Saturday, September 23, 2006
Colograms - a simple way to create stereoscopic images - the method produces Lenticular prints, those images, with the "ridged" plastic lens on the front, which change image depending on the viewing angle...
18DoughtyStreet Talk TV
10th October will see the launch of Britain’s first political Internet TV Channel.
18DoughtyStreet Talk TV will broadcast for four hours a night, Mondays to Thursdays, from studios in London’s Bloomsbury with a mix of live and pre-recorded programmes. It aims to break the mould of current affairs television with a mix of opinionated and controversial programming.
In a groundbreaking initiative the station is building a network of 100 nationwide and worldwide citizen journalist reporters, each equipped with their own camcorder, which they can use to film reports for 18DoughtyStreet to broadcast.
At the heart of the station will be a website of blogs and daily votes. Comments left on the blogs will shape the content of the programmes. The daily votes will help determine which news stories headline every programme. Programme presenters will have access to the blogs during live programming, with the viewer seeing the blog next to the live streaming screen on their computers. All programmes will be available for download after livestreaming.
Part of a blog post that compares today's Muslims with first century Jews
Thus, Islam lives out an Old Testament style of violence. Prior to the advent of Christianity, about 10% of the Roman Empire was Hebrew. Like today's Muslims, the Hebrews were known for being militantly defensive about their faith. At least a dozen different rebel bandits occupied Rome's army in Judea between the time of Herod in 37 BC and the first revolt in 66 AD. The war ended only with the destruction of the temple, but the violence would not stop there--the Bar Kochba rebellion would require a second Roman response, a response that decimated the land.
Up until that time, Hebrew law looked remarkably like the sharia law Muslims would develop a millennium later. Both required death for apostates from their monotheistic faith, both killed fornicators and adulterers, both permitted polygamy. The primary difference lay in the understanding of God’s rationality. Jews understood that God is rational, that rationality is part of the divine nature and that God does not change. Islam does not understand or accept this.
When the Jewish faith found itself subject to Christian faith, it gradually saw the logic of the Christian worldview, at least in regards to law and its application. Two millennium of Christian-Jewish interaction led to a serious moderation of the Deuteronomic code. Today's Jews, even the most orthodox Jews, no longer stone adulterers and fornicators, individual Jewish believers are no longer under obligation to kill the idolater in their midst, and polygamy, while still permitted from a theological perspective, is under the ban for reasons of prudence.
On Church and State and taxation
Q. Why should any church property be tax exempt, and why should any donations to churches be tax deductible and tax exempt?
A. As John Marshal long ago said, the power to tax is the power to destroy: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion was intended to prevent the destruction of independent churches.
If the IRS can harass churches over non-payment of taxes it can destroy them. For good or ill, the Framers thought religion outside the authority of the Federal government, and took pains to keep it that way.
A searching new look means destroying the independence of the churches. That will be the inevitable result of your searching new look. It is probably not your intention, but it is the inevitable result. Government does not look where it treads.
The Open Prosthetics Project
The Open Prosthetics Project is producing useful innovations in the field of prosthetics and giving the designs away for free.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Executions of Christians spark riots
Hundreds of rioters protesting against the execution of three Christians have torched buildings in Indonesia.
The mob has also attacked a prison in West Timor and 200 inmates have escaped.
The executed Christians - Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Silva and Marianus Riwu - were convicted of leading Christian militias when sectarian violence in Sulawesi took more than 1,000 lives five years ago.
The three were born on the island of Flores in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province, where most people are Christian.
The town of Atambua, on West Timor's border with East Timor, is also within the province.
Stone throwing mobs there have attacked the state prosecutor's office and set alight the home of the chief prosecutor.
Police posts and shops have also been targeted by the violent mobs.
Mobs have also torched government buildings in Central Sulawesi.
