Mark 10:25

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

US Catholic Church a $170 billion business (money.msn.com)

…an extra £30 million a year on top of the £12 million already granted by the Government to The Church of England. (wikipedia)

Roman Catholics: The Vatican’s Wealth – Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. (Time.com)

So…

walking_on_heaven_by_e_dina

(Image used with permission under Creative Commons Licence. Original artwork by http://e-dinaphotoart.deviantart.com/)

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So… what is the most important here?

I’m really curious what you think because I already know what I think.

Let me give you a list:

  • NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).
  • Nikkei (Japan Stock Exchange).
  • NASDAQ (US Stock Exchange).
  • AEX (Amsterdam Stock Exchange).

NYSE-stock-market-007

Did you miss your favourite one? Or do you already know what’s most important? Let me tell you that none of them is important. These places deal with man-made ideas that are worth millions of other man-made ideas. The whole thing is a farce that has taken over so much space in the minds of people that it’s become a figment of importance while the whole thing is nothing but a waste of time. Not money, because that’s the other man-made idea. Money’s nothing but paper and metal that should be put to better use.

Stock markets are fickle and unhealthy. They can crash (proof is in 1920, 2008 and others) and they can kill people. Not by falling on those people, but those innocent, lost souls have tied their well-being to those stock markets so much that a crash (or a drop in the value of shares, yet another man-made silliness) drives them to suicide. For all the paper and metal in the world I don’t see a reason to kill myself over that.

If you read all the way to here, do you (still) think that stock markets are important? Give me clean air, fresh water and pleasant people to share honest food with. We need a brave new world. One that has learnt from the mistakes we’ve made and are still making with the current one. Brave, because it will take a lot of brave people to start creating it because you can bet that there will be a lot of opposition from the people who think that stock markets are the most important thing.

Man over money. Instead of money over man, the way things are now.

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Doctor Who

Yes. The new Doctor has spoken. And acted.

I don’t watch many things televised but Dr Who is one of the items I won’t miss. The new Doctor, for me, is a great one. A step back towards the style of the original ones, before the funny young boys took over. Mind you, I had fun with those boys (David Tennant and after a while also Matt Smith) but I like my Doctors on the dark side with a twist.

I adored the hints towards Tom Baker’s Doctor in the first episode of this new season. Tom Baker was my first Doctor and you never forget your first Doctor. For me the new season of Doctor Who is off to a good start. The new title sequence is fantastic:

and I disagree with Clara: the interior looks smashing. I’m already looking forward to the next episode.

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Android and its ROMs

Yes, ROMs. Not Romulans, as this is not Star Trek. Alas.

A while ago I got an Android update on my smartphone. It was for Android 4.4.2. I installed it and I was not a happy camper: suddenly only Google’s own apps could manipulate the SD card! The trick would be to ROOT the phone (breaking it open, in a way, to give me all the permissions again). It was quite an experience.

How to root your phone: first you need a Recovery Rom. Best known are CWM (ClockWork Mod) and TWRP (no idea, I didn’t use this one).

I used Philz Touch CWM rom. Note: find the version that works for your phone. Mine was N7100. Make sure you pick the right one. Please use Google or Bing or so to locate this file, there are many versions. Search for “Philz Touch recovery tar md5“. You will also need a Windows-program called Odin. This is what you need to put the recovery rom on your phone. The last one I know of is Odin3 3.09.

Online you can find information how to do this, but the quick rundown is: run Odin. Point the ‘AP‘ location to the tar.md5 file with Philz Touch Recover. Put your phone in DOWNLOAD mode. Connect USB cable. Wait for Odin to recognise the phone. Press start. Wait until Odin reports Success.

Once you did that you can locate a ROM you want to put on the phone. The one I finally had success with was the TigraRom v4. This one runs Android 4.3, is rooted and gave me back read/write access to the SD card. This is the one I’m currently running. To install a new ROM, first backup your stuff. Then make sure you’ve backed up your stuff. Find the ROM that works for your phone. Really, read that again. Download it and put the ZIPfile on your phone or on the SD Card. Boot your phone into Recovery mode (usually Volume-up and Power, but my phone also needed the Home button pressed so look that up for your phone). You’ll be put into Philz Touch Recovery.

Start sweating: select Wipe Data/Factory reset and confirm you want to do this. return to this menu (is easy). Select ADVANCED and select Wipe Dalvik Cache. Confirm.

Then select ‘Install Zip’.  Locate the zipfile on your device and make it so. This is where the magic happens: the new ROM is loaded onto your phone. After that: reboot system now. That’s all there is to it. After that it’s up to you to find if the ROM works for you. I found Tigra to work after 8 or 9 disappointments. Flashing a ROM gets easy after a while, trust me. ;-)

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Qwerky

Before you wonder what this is: it’s a keyboard. Yes, I know it looks like a typewriter. That’s the beauty of it. It’s a ‘Qwerkywriter’, crowdfunded via Kickstarter. This keyboard can connect to devices via USB and BlueTooth. And I ordered one by pitching in on the Kickstarter. I find this an amazing thing to look at. It breathes steampunk and back to basics typing.

