July 2003 Archives

July 29, 2003

Improving the built environment

[An improved billboard]For some reason, a church in Essex has been advertising in Edinburgh. Some wag has improved one of the ads, as this picture by Seumas Macmhicean demonstrates (click on it for a bigger version - 76Kb).

Bargain of the Day: Jesus craft kits

[Cute craft kit]Ah, what a delightful way to while away the minutes: CUTE JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW!!CRAFT KITS

Hi what you are bidding on is a lot of 3 cute craft kits that the kids can put together. Everything you need to complete 3 of these will be included. All you need to do is add the glue.

No mention of whether Kali was involved

India: A woman has been arrested in Haveli for allegedly sacrificing a five-year-old child. The accused, who has apparently confessed to garotting the young girl, has been unable to conceive a child of her own and thought that killing the child would help her do so:

The police said that they decided to question Laxmi after they found her movements suspicious. Laxmi later confessed that she had committed the crime as she believed that Mayuri would take rebirth in her residence.

Woman held for child sacrifice - The Times of India, 29th July 2003.

Stratified society

Bulgaria: Archæologists have uncovered a rare statue of Heros, the most important of the Thracian gods. The marble statue was discovered at a site near the town of Stara Zagora. The pagan temple was presumably demolished to make way for the Christian church found on the same site. A mosque had been built on the ruins of the church.

Rare Thracian Statue Found in BulgariaNovinite.com, 29th July 2003.

July 25, 2003

Bargain of the Day: singing angel bear

Avon Ladies in the United States call with some very unusual items. In among the lipsticks and lotions, we find this Avon Inspirational Singing Angel Bear:

Adorable Collectibles Limited Edition Bear from Avon... Inspirational Singing Angel Bear BRAND NEW! Still in original Box & plastic. Plush & Soft with Lovely Wings for cuddling. PERFECT GIFT IDEA! When you squeeze this angelic bedtime bear's paw once, he will say his prayers. When you press his hand a second time, his head and wings will move and he will sing, Jesus Loves Me. Uses 3 "AA" Batteries

July 24, 2003

Bali was initiated by murderous Zionists

Back on 16th July, the Prattle related some evidence given for the defence during the trial of a man accused of involvement in the Bali bombing. He insisted that he was not responsible, and that the explosion had been caused by a satellite-triggered nuke planted by the Jews. Well, a quick trip to crank.net revealed that this suggestion was not original. Back in October 2002, Joe Vialls published a couple of articles promoting a similar viewpoint: Micro Nuke Used in Bali "Terrorist" Lookalike Attack: Zionists forcing Australian support for American war on Iraq:

Until now most Australians have been loudly opposed to any premeditated strike on the Middle East, to the point where the only people in Australia blatantly playing Rambo and apparently obeying the American Zionists without question, are the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, plus a loose group of obsequious followers. In fact their blatantly subservient behavior recently offended a member of the opposition so much, he felt moved to publicly call the Prime Minister an Arse Licker.

As an extra bonus, he claims that the IRA attack on Canary Wharf in London was also a micro-nuke, along with the City of London bomb and the first attack on the World Trade Center.

The question of exactly who is bombing some of the largest business centres in the world currently remains unanswered, though the brute power of the bombs limits the candidates. Much has been said in America about the possible involvement of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, but the only hard evidence pointing in its direction are the two London bombs exploding on a Saturday: the Jewish Sabbath. While this would certainly have limited the number of possible deaths among Jewish business staff in the City of London, the timings might be coincidental.

More recent articles claim: France, Russia, Germany Responsible for 9-11 as a revenge attack after the US sabotaged Concorde because they were jealous, and that Smoking Helps Protect Against Lung Cancer, which is good news for white mice, I suppose.

The Anagrammed Bible

The Anagrammed Bible is:

an anagrammatic paraphrase of three complete books of the Old Testament. The letters in each verse (or, in some cases, block of verses) from the King James Version Bible are transformed into a new text with a similar meaning - sometimes straightforwardly, sometimes more fancifully, but always with respect for the meaning of the Biblical text and, of course, strict adherence to the anagram rule.

And most amusing it is too. For example, Proverbs 19:6 reads Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts in the King James Version, but the Anagrammed Bible is much blunter:

If that guy hath gold, every transient rat (victim in need of help) wants a five from him. Earn it!

