria bump right up against each other, interdigitating in wondrously complex ways along their joint border. Many of our deepest questions call upon aspects of both for different parts of a full answer—and the sorting of legitimate domains can become quite complex and difficult. To cite just two broad questions involving both evolutionary facts and moral arguments: Since evolution made us the only earthly creatures with advanced consciousness, what responsibilities are so entailed for our relations with other species? What do our genealogical ties with other organisms imply about the meaning of human life?

Pius XII's Humani Generis is a highly traditionalist document by a deeply conservative man forced to face all the "isms" and cynicisms that rode the wake of World War II and informed the struggle to rebuild human decency from the ashes of the Holocaust. The encyclical, subtitled "Concerning some false opinions which threaten to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine" begins with a statement of embattlement:

Disagreement and error among men on moral and religious matters have always been a cause of profound sorrow to all good men, but above all to the true and loyal sons of the Church, especially today, when we see the principles of Christian culture being attacked on all sides.

Pius lashes out, in turn, at various external enemies of the Church: pantheism, existentialism, dialectical materialism, historicism. and of course and preeminently, communism. He then notes with sadness that some well-meaning folks within the Church have fallen into a dangerous relativism—"a theological pacifism and egalitarianism, in which all points of view become equally valid"—in order to include people of wavering faith who yearn for the embrace of Christian religion but do not wish to accept the particularly Catholic magisterium.

What is this world coming to when these noxious novelties can so discombobulate a revealed and established order? Speaking as a conservative's conservative, Pius laments:

Novelties of this kind have already borne their deadly fruit in almost all branches of theology.…Some question whether angels are personal beings, and whether matter and spirit differ essentially.…Some even say that the doctrine of Transubstantiation, based on an antiquated philosophic notion of substance, should be so modified that the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist be reduced to a kind of symbolism.

Pius first mentions evolution to decry a misuse by overextension often promulgated by zealous supporters of the anathematized "isms":

Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution…explains the origin of all things.…Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.

Pius's major statement on evolution occurs near the end of the encyclical in paragraphs 35 through 37. He accepts the standard model of NOMA and begins by acknowledging that evolution lies in a difficult area where the domains press hard against each other. "It remains for US now to speak about those questions which. although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian faith." [Interestingly, the main thrust of these paragraphs does not address evolution in general but lies in refuting a doctrine that Pius calls "polygenism," or the notion of human ancestry from multiple parents—for he regards such an idea as incompatible with the doctrine of original sin, "which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own." In this one instance, Pius may be transgressing the NOMA principle—but I cannot judge, for I do not understand the details of Catholic theology and therefore do not know how symbolically such a statement may be read. If Pius is arguing that we cannot entertain a theory about derivation of all modern humans from an ancestral population rather than through an ancestral individual (a potential fact) because such an idea would question the doctrine of original sin (a theological construct), then I would declare him out of line for letting the magisterium of religion dictate a conclusion within the magisterium of science.]

Pius then writes the well-known words that permit Catholics to entertain the evolution of the human body (a factual issue under the magisterium of science), so long as they accept the divine Creation and infusion of the soul (a theological notion under the magisterium of religion):

The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter—for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

I had, up to here, found nothing surprising in Humani Generis, and nothing to relieve my puzzlement about the novelty of Pope John Paul's recent statement. But I read further and realized that Pope Pius had said more about evolution, something I had never seen quoted, and that made John Paul's statement most interesting indeed. In short, Pius forcefully proclaimed that while evolution may be legitimate in principle, the theory, in fact, had not been proven and might well be entirely wrong. One gets the strong impression, moreover, that Pius was rooting pretty hard for a verdict of falsity. Continuing directly from the last quotation, Pius advises us about the proper study of evolution:

However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure.… Some, however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

To summarize, Pius generally accepts the NOMA principle of nonoverlapping magisteria in permitting Catholics to entertain the hypothesis of evolution for the human body so long as they accept the divine infusion of the soul. But he then offers some (holy) fatherly advice to scientists about the status of evolution as a scientific concept: the idea is not yet proven, and you all need to be especially cautious because evolution raises many troubling issues right on the border of my magisterium. One may read this second theme in two different ways: either as a gratuitous incursion into a different magisterium or as a helpful perspective from an intelligent and concerned outsider. As a man of good will, and in the interest of conciliation, I am happy to embrace the latter reading.

In any case, this rarely quoted second claim (that evolution remains both unproven and a bit dangerous)—and not the familiar first argument for the NOMA principle (that Catholics may accept the evolution of the body so long as they embrace the creation of the soul)—defines the novelty and the interest of John Paul's recent statement.

John Paul begins by summarizing Pius's older encyclical of 195O, and particularly by reaffirming the NOMA principle—nothing new here, and no cause for extended publicity:

In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation.

