Friday, July 27, 2007

The Subtle Prime

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have been testing whether religion might encourage altruism. One theory is that the concept of "God" acts as some kind of policing agent over behavior. Seems that experiments showed that people who were primed with religious concepts (in a pre-text exercise) tended to give, on average, more than twice as much as people in the control group. However, people "who declared themselves religious before the study were no more generous than non-believers." Obviously, their tests only looked into believers of a Judeo-Christian kind of all-powerful and judging deity. But I wonder if there are implications for other spiritual paths.

Friday Cat Blogging | Mellow (Otis)

Cats know how to keep it real. I mean, you don't ever see a cat fretting over what's going to happen at work tomorrow, doing taxes, or wondering where the next meal is coming from. (OK, Milo might be an exception to that last one -- he's always wondering about food and eating). Here, reminding me once again that you are in charge of your own "mellow", is that cat's meow of the mellowness: Otis!


"Dude, seriously ... you just can't harsh my mellow."

And one by one, the pet blogging posts steal my sanity ...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for some previous Milo & Otis appearances.
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.
  4. And one of the funniest/cutest/obsessivest (OK, I know that's not a word!) sites for cat photos, is a must see. Take it from them: Stuff + Cats = Awesome!
  5. And for a funny and saccharin sweet photo collection of cat, kitty, and other critters that have been tagged with LOL, go see I Can Has a Cheezeburger? Really, these are good.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quotable | Study

If you want to study something, it's better not to know what the answer is. Because then you are not satisfied with something you are told, and because you cannot rely on anything set up by someone else. -- Nantembo Nakara

Ravencast Interviews Stephen McNallen

Pop on over to Ravencast to download or stream their interview with Stephen McNallen of the Asatru Folk Assembly. It's the first in their series addressing national organizations for Asatru. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


LOVE TARA March - Dublin - July 21 2007 at 1.00pm

Please help us promote our LOVE TARA march which will take place on Saturday July 21 in Dublin at 1.00pm. We will march from the Garden of Remembrance to the Department of the Environment, Custom House Quay, where we will hand in 50,000 petition signatures. Please email your contacts, post a natice on your favorite message boards, write a letter to the newspapers, call your local radio station, contact celebrities, political parties, etc... This may be last chance for the public to have their say.

Irish Times - TaraWatch steps up M3 protests Irish Examiner - Ireland facing EU fines over environmental failures Irish Independent - Tara protester threatens new court action to halt motorway Sunday Business Post - Commission issues fourth warning over landfill pollution

Tara activists picket Irish embassies

Irish Times - Last Updated: 13/07/2007 14:32

Campaigners opposed to the M3 motorway running through the historic Tara Valley have started to hold a series of demonstrations in three different countiries today.

TaraWatch held protests outside Leinster House in Dublin and the Irish Embassy in London earlier.

There will be protests later in New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.

A protest march will also be held in Dublin on Saturday, July 21st at 1pm, which will go from the Garden of Remembrance to Custom House, the headquarters of the Department of the Environment.

Campaigners have said they are "inflamed" by what they describe as the Green Party's election pact with Fianna Fáil to agree to the M3 motorway project and today's announcement by Environment Minister John Gormley that the Government will not re-route the road despite Euopean criticism.

The demonstrations come as Minister for the Environment John Gormley holds talks today with European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas in Brussels.

Campaigners claim international support has grown rapidly since the World Monuments Fund designated Tara one of the World's 100 Most Endangered sites.

Darren Delahunty, one of the organisers of the London protest, said: "Irish people in the UK are outraged at the refusal of the Irish authorities to try and proceed with the road, even when the public are so against it."

A "Love Tara" march will be held on Saturday, July 21st, in Dublin.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tarot and Runes

Yngona Desmond has a brief but dead-on explanation of the difference between Tarot and the Runes. Highly Recommended!!

Shouting Down Diversity

The Wild Hunt Blog posts a story about the limits of christian tolerance. Three highly vocal Christians from Operation Save America caused a disruption in the public gallery by shouting down a Hindu chaplain (Rajan Zed) who was conducting the opening prayer for that day's proceedings. Jason does not sugarcoat his own take on the situation -- and there really is no way to excuse what those idiots did -- but one of the comments points out that there may have been more support for the chaplain than Reuters reports. I certainly hope so. On the Prophet or Madman scale, Operation Save America, and their radical director, Rev. Flip Benham, score very high on "Madman". And I mean that in the worst way possible.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do You Believe in Elves?

Forty percent of Icelanders do! And Iceland has been highly literate for ... well, a very long time*, so it's not necessarily a case of simple-minded superstition. The Iceland Review author, however, resorts to blaming quaint rural superstition for this high percentage of believers. I have to give her some credit, though, as she refuses to "firmly deny" the elves' existence. Story: Iceland's Hidden People (Iceland Review Online, 7/6/2007 11:00am) * Notes on Iceland's literacy: Iceland experienced "increased literacy from around 1100 onwards and with all kinds of literary activities" (Time-Reckoning in Iceland), and "literacy has been universal in Iceland since the end of the eighteenth century (Iceland - History & Background).

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why Drive a Prius?

When the Toyota Prius first hit the road, the majority of people who bought it did so because they wanted to be ahead of the technological curve; that is, they wanted to check out the latest in hybrid tech. These days, according to some marketing research, hybrid vehicle owners are certainly concerned with fuel prices and our country's dependence on foreign oil. But the Prius is the vehicle of choice for hybrid drivers because they want you (as in "other drivers") to know they are driving a hybrid.
The Prius has become, in a sense, the four-wheel equivalent of those rubber "issue bracelets" in yellow and other colors - it shows the world that its owner cares. [International Herald Tribune 07/04/2007] [Centre Daily Times 07/05/2007]
Full Disclosure: I drive a Subaru Forester. I chose it for it's safety ratings, four-wheel drive ability, and because I can sit up straight in it. Yes, I'm concerned about the environment and the "Arab crack pipe", but I'm waiting for hybrid tech to improve and become more sustainable before I try it out.