(via Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Delivery from Occam Industries

Ghana: The nearest hospitals to Wulensi constituency are only accessible during the dry season. Even then, the journey takes between five and seven hours on roads which have not been repaired since they were built in colonial times. Not surprisingly, women in labour and snake bite victims die on a regular basis on their way to hospital. But the atrocious state of the infrastructure has nothing to do with it, as far as some locals are concerned. The member of Parliament (MP) for Wulensi, Wumbe Karim, used his maiden speech to explain:

Hear him: Because of lack of a hospital in Naum, these otherwise preventable deaths are often blamed on some poor old women for being the cause of such untimely deaths through witchcraft.
The member regretted that most often, the so-called witches are lynched or maimed while those of them who survive the venom of the aggrieved are banned from the towns and villages and sent to a so-called witches village.
At present, there are three witches' villages in the Wulensi constituency alone whose health status is very precarious.

Money has now been found to upgrade a health centre to a district hospital. Pregnant Women Dying in Wulensi - Ghanaian Chronicle (via allAfrica.com), 23rd July 2003.

Pat Robertson for Dummies

Matt Steams has written an interesting editorial on Pat Robertson, his political activities and how the perception of the televangelist has changed.

But Robertson isn't the significant political figure he once was, according to experts who study religion and politics. That's more because times have changed than because his statements are often perceived as outlandish, they say; his comments always have been way beyond the mainstream.

These sorts of comments are nothing new for Robertson, said John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron who studies the evangelical movement.

In the past, for example, Robertson suggested that America's sinfulness led to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He has argued that feminism encourages women to kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

Republicans trying to find balance with outspoken televangelistKnight-Ridder Washington Bureau, 23rd July 2003.

July 21, 2003

SoH DIchDaq ghobe'...

I've mentioned the Bible translated into Polari before, but never noticed the Universal Translator Assistant Project's translations of the Bible into Klingon, Vulcan and Romulan. But the author observes the UTA project is a pretty simpleminded translation process - The Klingon Language Institute is working on a serious translation, and provides a link to an FTP site with the materials for your perusal.

July 20, 2003

This year's Pride Scotia march went ahead in Edinburgh yesterday. The march would not have happened at all if Tory candidate John Smart had not called for such events to be banned back in April. The march was dedicated to him, and Smart's contribution acknowledged on the website and in the event programme. But, despite his presence at previous marches, armed with Biblical banners, this year the fundie protestors were completely absent.

July 16, 2003

Bugger that for a game of soldiers

The Organisation Formerly Known as the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association has accused broadcasters and film producers of normalising bad language, and they don't mean poor grammar and spelling. Showing a strange devotion to duty, they complain that the word fuck (which they quaintly refer to as the F-word) was used almost 1500 times on terrestrial television during the first half of 2003, which makes a stunning average of 1.6 times per channel per night. With only a couple of exceptions, one of which was news, the shitty language was broadcast late at night. Swearing was unknown before television was invented. TV swearing 'promotes grunt culture' - BBC News, 16th July 2003.

It wasn't me, it was the Jews.

Indonesia: The man on trial on charges relating to the Bali bombing has claimed that it was not a chemical car bomb, but a mini-nuclear device triggered via satellite from the Jewish countries of Israel and the United States. Amrozi blames N-bomb for carnage - The Australian, 15th July 2003.

Yum, yum...

Sign up at Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network web site and receive a recipe for Pat's Age-Defying Protein Pancake:

Pat's Age-Defying Protein Pancakes can:
  • Combat the build-up of plaque in your blood vessels and arteries
  • Provide complex carbohydrates to keep your system running at its best
  • Provide an excellent source of energy and essential fatty acids, important for good heart health
  • Help protect against breast, uterine and prostate cancer
And Pat shares his cooking tips along the way to help make your pancakes light and fluffy.

Presumably praying for something positive is anaethema to Pat Robertson. And he apparently did not get the recipe during one of his conversations with God, either:

Disclaimer: Consult with your physician before starting this or any new health regimen or supplement program, especially if you have allergies to any of the listed or related products, or are under the care of a physician or other medical professional, or have any other health problems. No specific health benefit is implied or promised from this recipe.