To emphasize the power of NOMA, John Paul poses a potential problem and a sound resolution: How can we reconcile science's claim for physical continuity in human evolution with Catholicism's insistence that the soul must enter at a moment of divine infusion:

With man, then, we find ourselves in the presence of an ontological difference, an ontological leap, one could say However, does not the posing of such ontological discontinuity run counter to that physical continuity which seems to be the main thread of research into evolution in the field of physics and chemistry? Consideration of the method used in the various branches of knowledge makes it possible to reconcile two points of view which would seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision and correlate them with the time line. The moment of transition to the spiritual cannot be the object of this kind of observation.

The novelty and news value of John Paul's statement lies, rather, in his profound revision of Pius's second and rarely quoted claim that evolution, while conceivable in principle and reconcilable with religion, can cite little persuasive evidence, and may well be false. John Paul—states and I can only say amen, and thanks for noticing—that the half century between Pius's surveying the ruins of World War II and his own pontificate heralding the dawn of a new millennium has witnessed such a growth of data, and such a refinement of theory, that evolution can no longer be doubted by people of good will:

Pius XII added . . . that this opinion [evolution] should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine. . . . Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of more than one hypothesis in the theory of evolution. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

In conclusion. Pius had grudgingly admitted evolution as a legitimate hypothesis that he regarded as only tentatively supported and potentially (as I suspect he hoped) untrue. John Paul, nearly fifty years later, reaffirms the legitimacy of evolution under the NOMA principle—no news here—but then adds that additional data and theory have placed the factuality of evolution beyond reasonable doubt. Sincere Christians must now accept evolution not merely as a plausible possibility but also as an effectively proven fact. In other words, official Catholic opinion on evolution has moved from "say it ain't so, but we can deal with it if we have to" (Pius's grudging view of 1950) to John Paul's entirely welcoming "it has been proven true; we always celebrate nature's factuality, and we look forward to interesting discussions of theological implications." I happily endorse this turn of events as gospel—literally "good news." I may represent the magisterium of science, but I welcome the support of a primary leader from the other major magisterium of our complex lives. And I recall the wisdom of King Solomon: "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country (Prov. 25:25).

Just as religion must bear the cross of its hard-liners. I have some scientific colleagues, including a few prominent enough to wield influence by their writings, who view this rapprochement of the separate magisteria with dismay. To colleagues like me—agnostic scientists who welcome and celebrate thc rapprochement, especially the pope's latest statement—they say: "C'mon, be honest; you know that religion is addle-pated, superstitious, old-fashioned b.s.; you're only making those welcoming noises because religion is so powerful, and we need to be diplomatic in order to assure public support and funding for science." I do not think that this attitude is common among scientists, but such a position fills me with dismay—and I therefore end this essay with a personal statement about religion, as a testimony to what I regard as a virtual consensus among thoughtful scientists (who support the NOMA principle as firmly as the pope does).

I am not, personally, a believer or a religious man in any sense of institutional commitment or practice. But I have enormous respect for religion, and the subject has always fascinated me, beyond almost all others (with a few exceptions, like evolution, paleontology, and baseball). Much of this fascination lies in the historical paradox that throughout Western history organized religion has fostered both the most unspeakable horrors and the most heart-rending examples of human goodness in the face of personal danger. (The evil, I believe, lies in the occasional confluence of religion with secular power. The Catholic Church has sponsored its share of horrors, from Inquisitions to liquidations—but only because this institution held such secular power during so much of Western history. When my folks held similar power more briefly in Old Testament times, they committed just as many atrocities with many of the same rationales.)

I believe, with all my heart, in a respectful, even loving concordat between our magisteria—the NOMA solution. NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectua] grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance. NOMA also cuts both ways. If religion can no longer dictate the nature of factual conclusions properly under the magisterium of science, then scientists cannot claim higher insight into moral truth from any superior knowledge of the world's empirical constitution. This mutual humility has important practical consequences in a world of such diverse passions.

Religion is too important to too many people for any dismissal or denigration of the comfort still sought by many folks from theology. I may, for example, privately suspect that papal insistence on divine infusion of the soul represents a sop to our fears, a device for maintaining a belief in human superiority within an evolutionary world offering no privileged position to any creature. But I also know that souls represent a subject outside the magisterium of science. My world cannot prove or disprove such a notion, and the concept of souls cannot threaten or impact my domain. Moreover, while I cannot personally accept the Catholic view of souls, I surely honor the metaphorical value of such a concept both for grounding moral discussion and for expressing what we most value about human potentiality: our decency, care, and all the ethical and intellectual struggles that the evolution of consciousness imposed upon us.