POV-Ray: Newsgroups: povray.tools.general: Wings3d-POV plugin for Raf256
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Federal judge declares boating illegal in all US navigable waters
Judge's Ruling Could Make Boating Illegal
Malkovich Mediator - turns web pages into a certain scene from "Being John Malkovich"
Biased BBC - The Forum
The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state:..."Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth… [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world..." How does the BBC measure up to its charter?
Biased BBC blog
The Pope Was Right
The pope's third point — which has been almost entirely ignored — was directed to the West. If the West's high culture keeps playing in the sandbox of postmodern irrationalism — in which there is "your truth" and "my truth" but nothing such as "the truth" — the West will be unable to defend itself. Why? Because the West won't be able to give reasons why its commitments to civility, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law are worth defending. A Western world stripped of convictions about the truths that make Western civilization possible cannot make a useful contribution to a genuine dialogue of civilizations, for any such dialogue must be based on a shared understanding that human beings can, however imperfectly, come to know the truth of things.
Up Pompeii - "exposing Islamic Jihad in Britain and Europe"
UK: Islamist Calls For Pope's Death - info on Anjem Choudary, the guy who called for the Pope's death at the London cathedral
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Saudi gets long sentence
[A] Saudi man convicted of sexually assaulting his Indonesian housekeeper was sentenced Thursday to 20 years to life in prison.
Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, was also ordered to serve eight additional years for theft charges.
"Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit," he told Judge Mark Hannen.
"The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution," he said.
Al-Turki was convicted this summer of 12 felony counts of unlawful sexual contact with use of force, one felony count of criminal extortion and one felony count of theft. He also was found guilty of two misdemeanors: false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.
The case has captured the attention of the Muslim community worldwide. The Saudi government gave Al-Turki the money he needed to post a $400,000 bond on the charges in Arapahoe County.
Prosecutors said Al-Turki brought the victim, who is now 24, from Saudi Arabia in 2000 to work as his family's nanny and housekeeper in their Aurora home. Al-Turki is married and has five children.
The victim testified in court that she worked seven days a week and was paid $150 a month. She said Al-Turki and his wife kept most of that money. Al-Turki also allegedly took the woman's passport and sexually abused her.
Arrange Startup - freeware
"Arrange Startup will help you to remove programs from startup list or to add them there"
Faith, Reason and Politics: Parsing the Pope's Remarks
From the conclusion:
It is obvious that Benedict delivered a well-thought-out statement. It is also obvious that the Vatican had no illusions as to how the Muslim world would respond. The statement contained a verbal blast, crafted in a way that allowed Benedict to maintain plausible deniability. Indeed, the pope already has taken the exit, noting that these were not his thoughts but those of another scholar. The pope and his staff were certainly aware that this would make no difference in the grand scheme of things, save for giving Benedict the means for distancing himself from the statement when the inevitable backlash occurred. Indeed, the anger in the Muslim world remained intense, and there also have been emerging pockets of anger among Catholics over the Muslim world's reaction to the pope, considering the history of Islamic attacks against Christianity. Because he reads the newspapers -- not to mention the fact that the Vatican maintains a highly capable intelligence service of its own -- Benedict also had to have known how the war was going, and that his statement likely would aid Bush politically, at least indirectly. Finally, he would be aware of the political dynamics in Europe and that the statement would strengthen his position with the church's base there.
The question is how far Benedict is going to go with this. His predecessor took on the Soviet Union and then, after the collapse of communism, started sniping at the United States over its materialism and foreign policy. Benedict may have decided that the time has come to throw the weight of the church against radical Islamists. In fact, there is a logic here: If the Muslims reject Benedict's statement, they have to acknowledge the rationalist aspects of Islam. The burden is on the Ummah to lift the religion out of the hands of radicals and extremist scholars by demonstrating that Muslims can adhere to reason.