(via Holy Weblog)

July 15, 2003

Pokemon Prove Evolutionism Is False

The same folk responsible for the parody fundie article railing against the evils of Apple Computer have apparently struck gold again, although all the links now redirect to a page of unrelated advertising, so I'll just have to take the word of the blogosphere. OBJECTIVE: Christian Ministries have come up with an article detailing a Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair. Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber quotes some of his favourite bits:

My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey). Cassidy Turnbull presented her uncle, Steve. She also showed photographs of monkeys and invited fairgoers to note the differences between her uncle and the monkeys. She tried to feed her uncle bananas, but he declined to eat them. Cassidy has conclusively shown that her uncle is no monkey. (Elementary School level, first Prize).

He got it from Ezra Klein of Not Geniuses, who seemed to be taken in by it, but quoted this delightful piece:

Women Were Designed For Homemaking. Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.

The Goddess Diana

David Aaronovitch has a go at the Reverend Angela Tilby in today's Grauniad who, he feels, abused her spot on Thought For The Day to launch an unprovoked attack on paganism:

You can say what you like about pagans, but just try bad-mouthing one of the monotheisms in this way, and see what happens. This is partly because most of us unthinkingly subscribe to the Whig Theory of Religious Development, in which (to quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia) religions developed upwards from totemism, animism, solar or astral myth, and nature worship, via zoolatry and polytheism, eventually to reach the enlightened and civilised state of monotheism. So we begin with millions of spirits, sprites and demons and advance, inexorably, whittling as we go, until we have just one omnipotent deity. Then along comes Richard Dawkins and tries to reduce that figure still further.
But actually the informal beatification of Diana is no more pagan than, say, the beatification of Padre Pio (the stigmata'ed priest made St Pio of Pietralcina just last year), or any of the other canonisations of the Catholic church. Catholics try, rather unconvincingly, to show how conferring sainthood is different in principle to the pagan apotheosis (the process that made Claudius, for instance, into a God), but the distinction doesn't quite wash. Yet Tilby did not use Catholicism as her point of criticism.

After noting that monotheism is anti-pluralistic, and contributes to intolerance, he concludes:

Actually, it is all about sex. Pagan religions tend to be about a respect for, and a connection with, nature. So, as the Catholic Encyclopaedia notes, it was in the pagan fertility cults associated with the dying and rising god that the worst perversions existed. Old Ishtar, Cybele (later Artemis, later Diana) and Astarte all had their temple whores, and their lewd rites.
Lewd rites: that's exactly what I'd like more of on Thought For The Day. And less Angela Tilby.

Why Diana is as good a god as any - The Guardian, 15th July 2003.

July 14, 2003

Atheism, and its carriers

Well-known spoof site Landover Baptist Church has come up trumps with How to Spot Atheists and Report Them to the FBI:

I've got to tell you, says Pastor Deacon Fred, that from what I've seen in the last few years, there are roughly 300 active Atheists living in the United States. I know that sounds like a lot of godless nuts, but I'm not exaggerating just to get your attention. Atheism is becoming a very serious epidemic because our projections show that within a mere eight years, our country will no longer have prison space to hold all of them. And that's not even taking into account the many folks who don't have the guts to admit at the family dinner table that they are Atheists, but spit in Christ's face in secret by failing to get down on their knees and repeat all the compliments He demands to hear. Most of the uncounted Atheists are in the closet and are too sissified to handle death threats from their Christian neighbors.

And Betty Bowers (Ameica's Best Christian) chips in too.

How can an Atheist be counted upon to raise a weapon and kill men, women and children for Christ? They can't! That's your answer.

(via Wallybrane's Martian Adventures.)

Fleecing the gullible

Several layers of effective filtering ensures that spam rarely makes it through the hallowed portals of Prattle Towers, so I never had the pleasure of seeing half-a-dozen copies of the egregious spam sent by Christian Debt Management, who offer Professional debt counseling with a Christian perspective. They don't indicate how their service is particularly Christian - perhaps I should mail them and ask. But we know they're really, really professional. After all, their carefully targetted e-mail went to a scotsgay.co.uk address - that must be a US-based Christian.

July 13, 2003

Elegance is begot from a respect of pragmatics

Rational Ministries is a remarkable site, with bad typography, rude words and some interesting ideas. It starts off reasonably enough:

This page is my essay and justification on why we need a PLATFORM FOR A UNIFIED LEFTIST FRONT to factions of labor, consumers, libertarians and nationalists, against the whoring and abuse of our people by aristocracy, and if it smells and sounds like aristocracy... IT IS.