Love it.

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Your car. The prize and the price.

You are undoubtedly aware that your car is expensive. It’s expensive in ways you may not even have considered. First of course there is a lot of money involved in actually buying the thing, after deciding on the right colour.

Fun bits like insurance, taxes and inevitably fuel costs are something that you take into consideration as well.

But did you ever stop to think how much of the time you use that precious car? For most people it will stand around unused for at least 80% of the time. If not more. 80% of a day is 19 hours. Do you drive your car for 5 hours a day? If so, well, poor you (unless it’s your job to drive it). Do you drive it 3 hours a day? Then your car is standing around used for over 85% of the time!

It’s also a sad truth that many people who use their car for 3 hours a day even sit inside it while the car’s standing still.

Most drivers are familiar with the popular traffic jam that pops up more and more these days and weeks.

I am convinced that there are more efficient ways of transport and commute. Most people probably are aware of that. The problem is that so much has been invested in our addiction to the car that it’s hard to kick that habit. And “big oil” isn’t going to help us get rid of our car, their income, anytime soo.

 

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Traffic

Some people don’t have a clue what traffic is all about. They really don’t. Well, perhaps you do, or it’s different in your part of the world, but…

The problem splits up in several parts. One is speed. Many people don’t seem to understand that when they make their car move at 80mph/120kph, that they are moving fast. What? Oh, of course, everyone moves fast, so there’s no problem. Really? Speed kills. Accidents happen. People die.

Then there are the people who are not moving so fast. They putter on with 55mph/90kph, and decide they want to overtake the truck they’ve been behind for a while. Their problem? No idea of speed and traffic. They move forward, the people in the other lane move forward as well, so when there’s an opening on the next lane that will hold their car, they move their car into that opening. The speed difference between them and the other lane – neglect that. 25mph is just a number, let’s count on it that the other person’s car has great brakes, that the other person in the car reacts very fast, and then there’s no problem. The fact that there is probably a long string of cars behind that other person’s car? Ignore that. As long as they are in the other lane, puttering along at almost 60mph now.

I really can’t believe the idiocy that I see happening on the roads these days, and I spend a lot of time (far too much) on the roads. Not many people seem to think any more, seem to understand what this whole car game is about. It’s not a race track, people, even when it looks that way because of the speed freaks. It’s deadly out there.

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Skyclad

If you’re a pagan you probably know what ‘skyclad’ means. There are plenty of groups out there in the real world who perform their rituals that way. ‘Skyclad’, for those who don’t know, means ‘naked’. You wear nothing but the sky.

Skyclad

A skyclad circle

Not all pagans go naked when doing rituals. Not all pagans do rituals. But there are also non-pagans who go naked when they can, simply because they like it. They’re called nudists or naturists. There’s always something wrong with each word, so many of them don’t even bother calling themselves something. They just enjoy the freedom of being natural, either at home or in a natural environment.

Nudism

Nudity in our ‘modern’ society is often frowned upon, because many of the monotheistic religions condemn nudity as being bad. The people who agree with that are all born fully dressed, I am certain. And then there’s of course the porn industry that does its best to sexualise everything. Sadly they’re doing a good job on that.

Being naked is not bad (it’s actually healthy because it allows all of your skin to breathe). Taking someone who’s naked as an easy prey for sex, rape or other kinds of abuse is bad.

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Wind

It’s indeed worrying. And Mr Barton isn’t the only one. That’s even more worrying.

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One world religion

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

This thing from the current pope had the world in shock for a while. Lately you don’t hear much about it any more though. It even had the Vatican in shock (and perhaps still has).

What many people perceive as the new Crusades to make the entire world become Catholic doesn’t seem to be more than a “repositioning” of that faith so it’s more modern. Will this pope succeed? Who knows.

“Some in the Roman Curia” — the Vatican bureaucracy — “say, well, this pope is old so let’s wait a bit, and things will return to the way they were,” said the Rev. Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Argentine Jesuit. (source)

I doubt that ‘the world’ will have to worry immediately. There are many people on this earth, and many of them aren’t Catholic. That’s a healthy thing. Anyone worth their salt should be able to resist the ‘lure’ of Catholicism. I don’t believe the Catholics will start a full-scale war on other religions – there would be too much opposition.

Still, knowing the history of Catholicism, it’s good to keep a watchful eye. Its history is quite filled with bloodshed and torture in the name of their loving god. The power that they hold is something to be aware of, as in January the pope had 178 diplomats from all over the world in his humble abode in the Vatican. Among whom several people who can’t see eye to eye in the halls of the United Nations. (source)

US ambassador AND Iranian ambassador at the same papal party.

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