From an intellectual and political standpoint, therefore, Benedict's statement was an elegant move. He has strengthened his political base and perhaps legitimized a stronger response to anti- Catholic rhetoric in the Muslim world. And he has done it with superb misdirection. His options are open: He now can move away from the statement and let nature take its course, repudiate it and challenge Muslim leaders to do the same with regard to anti- Catholic statements or extend and expand the criticism of Islam that was implicit in the dialogue.
The pope has thrown a hand grenade and is now observing the response. We are assuming that he knew what he was doing; in fact, we find it impossible to imagine that he did not. He is too careful not to have known. Therefore, he must have anticipated the response and planned his partial retreat.
The Catholic Library - A Comprehensive Collection of Catholic Resources
For example, an MP3 of Pope Pius XII praying the Pater Noster
MediaRight.ca - Canadians and NATO in the Afghan Conflict : Daily News and Op-ed
Photos of some art and architecture at the Vatican, and other place in Italy
If Europe hates itself by Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Muslims from Israel bring fresh views to Hub
Al Qasemi College, which was founded in 1989 as the first institute of Islamic higher education in Israel, is trying to export revolutionary openness and liberalism to the wider Islamic world, leaders of the faculty told educators, Jewish leaders, and local Muslims during a four-day visit to the Boston area that ended yesterday.
Speaking at campuses, mosques, and the homes of Muslims, the Al Qasemi faculty said that it is time for Muslims to quit blaming others and examine their own responsibility for the troubles of Islamic civilization; time for Arab Israelis to call themselves Israelis, not Palestinians; and, above all, time for women to have full equality with men in the Muslim world.
Self-Defense In The Face Of Muslim Violence - how much force may one use to defend one's life, a church building, the Eucharist, etc.
The unholy past of the Muslim cleric demanding the Pope's execution
Excerpts (leaving out the drug stuff, etc.):
The only sign of religious fervour came in flashes of anger over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. A friend from that time said: "You didn't want to get him started on that. He would go on and on about the fatwa and he supported calls for the book to be banned. But he would have a glass of cider in his hand when he was carrying on about it."
Then he met the cleric Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed at a mosque in Woolwich. Bakri, who is now banned from returning to Britain from Lebanon, had formed Al Muhajiroun, committed to the creation of a worldwide Islamic state, and Choudary quickly became a leading light in the group and its successor organisation, Al Ghurabaa.
He is no longer a practising solicitor and has left his wife and children to concentrate on his extreme brand of Islam. It was Choudary who organised the Danish Embassy protests over the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed earlier this year, at which demonstrators dressed as suicide bombers and banners proclaimed: 'Behead Those Who Insult Islam'.
He lauded the September 11 hijackers as 'magnificent martyrs' and praised Asif Hanif, the British suicide bomber who killed three in Tel Aviv in 2003.
After the July 7 atrocities in London, he vowed he would not tell the police if he knew a terror attack was being planned and urged Muslims to defend themselves against perceived attacks by 'whatever means they have at their disposal'.
His shocking pronouncements could be dismissed by some as the rantings of a mind clouded by religious fervour but Choudary has an audience and, at a time of increasing disaffection among young British Muslims, his activities are carefully monitored by Special Branch.
A security source said: "He is not seen as premier league because he is so conspicuous. He is seen as an irritant but with a potential to inspire impressionable youngsters to go that one stage further."
Despite his hatred of all things British - he says: "If British means adopting British values, then I don't think we can adopt British values. I'm a Muslim living in Britain. I have a British passport, but that's a travel document to me" - he and his family live on state benefits.
Rubana is said by friends to claim £1,700 a month in housing benefit and income support while Choudary has also claimed £202 a month in income support.
Historical documents in the Vatican Secret Archives - includes photos of the documents
Letter by the Emperor Manuel I Comneno to Pope Eugene II on the issue of the Crusades
Letter by the Great Khan Güyük to Pope Innocent IV
Monday, September 18, 2006
Liberalism and Aggression
From the conclusion:
"[F]ear of aggression and [...] competition [...] is the fundamental guiding force behind liberalism. [...] Managing and containing the aggressive drive is a prerequisite for civilization, yet when the civilized liberal becomes so frightened of his own aggression that he attempts to suppress every overt expression of aggression, even when it is appropriate and necessary for his survival, he invites greater and greater violence from those who are not similarly constrained. This is a lesson which tends to be forgotten during peace time and must be relearned periodically."