Class warfare isn't really Prattle fodder, but it soon gets much more interesting:

Before you flip the FUCK out, this is an essay on PAX ROMANO, and Jesus was not always so tempered in his essays on pax romano. And you can click here and find out. In the process of criticizing pax romano approaches of today to life, I am going to be explicit towards the Anglo Zionist social order of today. And it is not I that is uncivil or a ruffian, for speaking the ministry of truth. They are the thugs and ruffians, and I am just being honest, when honesty is percieved as unpoliteness, then you must ask what the definition of politeness is, and you see it is consideration, and there is no consideration for THE PEOPLE, in tutelage toward those who walk all over them.

So how is the unified front to be acheived? Through Free Software, of course:

See why OPERATION RED-hat linux (communism) is a viable alternative to keep ruffian cowboy capitalist pig element out of your home or business with Micro$oft's new update to Windows OS called longhorn, with allusion to cowboy culture and Texan rid'em cowboy Bu$h, and capitalist imperialist expansionist revelry and sportsfan mentality and cheerleading. Based on Zionist "Jewish Engineering" the anti-thesis of German engineering of allusion and mass consumer "sell" and marketing and CABAL marketeers. And the supposition that "Jehovah is inside" when you use Intel, and only by Wintel can you battle the "axis of evil" and "axis of lying socialist weasels". ALLUSIONS TO INCREDULITY AND ARGUMENTS OF INCREDULITY, marketing, "sell", "propaganda", "sell", "propaganda" "sell", "propaganda" "sell", "propaganda" I am using RED-hat, so can you, and it is a very fashionable statement.

(via Everlasting Blort)

Bargain of the Day: a star, allegedly

Experimenting with Banana Slug led me to this delightful Baby Jesus Star. At first, it looks like some kind of enchilada served of a bed of instant noodles, but no, it's apparently a decoration for a solstice evergreen.

Bakers clay ornament made entirely by hand by Tanya and Vicki. They hand sculpt each ornament making a truly unique ornament from their family to yours.

Free Personalizing with name, initials, or year.

July 9, 2003

Bargain of the Day: feng shui bra

Japan: Young Japanese women are very picky when it comes to bras, and there are some interesting designs available:

Peach John's Shiawase ni naru Bra (Bra for Happiness) comes in floral designs where the flowers are arranged according to the tenets of Feng Shui. Pink versions are said to improve the love life.

Bra bonanza tickles the senses - MDN WaiWai, 9th July 2003.

A very useful item

Cherie Marie Leck, the designer of this magnificent crocheted cross does not offer any practical suggestions as to what to do with her creation once you've made it, but I'm sure you'll think of something.

If cross stitch is more your thing, you could make these * Prayer Babies: "My Heart Belongs to Jesus" Boy and Girl *, also available for plastic canvas.

Stop spamming the Pharoah

The Register has been looking at the bizarre background of a man who proposed stopping spam by getting rid of existing protocols and centralising the net, which would apparently both wipe out pronography, and provide uncensored access. It seems before he started styling himself as an IT expert, he turned his talents to the matter of Egyptpology

Fortunately, a copy of Mr McCarron extensive research still exists on the Net and can be found here. For those who were beginning to doubt Mr McCarron's authority, you will no doubt be swayed by his argument.
Here is just a summary of this masterpiece of numerology: In short, we have made an unbelievable discovery. We have proved the existince [sic] of a highly advanced pre-flood culture. The pyramid and the Giza Necropolis are a way of establishing communication through Universal mathematics, geometry, and a time capsule approach. What they have been trying to tell us is there is an asteroid 1/3 the size of Earth heading towards us. It is approaching on the day time side of the Sun. It will be visible from Earth in 2004 in the direction of Polaris. Key sites around the World are a triangulation of it position.
No, hang on, just a little bit more: I have also been examining the correlation between the Great Pyramid, the HAARP project (Alaska), and the moscow 'woodpecker' signal (10Htz). The similarities are astounding. Their purpose or rather, their capabilities of affecting human perception, thought processes and motor function are the same.

The entire article is worth a few minutes of your time. We've found the perfect solution to spam - The Register, 9th July 2003.

