Month: April 1998

blather.net
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This week's haphazard Blather delivers a report on Australian poltergeists, along with a smidgen more calendric controversy. Post-apocalypse Reader Brian Miller asks Blather: 'Isn't the whole 2000-2001 question further muddled by the fact that our modern calender was set back by plus or minus 4 years at some point in the middle ages? So that in actuality, the second "millennium" passed sometime in 1996, if you're going by strict "1,000 year periods," and it's technically right now about 2,002 years since the birth of Christ'. Well, yes, and no. In 1650, James Ussher, Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland slogged his way back through the Bible to reach the conclusion that the world was created in 4004 BC. A few years later, Dr. John Lightfoot, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University 'worked out' that the world was created on 23 October, 4004 BC. By straightforward calculations, this would appear to...

blather.net
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Last week, bizarre as it may seem, I found a copy of the palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould's 'Questioning the Millennium' lying upon my infamous couch . Not having the faintest idea as to where it had materialised from, I went and read it. I'm an admitted Gould virgin, not having managed to get round to perusing his texts, but while he is spoken of fairly highly with regard to his evolutionary work, I gather that there is some hestitation towards attributing kudos to his exploits outside his this field. In 'Questioning the Millennium', Gould carefully weaves his way through our numeric foibles, pointing out the absurdity of our obsession with the forthcoming change of millennium. He's quick to ram home the understanding that the millennium is not something that will happen in a couple of years time -- that the millennium is an arbitrary period of 1000...

blather.net
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Welcome to this week's (Pretty) Good Friday Blather extravaganza, disseminated from a uncharacteristically (for the time of year) chilly Dublin, where vague hints of snow have been all day threatening the populace. GNOMES WANT TO BE FREE A smattering of snippets assail us this week, first and foremost we have the latest on gnome-napping. With the arrest of several members of the Gnome Liberation Front last November, we at Blather Operations were devastated, long time fans that we are these daring surrealists, who tend to leave behind calling cards reading 'The Garden Gnomes Liberation Front has been here. Your gnomes are now free and can finally live in peace together deep in the forest'. However, all is not lost.Reuters (via Yahoo!), on April 3rd, reported a police hunt for the 'gang' that liberated 100 gnomes from a private garden in the Netherlands. Also, Australian 'Wormman' Peter Darben warned us that...

blather.net
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A fine week of fringe religious activity it has been, what with guest appearances of the Virgin Mary in Georgia, crying statues of that same hallowed lady in Spain and a couple of hundred people becoming gods, down in Garland, Texas. According to the BBC on April 2nd, people in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, people have been reporting close facial encounters of the Virginal kind since Christmas, attracting thousands to Tbilisi's blue cathedral. The BBC's rather disjointed report proceeds to tell of Tatia, a local faith healer who has 'squiggly' lines appearing about her navel, sometimes in the shape of a cross. I felt so much wiser after reading about Tbilisi and Tatia, thanks to the BBC - why did they bother? Meanwhile, the Associated Press on March 30th told of how the Roman Catholic church in Spain had 'impounded' (can they do that?) a statue of the Virgin...