Islamic Leader Describes Arrests As Scare Tactics
THE leader of a radical Islamic group who visited Walthamstow last week has described the latest terrorism arrests as a deliberate plot designed to scare people.
Anjem Choudary, 39, from Ilford, was seen speaking outside the Queen's Road Mosque the day after the arrests took place.
He is reported in the national press as saying: "I think this is another case of whipping the public into a frenzy over terrorism with very flimsy evidence."
A controversial figure, Mr Choudary has long been accused by community leaders of radicalising impressionable Muslims against the West.
As the leader of Al-Ghurabaa, a radical Islamic group soon to be banned under new Government legislation, Mr Choudary has come under attack many times in the past over his views.
On July 4, he was fined £300 for his part in organising the protests against Danish cartoons. Before that, he came under fire for refusing to condemn the 7/7 terrorist attacks, and for calling on Muslims not to cooperate with the police.
Just outside Westminster Cathedral today... - photos of threatening Muslim protestors in London
Police Probe Muslim Cathedral Protest
Police are investigating the Muslim protest against the Pope outside Westminster Cathedral on Sunday to see if any laws were broken.
More than 100 demonstrators, including fundamentalist Anjem Choudray, gathered outside Westminster Cathedral to protest about the remarks.
The, some in sunglasses or covered faces, held up placards reading "May Allah Curse The Pope", "Evil Words From Evil Man Against The Best Man To Walk The Earth" and "Trinity Of Evil Christian Crusade Against Muslims".
Choudray said: "Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."
Police were present but no arrests were made.
Police have received 13 complaints about comments made at the protest, and have launched an investigation to establish whether laws were broken.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, in charge of Public Order Policing in the Met, said: "We have a long history of facilitating lawful demonstration and are keen to continue dialogue with any group wishing to protest.
"However, what we will not allow is for people to attend demonstrations and break the law. Currently officers are looking at what took place yesterday, and also other publicly made statements, with a view to ascertain if any criminal offences have been committed.
"We will always proportionately police all protest but equally will take decisive action where crime is committed."
Londoners told - Pope must die
Choudary's appeal for the death of Pope Benedict was the second time he has been linked with apparent incitement to murder within a year.
The 39-year-old lawyer organised demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in February in Denmark. Protesters carried placards declaring "Behead Those Who Insult Islam".
Someone claims that the Persian mentioned in the Pope's speech was supposed to refer indirectly to the Iranian President
Abbot Notker Wolf, head of the worldwide Benedictine order, said the Pope used Manuel's dialogue with a Persian to make an indirect reference to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Wolf, a commentator on Bavarian television for the Pope's visit, said the reference to a Persian "was a blatant allusion to Ahmadinejad" and said the Iranian leader had sent "arrogant letters" this year to U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging a dialogue.
"I have heard he plans to write a letter to the Pope," Wolf added. "I think this would be a good opportunity to take up the gauntlet, so to speak, and really discuss things."
Meeting with the representatives of science at the University of Regensburg
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Part I on Pope's Recent Speech
Part 2 on Pope's Regensburg Speech (Paragraphs 5-8)
[to be continued]
POV-Ray: Newsgroups: povray.binaries.images: RSOIDP - source code for a good "cracked/parched earth" texture
What Does Jihad Mean?
The Religious Foundations of Suicide Bombings: Islamist Ideology
POV-Ray: Newsgroups: povray.binaries.images: Surrealistic Moon Image - pretty good fire/flames
POV-Ray: Newsgroups: povray.binaries.scene-files: Surrealistic Moon Image - source code