A very English resignation

The fallout from the debate over gay clergy in the Church of England has led to more resignations - in this case, a gay couple who tend the grass at their local parish church. Nigel Hughes wrote to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury:

I have been watching the debate over your appointment of Canon Jeffery John with interest.

I am very sorry to inform you that my partner Richard Edmunds and I feel it is necessary to resign from our positions as volunteer grass cutters for All Saints Parish Church in Lawshall, Suffolk.

Given the present circumstances of the forced resignation of Canon John because of his, albeit, celibate homosexual relationship with his partner of 27 years, we felt that you would certainly not approve of an active homosexual couple tending to the environment of your beloved souls in the parish church graveyard.

Our resignation will of course put some extra strain on the existing grass cutting team. I therefore cordially invite you to fill our slot of grass cutting, which will be in the final two weeks of September.

Gay gardeners send Archbishop resignationGay.com news, 9th July 1002.

Pat Robertson not a happy bunny

United States: The Supreme Court has recently struck down the sodomy laws in Texas and Pat Robertson is hoping that God will show His anger by killing off some of the older and physically weaker judges. A People for the American Way newsletter reports that, after complaining about the tyranny of a nonelected oligarchy, he asks God to encourage the retirement of some judges so that non-elected fundies can be put in their places.

Pat Robertson has a long list of people he holds responsible for leading the nation to destruction, said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas. In the past, his list has included everyone from feminists to Harry Potter. Now the Supreme Court has landed at the top of Robertson's list for a ruling that most fair-minded Americans believe reflects the principles of common sense, fairness, and basic respect for privacy.

Robertson disagrees, and he wants God to weigh in. One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition, reads Robertson's note. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire? With their retirement and the appointment of conservative judges, a massive change in federal jurisprudence can take place.

As Gregster of morons.org puts it: Pat Robertson really does do a good job of making himself look like a fucking idiot himself, so there's not much to say here. Robertson's Rage - There He Goes AgainPeople for the American Way press release, 8th July 2003; Pat Robertson: God Hates Supreme Court; Will Bring Wrath on Americamorons.org, 9th July 2003.

July 8, 2003

Bargain of the Day: Christian RSI avoidance

Charlie often mails me tidbits, and this morning's message was a link to this Register article about ErgoShepherd(TM):

So, what's the solution? How can the Christian business community inspire its employees to spend more time with God in spiritual reflection while simultaneously avoiding RSI and - critically - improving the bottom line?

Enter Magnitude Information Systems, Inc., creators of ErgoShepherd(TM) - an enhanced version of Magnitude's flagship consumer offering, ErgoCoach(TM), which utilizes spiritual micro-breaks throughout the day as a core element of injury prevention while using the computer.

When they say spiritual micro-breaks, they don't mean a slug of vodka in the server room, either. Au contraire, this is the real deal: Developed in conjunction with Calvary Assembly [of Winter Park, Florida] members and Pastor Clark Whitten's vision for inspiring Christians to spend more time with God, ErgoShepherd(TM) integrates daily scripture with award winning ergonomics and animated exercises.

The Ergo Shepherd web site isn't ready yet, but software licences apparently start at $29.95 (US) and you can get more information by mailing info@magnitude.com.

Urban legend causing hassle for neighbours

United States: A house in California, mistakenly believed to be the site of four murders is attracting some strange trespassers:

Cross has seen everything from people holding candles and circling the house in black robes, to a man shooting heroin in the front yard, to gang violence. Her 10-year-old son was physically threatened once after asking visitors to leave.
In the past year they've gotten more destructive. Lately they're more intent on breaking things up, Cross said. They have total disregard for anybody else's privacy.
Cross said 90 percent of the trespassers are just kids that are curious, but said there is no way for her family to know which 90 percent that is.
The tone has changed. The new writing on the walls is more evil, said Tyra Stevens, practice manager of the Equine Hospital.

Urban legend turns vacant house into teen party palace - San Bernadino County Sun, 6th July 2003.

No word on whether it was God

United States: Although she definitely drowned her son, Christine Wilhelm has pleaded not guilty on grounds of insanity. The court in Troy, New Tork heard that she had heard werewolves on the night of the killing, and that she believed her husband and satanic cult members were going to torture the children and make them ritual human sacrifices. She had earlier called in Rensselaer County Child Protective Services in September 2001 alleging that her husband had sexually abused the children, but no evidence of this was found. Mother on trial in son's drowning - Newsday, 7th July 2003.