As a moral position (and therefore not as a deduction from my knowledge of nature's factuality), I prefer the "cold bath" theory that nature can be truly "cruel" and "indifferent"—in the utterly inappropriate terms of our ethical discourse—because nature was not constructed as our eventual abode, didn't know we were coming (we are, after all, interlopers of the latest geological microsecond), and doesn't give a damn about us (speaking metaphorically). I regard such a position as liberating, not depressing, because we then become free to conduct moral discourse—and nothing could be more important—in our own terms, spared from the delusion that we might read moral truth passively from nature's factuality.

But I recognize that such a position frightens many people, and that a more spiritual view of nature retains broad appeal (acknowledging the factuality of evolution and other phenomena, but still seeking some intrinsic meaning in human terms, and from the magisterium of religion). I do appreciate, for example, the struggles of a man who wrote to the New York Times on November 3, 1996, to state both his pain and his endorsement ofJohn Paul's statement:

Pope John Paul II's acceptance of evolution touches the doubt in my heart. The problem of pain and suffering in a world created by a God who is all love and light is hard enough to bear, even if one is a creationist. But at least a creationist can say that the original creation, coming from the hand of God was good, harmonious, innocent and gentle. What can one say about evolution, even a spiritual theory of evolution? Pain and suffering, mindless cruelty and terror are its means of creation. Evolution's engine is the grinding of predatory teeth upon the screaming, living flesh and bones of prey.… If evolution be true, my faith has rougher seas to sail.

I don't agree with this man, but we could have a wonderful argument. I would push the "cold bath" theory: he would (presumably) advocate the theme of inherent spiritual meaning in nature, however opaque the signal. But we would both be enlightened and filled with better understanding of these deep and ultimately unanswerable issues. Here, I believe, lies the greatest strength and necessity of NOMA, the nonoverlapping magisteria of science and religion. NOMA permits—indeed enjoins—the prospect of respectful discourse, of constant input from both magisteria toward the common goal of wisdom. If human beings are anything special, we are the creatures that must ponder and talk. Pope John Paul II would surely point out to me that his magisterium has always recognized this distinction, for "in principio, erat verbum"—"In the beginning was the Word."

Carl Sagan organized and attended the Vatican meeting that introduces this essay; he also shared my concern for fruitful cooperation between the different but vital realms of science and religion. Carl was also one of my dearest friends. I learned of his untimely death on the same day that I read the proofs for this essay. I could only recall Nehru's observations on Gandhi's death—that the light had gone out, and darkness reigned everywhere. But I then contemplated what Carl had done in his short sixty-two years and remembered John Dryden's ode for Henry Purcell, a great musician who died even younger: "He long ere this had tuned the jarring spheres, and left no hell below."

The days I spent with Carl in Rome were the best of our friendship. We delighted in walking around the Eternal City, feasting on its history and architecture—and its food! Carl took special delight in the anonymity that he still enjoyed in a nation that had not yet aired Cosmos, the greatest media work in popular science of all time.

I dedicate this essay to his memory. Carl also shared my personal suspicion about the nonexistence of souls—but I cannot think of a better reason for hoping we are wrong than the prospect of spending eternity roaming the cosmos in friendship and conversation with this wonderful soul.

[Stephen Jay Gould, "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History 106 (March 1997): 16-22; Reprinted here with permission from Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms, New York: Harmony Books, 1998, pp. 269-283. ]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:27 am 
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Bush Makes Satanic Hand Sign In 911 Moment Of Silence

9-12-7

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President Bush, left, along with, from second from left, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, stand with White House staff and members of Congress as they take part in a moment of silence, marking the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

http://news.yahoo.com/photo/070911/480/af04ac4c79004c1781e72a1971d114f7


More Examples Of Bush Making Hand Sign

http://www.benfrank.net/nuke/inaug_protest/bush-sign.html

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Enough...

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For people in Texas, that sign also means "Hook 'em, Horns!"

A battle cry for the University of Texas Longhorns teams...

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I thought it meant "I used to run the grinder in a meat processing plant".

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Satanic, pfffft. Thats the mano in cornuto. Or the Horned God salute. I thought we all went through this before. Or is this one of the discussions that disappeared. Frank made the same sign most notably on the inside cover of the Lather album in front of the poster of Tricky Dicky. It's more likely Frank really meant it in a devilish manner in reference to Nixon, but it is also an old Italian sign of protection from the evil eye.

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Sorry for the poor quality. I'm not taking my Lather cd apart.

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randomwebsite.com

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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
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Nice pic Lumpy! Did you take it while Frank has just been at the store buying new clothes? :)

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HJ wrote:
Nice pic Lumpy! Did you take it while Frank has just been at the store buying new clothes? :)


yeah, he bought some new dresses. and, they were on sale too! 8)

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"sechs sieben" sounds a lot like " Fritz' Freezin' "

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