October 2004 Archives

October 30, 2004

Hate-Mongering Archbishops in Africa

Nigeria: It seems the Anglican Church in Africa has jumped onboard the hate train that's usually reserved for loonie fundies.

African Bishops condemned the Anglican Church's stance on homosexuality yesterday and said that they would stop sending priests to be trained in countries where same-sex relationships were accepted.

The 300 Anglican bishops who met in Nigeria for the first African bishops convention said homosexuality was an unAfrican practice and warned that congregations would turn away from a church that condoned it. Only the Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, offered any dissent, saying his church was committed to its entire congregation, including homosexuals.

It's almost amusing that these silly bastards are condemning homosexuality as an unAfrican practice when their silence has been deafening over the entirely African practice of raping babies in the misinformed belief that it will cure the rapists of AIDS.

October 27, 2004

Modesty Hacks For Fashion Conscious Mormon Youth

United States: If you're a hip young Mormon who wants to look as cool as all the others kids without compromising your religious beliefs — or you're just sick of not being able to find trousers that don't expose your pubic hair — then Jen Magazine has some fashion tips for you.

Fashion Fixes
Jeans too low?
Shirt Too Short, Sheer or Low Cut? Pants Too Low?
Skirt too short? Pants too low or tight?
Can't Find Jeans That Cover Your Stomach?

Fashion Fixes - Jen Magazine, (via BoingBoing).

October 25, 2004

Bogroll Jesus

DLTK features lots of interesting Christian craft ideas, but the one that caught Red Wolf's attention was the Jesus Toilet Paper Roll Craft:

It may seem a tad odd making Jesus out of a toilet paper roll, but I think the end result is quite nice (Tasha has hers sitting in a place of honor on her bedroom shelf). The craft is made with a toilet paper tube, a printer, a piece of paper, some crayons, scissors, and glue. I always prefer to use a heavy paper (like construction paper), but it isn't necessary.

Colour and mono printable templates are available for download. When you've done that, try the Virgin and Child Toilet Paper Roll Craft. Jewish children might appreciate the Moses Toilet Paper Roll Craft, complete with Ten Commandments. Alas, I could not find a Jael Toilet Paper Roll Craft.

Bargain of the Day: No relation

Messianic Jews apparently have a term for their symbol combining a Magen David with a cross, and you too can buy a Cross: Stross Sterling Silver Charm from Treasure Island Jewelry (thank you to Gil, who found one by accident).

Dead witch found

Russia: An unusual burial will keep Russian archæologists busy for some time. The grave discovered in the Crimea appears to be that of a woman aged about 40 who was an upper-class magic-user.

9 bronze rings, the same number of bells (perhaps, this particular number had been considered sacred at the time), a whole array of different amulets, beads-all of the items have been unearthed by the archaeologists. The witch must have dug out those accessories from ancient burials in order to intensify her magic powers. The reason the scientists are inclined to believe this is so, has to do with the fact that all the relics date back to a much earlier period than the woman's corpse.

Mind-boggling find in Crimea - Pravda, 22nd October 2004.

The Devil and the deep blue sea

United Kingdom: An Edinburgh-born sailor has been granted the same rights as any other religious sailor to practice his religion on board ship and Ann Widdicombe is upset because Ldg Hand Chris Cranmer is a Satanist. After years of trying to impose her religious beliefs on others when she was a government minister, she has now decided it's a private matter which should be kept in the home.

I am utterly shocked by this, Miss Widdecombe said.

Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere including the Armed Forces are their own affair but I hope it doesn't spread.

There should be no question whatsoever of allowing Satanist rituals on board any ship in Her Majesty's Royal Navy.

What they believe and do in their own home is one thing, what they do at work is the business of their employer.

The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships.

God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat.

British law does not permit employers to discriminate against someone on grounds of religion.

Widdecombe horror at navy Satanist - The Guardian, 24th October 2004.

October 21, 2004

Hallowe'en 'offensive to witches'

United States: A Washington State school district has cancelled Hallowe'en celebrations in case the festival is offensive to Wiccans.

The district said Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.

Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that, Hansen said.

The Wiccan, or Pagan, religion is said to be growing in the United States and there are Wiccan groups in Puyallup.

On the district's list of guidelines related to holidays and celebrations is an item that reads: Use of derogatory stereotypes is prohibited, such as the traditional image of a witch, which is offensive to members of the Wiccan religion.

School Says Halloween Disrespectful to Witchesabc News, 21st October 2004.