July 7, 2003

Ritual rumours a load of bollocks

Lothian and Borders Police have unreservedly dismissed speculation that the murder of Jodi Jones was a ritual killing.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: We have found no link between Jodi's death and anything connected with Satanism or black magic. It is not an avenue of inquiry we are following.

Jodi murder police rule out ritual killing - Edinburgh Evening News, 7th July 2003.

Bargain of the Day: Saint Joseph Home Seller Kit

Estate agents are a waste of money, so why not waste your cash on a Saint Joseph Home Seller Kit - Your Underground Realestate Agent:

Worried about selling your home?
What about finding a new home, or that first home???
Maybe your friend or a loved one is needing help with the sale or purchase of a home.
Thousands of people every year rely on St Joseph for help. May be you should too!!!
Saint Joseph
The Patron Saint of a Happy Home
Selling or buying a home can be one of the most stressful events in your life. It makes no difference how many times you have gone through this event, it's always a time of worry and anxiety. If you feel that you would like to have a little extra help in selling or finding that new home read on.
Long standing tradition tells us that burying a statue of Saint Joseph on your property (some say near the real estate sign and others say near the front entrance) and asking for Saint Joseph's help will aid you in selling your home. Is it a guarantee? Nothing based on faith is guaranteed but countless home sellers and real estate agents have been asking for Saint Joseph's help for generations. This phenomena has been written up in publications like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune and The Lincoln Journal-Star, to name just a few publications.
The tradition of burying a statue of Saint Joseph finds its roots in the ancient Catholic custom of burying blessed medals in the ground and asking for heavenly blessings on the area. Today, homeowners of all denominations ask for Saint Joseph's help in selling and buying their homes.
Each hand painted resin statue of Saint Joseph is 5" high and comes in its own full color gift box. Included in the box is a full color story card, explaining the steps required to invoke this wonderful tradition, and a holy card with the Prayer to Saint Joseph.

July 6, 2003

Bored journalist at work

A few days ago, 14-year-old Jodi Jones was brutally murdered near her home in Dalkeith, Midlothian. Most newspapers have employed Occam's Razor and concluded it was probably the work of someone they almost unanimously refer to as a pervert. But Matthew Knowles of the Sunday Times knows better -- she was clearly the victim of a ritual killing because she was a goth.

Detectives are focusing their inquiry on the morbid influences of the dark music the 14-year-old enjoyed. They are concerned that many song lyrics by her favourite bands and the literature she read displayed an obsession with death which, they believe, may have a bearing on her murder.

The article then goes on to list an interest in various people who committed suicide, even though there's no possibility that she killed herself. According to the paper, the murder must have been ritualistic because it was gruesome, even though they aren't going to give us any evidence of this:

Details of Jodi's wounds, which support the theory, have been witheld by police. The source added: The team are interrested in Jodi and her friends' lifestyles and their obsession with death. The gothic thing is being widely discussed.

Oh dear, if being a goth is so dangerous, I wonder how on earth I made it to 35. Ritual link to Jodi murder - The Sunday Times (Scottish editions only), 6th July 2003 (the link might not work if you are outwith the UK as The Times is apparently subscription-based for the Rest of the World).

Listen to the words of the Great Computer

New Witch magazine has some useful advice for Windows-using Pagans:

TURN THE COMPUTER OFF COMPLETELY WHEN YOU ARE WORKING MAGIC, the Rev. Galina Krasskova writes in New Witch's spring issue. I cannot emphasize this enough. I've had friends who have had their computers completely crash due to simple energy overload when they inadvertently left them on while doing spellwork.
Krasskova also suggests that a witch should name her computer and talk to it in a soothing, friendly manner. This is because vaettir, which are nature spirits, can take up residence in your hard drive.
Do not curse, yell, smack or otherwise vent your anger on your computer, she writes. Most vaettir are extremely sensitive to emotions.
If you do curse at your computer -- and even the most even-tempered witch sometimes does -- you can clean away the bad energy by shaking a coffee can full of coins around the computer. Or, better yet, you can bless the machine.
Simply put your hands on the computer, Krasskova suggests, and bless it in the name of your patron Goddess or God.

Personally, on those rare occasions when she does play silly buggers, I find Saya responds promptly to a well-chosen swear word or two.

