Wednesday, December 25, 2002


Merry Xmas, a happy New Year and best wishes for the holiday season to all!

Or as they say in Bella Italia: Tantissimi auguri di Buon Natale e di Buon Anno a tutti, e tanti auguri affettuosi di buone feste. (Pinched from Wog Blog). Italian is a beautiful language.

Nothing very heavy today. Just some interesting links, stories and jokes:



See here for the latest "Carnival of the Vanities" -- a digest of good posts from all over the blogosphere.



The London Underground or "tube" is a great way to get about London and has been for a very long time. Take a relaxing look here at the parts that the public can no longer normally access.



Do you hate Muzak and other forms of piped music in shopping centres etc? It only bothers me if it is loud but this site suggested by one of my correspondents could be for you if you are really anti. Apparently MOST people do not like it and those who inflict it on us do sometimes turn it off once they find that out.



After a week of silence, China hand has redeemed himself with some interesting holiday season reading about religion, politics and the economy in China today.



Philip Jenkins makes the point that the vast paedophilia scandals in the Roman Catholic church have harmed it badly in the Western world and compares that effect with the effect of the Reformation launched by Martin Luther.

He also points out, however that the church is gaining adherents rapidly in the poor countries of Africa and Asia so foresees the time when the RC church will be mainly a non-Western operation.



I have had three papers published in the academic journals that report psychometrically-based survey research among the Parsees (Indian Zoroastrians of originally Persian origin). As the Parsees are rarely studied by psychologists, that may make me the world's leading expert on the psychology of the Parsees. When I said therefore (in a post on this blog of 13th November) that the Zoroastrians of today are great haters of Islam, I was not entirely speaking through my hat. One of my Hindu correspondents has however written to remind us that Zoroastrians were historically not effective opponents of Islam and he also has some interesting thoughts on what the past tells us about the future prospects for Iran (Persia).

See here. He is undoubtedly right that Hindu Indians resisted Islam much more effectively than did the Persians.

Ray, J.J. (1983) Ambition and dominance among the Parsees of India.
Journal of Social Psychology 119, 173-179.
Ray, J.J. (1986) The traits of immigrants: A case study of the Sydney Parsees. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 17, 127-130.
Ray, J.J. (1983) Race and climate as influences on anxiety.
Personality & Individual Differences 4, 699-701.



Wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. And radio operates exactly the same way. The only difference is that there is no cat.

� Albert Einstein (explaining radio)



There is a blog called: How to learn Swedish in 1000 difficult lessons. It is written by an American living in Sweden. I guess he is no linguist.



One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water.

She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her
at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his
best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the
business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill.

She read these words.....

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"


Dr. Howard Kelly.



Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy.
There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community. So the Pope offered a deal. He would have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay In Italy; if the Pope won, they would have to leave.
The Jewish people met and picked an aged but wise Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate. However, as Moishe spoke no Italian and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they all agreed it would be a "silent" debate. On the chosen day, the Pope and Rabbi Moishe sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger.
Next the Pope waved his finger around his head.
Rabbi Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.
The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine. Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple.
With that, the Pope stood up and declared that he was beaten, that Rabbi Moishe was too clever and that the Jews could stay.
Later, the Cardinals met with the Pope, asking what had happened. The Pope said, "First, I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there is still only one God common to both our beliefs." "Then I waved my finger to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us."
I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin." "He had me beaten, and I could not continue."
Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered around Rabbi Moishe. "What happened?" they asked.
"Well," said Moishe, "First, he said to me that we had three days to get out of Italy. So I said to him, Up yours!"
"Then, he told me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews; and I said to him, Mr. Pope, we're staying right here."
"And then what?" asked a woman.
"Who knows?" said Moishe. "He took out his lunch, so I took out mine."


A cowboy dressed in a cowboy shirt, hat, jeans, spurs and chaps went to a bar and ordered a drink. As he sat there sipping his whiskey, a young lady sat down next to him.

After she ordered her drink she turned to the cowboy and asked him, "Are you a real cowboy?"

To which he replied, "Well, I have spent my whole life on the ranch, herding cows, breaking horses, mending fences, I guess I am."

After a short while he asked her what she was. She replied,

"I've never been on a ranch so I'm not a cowboy, but I am a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning I think of women, when I eat, shower, watch TV, everything seems to make me think of women."

A short while later she left and the cowboy ordered another drink.

A couple sat down next to him and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

To which he replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian."

More jokes here


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