Christian claims cross not religious symbol

United States: A judge has rejected a lawsuit from a Christian who opposed the removal of a cross from the Los Angeles County seal. Ernesto Vasquez made contradictory complaints that the symbol wasn't actually religious, but that removing it would be discriminating against Christians.

According to the plaintiff, the cross only represents the historic 'influence of the church and the mission of California,' [U.S. District Judge S. James] Otero wrote. Yet plaintiff maintains L.A. County is conveying a message of hostility to religious groups by removing the symbol from the seal.

A representation of the goddess Pomona is also due to be removed, and replaced with a picture of a Native American woman, but Vasquez appears not to be concerned about that.

Judge Dismisses L.A. County Seal Lawsuit - The Guardian, 21st October 2004.

October 19, 2004

The usual.

Sri Lanka: A Christian cleric has been arrested in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of eight boys.

The suspect who belonged to the New Order Christianity Gathering in Kaluwarippuwa in Katana had allegedly sexually abused eight boys between the age of 12 and 18, a NCPA spokesman said....

The arrest was made on the night of October 15 by the Special Police Unit with the assistance of neighbours while the suspect was in hiding.

The suspect had rented a house at Kaluwarippuwa where he had been conducting religious activities connected with the New Order.

He is alleged to have invited children to his residence on the pretext of "conducting classes" but employed them in his farm to look after pigs, dogs and other animals.

According to NCPA officers the children were fed with rotten vegetables meant for the animals.

The priest is also alleged to have forced the children to take liquor and also shown them phonographic [sic.] films before sexually abusing them.

Interestingly, the complaint against the mushrooming sect came from the Bishop of Mannar, and it will be interesting to see whether the allegations or true, or the work of a jealous mind.

NCPA cops nab child abuse cleric - Daily News, 19th October 2004.

Bargain of the Day: magic pumpkins

Japan: Asako Kawahara can sell you a pumpkin wearing a hat. But this is no ordinary pumpkin - it's one of Asahara's Angel Pumpkins, and has incredible powers.

Two women who had been willing but unable to have babies after marriages of eight and 11 years respectively suddenly fall pregnant. Another woman plagued by repeated miscarriages desperately wants a child, but still can't get through a pregnancy after four years of marriage. But two months after getting an Angel Pumpkin, she gets pregnant, carries the child to term and is delighted!...

When I gave a woman having trouble getting along with others and struggling to overcome a failed relationship, it went rotten within a week. But that was when things seemed to pick up for the woman. She thanked me, saying, 'All the horrible things in my life seemed to have been passed on to the pumpkin, Kawahara recalls for Flash. Another bachelor who really hated being around people got one of my pumpkins and his life turned for the better. He became a different man, trying his hand at whatever challenge was thrust up before him.

Alas, the link given by the Mainichi Daily News is broken, so you will have to search hard to find where to buy your special vegetable.

Raiders Got It Wrong

United Kingdom: If you thought the Ark of the Covenant was buried deep in some anonymous warehouse in Washington DC, you're wrong. It's actually in a basement of the British Museum.

On a shelf in a locked basement room underneath the British Museum, are kept 11 wooden tablets; they are covered in purple velvet. And no one among the museum's staff — including Neil MacGregor, the director — is permitted to enter the room.

The tablets — or tabots — are sacred objects in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the most important of the 500 or so priceless Magdala treasures, looted by Britain from Ethiopia in 1868 and now held in this country. For almost two decades, the only people allowed access have been Ethiopian church clergy; it is considered sacrilegious for anyone else to see them.

Amid growing calls for the return of the treasures, the British Museum has moved them from an anonymous storage site to its Bloomsbury main building and announced that it is considering loaning them to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in London on what would be a permanent basis. They are regarded as representing the original Ark of the Covenant, which housed the Ten Commandments and the Orthodox Church has been lobbying for their return — or at least easy access to them — for more than 50 years.

October 18, 2004

Bargain of the Day: L'Chaim!

Today's bargain is something Charlie will be in two minds over receiving for his 40th birthday today, for the Shmaltz Brewing Company is an American micro with a difference - they specialise in crafting quality beer and quality shtick for the Jewish community and beyond. They produce two ales, labelled He'brew - the Chosen Beer: Genesis Ale was, unsurprisingly, their first creation.

Crisp, smooth and perfectly balanced between a west coast style pale and amber ale, with a supple malt sweetness and a pronounced hop flourish.

More Prattle-worthy is Messiah Bold It's the Beer You've Been Waiting For!, a nut-brown ale. Thanks to Moshe Feder, I can assure my readers that this is a rather fine beer, dark and complex, if a touch sweet.