The magazine is published by the same people who publish SageWoman, PanGaia and Blessed Bee, and they've had some problems with their choice of title:

In fact, it was too hot for one natural food store chain -- she won't say which -- that carries her other magazines but refuses to stock anything bearing the W-word. Borders bookstores carry the magazine, though. New Witch is selling nearly 10,000 copies an issue and growing steadily.

Hex Advice, Coven To Coven - Washington Post, 3rd June 2003. (Thanks, Charlie)

Equal rights for some

The Pagan Federation in Scotland is campaigning for the formal recognition of Paganism as a religion with the eventual aim of having legally-binding rites of passage, such as weddings - but only for those Pagans willing to conform to a Christian model of personal relationships. The Sunday Herald article makes no mention of any plans to campaign for any legal recognition of the same-sex handfastings which are already common occurrences within the Pagan community, nor of the traditional year-and-a-day model.

Meanwhile, the article notes that the only other advantage of allowing the governement to interfere with religion is already covered by EU legislation:

The EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive comes into force in December and will make it illegal to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their religion, including a specific warning to employers that they should not discriminate against those who choose to follow 'alternative beliefs'.

Pagans poised for recognition - Sunday Herald, 6th June 2003.

Bargain of the Day: some words

Magnetic Poetry is a bit challenging for some, what with having to not only understand those 'word' thingies, but put them together in an interesting manner. Magnetic Inspirations-Name of Jesus removes the second problem and leaves you only with the challenge of trying to read a few words:

From the Old Testament to the New, the character of Jesus is illustrated by the many names used to descibe him. Now, you can have an ever-present reminder of the Son of God by putting together and displaying the awesome Names of Jesus!

You are bidding on a NEW In-the-Case Magnet set containing 278 words to describe Jesus. This would be a great gift for confirmation, or a tool for a Sunday School teacher.

July 5, 2003

Well-known unbelievers

The Celebrity Atheist List is an offbeat collection of notable individuals who have been public about their lack of belief in deities, and makes interesting reading. The site's Message Board is much more entertaining though, as various superstitious types have moved in to take pot-shots. For example, Joe feels that it is an appropriate forum to announce Christians parents beware. The problem, it seems, is his friend's daughter:

My friend's 16 year old daughter has turned to atheism after this school year. She said that this year in high school her daughter started questioning God after she learned alot about science. And now she's an atheist. Christian parents need to be concerned with this. Satan is now in our schools. I have already been sending my 5 kids to a private Christian school and I advise all saved parents to do the same.

All of which led me to this amusing little site.

God hates fags? No, god hates christians. Jesus was the biggest fag of them all! Jesus was gay. Also, Jesus was black.

Bargain of the Day: Musical David and Goliath

This Musical David and Goliath Figurine is a deeply meaningful and inspiring item and demonstrates how characters from Jewish mythology were inspired by myths which would be composed many years in the future:

This is a new David and Goliath musical figurine. I have had it stored for a while, it has been opened just to look at.still in the origial box. It is in excellent condition.

Young David was sent to kill Goliath, a 9 foot giant armed with a sword and a spear. But David put a stone in the sling, drew it back, aimed and sent the stone to its target. Killing the colossal Goliath. (David and goliath move when the music is on).

This biblical tale of faith and tenacity is re-created in this wonderful musical figurine.While the boy and the giant prepare to face off in battle , the tune Jesus Loves Me, This I Know heralds the event. This special keepsake reminds you that you can overcome any obstacle, no matter how huge. measures 6" high x 6 1/2" long.

July 4, 2003

In case you are interested...

Bargain of the Day: bells

Never miss a meal with this Religous Bell Set. The description is rather lacking, as it just tells us they are:

Inspirational porcelain dinner bells. 4" high.

But there's a suitably blurry photo to help.

Be careful what you ask for

United States: A preacher in Forest, Ohio, got exactly what he asked for when he asked God for a sign during a service. Damage estimated at $20,000 was caused when the church was hit by lightning:

[Ronnie] Cheney said the lightning traveled through the microphone, blew out the sound system and enveloped the preacher, who wasn't hurt.
Afterward, services resumed for about 20 minutes until the congregation realized the church was on fire. The building was evacuated.

Lightning Strikes Preacher Who Asked For Sign - Associated Press (via local6.com), 3rd July 2003.

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