All beers are certified to the strictest Orthodox standards.

October 15, 2004

Bargain of the Day: Car Mezuzah

The folk at Jewish Bazaar have thought of everything, and stock of whole range of car mezuzot (scroll down a bit). So, if you are a homeless Jew reduced to living in your car, or a Jewish New Age Traveller, you know where to go.

Seasonal Fun

Hallowe'en is fast approaching. Short of ideas for the obligatory pumpkin? Perhaps Extreme Pumpkins can help?

Extreme Pumpkins.com - Pumpkin carving at its wildest!

At what point did the carving of pumpkins turn into a cute event? When did boys stop carving pumpkins and moms start? Where did we lose touch with one of the years coolest events?

Today we will seize back this ritual. Today is the day we throw away those safe, cute carving tools. Today. We will buy a big, ugly, pumpkin so large one man cannot lift or move it. Today. We will carve that sumbitch into something ugly and plop it on the front porch. October 31st we will light it brightly enough to give visiting children suntans.

Pumpkin carving is reborn.

Welcome to ExtremePumpkins.com where strange pumpkins, pumpkin patterns, and alternative pumpkin carving techniques are developed and demonstrated for you. Pumpkin carving will never be the same.

(via Making Light's Particles.)

... And we've moved!

If you're reading this, it means the Prattle has a new home. The old server has served us well for the past three-plus years, but 64Mb of RAM isn't really enough in this day and age.

Remember to update your bookmarks to www.prattle.net.

October 14, 2004

Sitting among the tea chests

The Prattle is ready to move to its new home. To make it easier, the comments script will stop working (this is not a bug - we've done it deliberatly) and there will be no new entries. If all goes well, we'll be up and running at http://www.prattle.net/ in a day or so.

October 12, 2004

Night Fever

Romania: The inhabitants of the village of Cristinesti fled their homes because they were convinced an alien invasion was underway. The lights turned out to be a local open-air disco.

Fleeing villagers mistook disco lights for aliens - Only Punjab.com, 12th October 2004.

October 9, 2004

Another UFO hoax comes to light

England: An artist has revealed that his well-known UFO photo was nothing but a schoolboy prank.

In February 1954 a picture resembling a UFO floating over Coniston, taken by 14-year-old Stephen Darbishire, from Torver, caused a national sensation.

The teenager claimed he had been on the fells with his cousin when he photographed a UFO.

Now Mr Darbishire, a 63-year-old well-known South Lakeland artist, says it was all a hoax.

At the time, confronted by the national media, he was too terrified and went along with the deception.

Hoax UFO sighting to be recreated for art - North West Evening Mail, 9th October 2004.

Ancient monument vandalised

England: Birkrigg stone circle near Ulverston has been vandalised for the second time in a year. This time, the neds responsible made a crude and unconvincing attempt to make it look like the work of environmentalist protestors.

One of the standing stones of a Bronze Age stone circle has been daubed with red paint.

Last November four of the 12 stones which form an inner circle on the common were covered in paint.

One bore the cryptic message, Stop the Gene War, in black paint.

Paint had also been spattered on the grass, where a fire had also been lit.

VANDALS STRIKE AGAIN AT BIRKRIGG STONE CIRCLE - North West Evening Mail, 29th September 2004.

Confusing loons with Satanists

United States: A convict has been charged with the ritual murder of a teenager who disappeared in 1998. Police say that Robert Anthony Marquez killed and dismembered 16-year old Bryan Thorne because of his belief in Satanism.

How exactly they know this isn't explained, as no trace of Thorne has been found since he disappeared six years ago. Their only evidence seems to be that Marquez's cell was decorated with photos of dismembered sheep and chickens and his body was covered with demon-themed tattoos and Thorne's friends, who insisted that they knew nothing throughout the time Marquez has been safely in prison. Now he is due to be released, they claim that they got stoned with Marquez, who lured Thorne away from the group, stabbed him, chopped him up and put the remains in a bin!

The news reports do not explain how this relates to any known Satanic practice, nor do they discuss how a court will be able to reasonably accept the evidence of people who admit they were high on cannabis at the time.

October 4, 2004

Lesbians Are Witches And Should Be Burned To Death

Australia: Family First seem to be going out of their way to behave like pig ignorant morons. Lying about their cosy associations to the Assemblies of God cult, running smear campaigns against their political opponents and now inciting violence. It seems that these loonies have forgotten all their Christian teachings.

An attack on Greens campaigners in the Dickson electorate on the weekend was provoked by a Family First representative.

The Family First Representative, who was handing out leaflets at the same location, had announced earlier in the day that 'lesbians are witches and should be burned to death', said Greens Candidate Howard Nielsen.

October 3, 2004

Family First, People Last

Australia: Susie O'Brien wrote a great piece for Melbourne's Herald Sun about the hypocrisy of Family First. Alas, the Herald Sun is part of Murdoch's stable, so if stories even do get to the paper's web site, they are only live for a day or so, hence this article getting submitted in its entirety.

If you're having trouble deciding who to support in this election, why not ask who Jesus would vote for.

If you accept the lead of creationist cleanskins Family First, it probably wouldn't be Labor or the Greens.

No, the son of God would only support good conservative candidates, as long as they weren't gay or didn't support same-sex marriage.

October 2, 2004

Spain Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Spain: Spanish authorities, apparently sick of the church trying to ride rough-shod over them, have given the go-ahead for same-sex marriages.

Homosexuals throughout Spain were last night celebrating a human rights victory after the government approved legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

Bargain of the Day: Praying Children Talking Clock

United States: Admittedly not as scary as the heart on the outside Jesus nightlight, but this little item is pretty creepy.

I should point out that Feòrag's filter of scary eBay auctions can be quite distubing at times.

I have up for bid a wonderful clock for a child's room. Two children praying. The face lights up (can turn off or on). It has God Bless My Family on the front. There is a sleep on button, alarm on and off button. You can set it for English or Spanish, wake to speech (goodnight prayer, the lord's prayer), bell or melody. You can also set it for automatic hourly chime. Also has lo, high or med volume. It is made of hard durable plastic. Measures 7 1/2 inches tall and 8 1/2 inches wide. There is a place in the back for an AC adaptor, but I don't have that. I put in new batteries and it keeps perfect time and works great. If you are the lucky winning buyer, please go through checkout and shipping will be calculated for you. Wt. is 1 pound. Christmas will soon be here, so please visit my store for many new items and much, much more. Thanks for looking.

I'm particularly attracted to the clock being made from hard durable plastic. So you know that no matter how hard your child tries to destroy the horrible looking thing, you can just dig it out of the compost heap or fish it out of the toilet, wash it off and it will still be happily ticking away to torture you child for another day.

PRAYING CHILDREN TALKING CLOCK-WORKS GREAT!! - eBay, 1 October 2004.

Invisible Flying Jellyfish

United States: Not terribly sure where this article of weirdness is heading. It doesn't seem to have a point, it just waffles along jumping from tales of flamey birds to invisible flying jellyfish.

The hypothesis about the existence of little-studied forms of life in the Earth's atmosphere has been an attraction for scientists for quite a long time. Nations around the globe have numerous stories, fairy-tales and legends about such creatures, the most popular of which are sylphs, giant fire birds, fairies, flying snakes and dragons. This weird theory has been gaining more and more details lately to prove its credibility.

Tales of Love from the Land of Denial

United States: The lovely Feòrag caught this delightful tale from the land of denial as she was heading out the door and sent it along to the satellite office to share with Prattle readers. Leaving aside the tabloid hysterics, we have two women blaming the death of a child on demons.

The mother of the Harlem toddler beaten to death says her lesbian lover did the awful deed — but insists demons made her do it.
But [Zahira] Matos insists she didn't realize the seriousness until it was too late — when she found Yovany near death Sept 19, when she returned home from a beer run.

Star (of David) Wars

The San Diego Jewish Journal has a long article about the influence of Judaism on science fiction. It looks at both the pioneering work of Jewish authors, both religious and secular, and the influence of Jewish mythology

From a science-fictional perspective, the most influential Judaic legend is The Golem of Prague, which concerns a rabbi who creates a creature out of clay to protect the Jewish people. Although there are different endings to the tale, in the most popular version he loses control of his monster and must destroy it. The spiritual forbearer of such well-known fables as Frankenstein and familiar characters like the Terminator and the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Golem has become a powerful trope embodying both cautionary and idealistic outlooks – two notions that are invaluable to successful science-fiction storytelling. For many genre authors, particularly those steeped in Jewish folklore, the story remains a rich ideological source.

Ultimately, they regard the Jewish influence as responsible for the fundamentally optimistic nature of the genre: that the world will be a better place, and people will not have destroyed themselves.

Stars of David - San Diego Jewish Journal, October 2004 (via Locus).

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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