Friday, May 02, 2003

Were Newton and Einstein autistic?
They might have had, in varying degrees, what I have - just a touch of autism, what more and more people now know is Asperger syndrome. Some people think Bill Gates has it too.

Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University, on Einstein's life: 'Passion, falling in love and standing up for justice are all perfectly compatible with Asperger syndrome,' he told the weekly science magazine New Scientist. Exactly! Many people with AS feel all the same emotions normal people do. It's no more a 'mental illness' than being color-blind or dyslexic - just like those problems, it's a handicap that's hardwired into the brain, and it can't be 'cured', but take it from me, it can be beat.

St Athanasius
Today, in addition to being Friday in Bright Week, is the feast day of the Mother of God of the Life-Giving Font on the Orthodox calendar. From blogforlovers.blogspot.com, it seems today is also the Gregorian-calendar feast day of St Athanasius of Alexandria, a big name in the Christian East:

May 2, 373: Church father Athanasius, 'the father of Orthodoxy', dies. He attended the Council of Nicea, and after becoming bishop of Alexandria, he fought Arianism and won. He was also the first to list the New Testament canonical books as we know them today. Athanasius' tenacity and fidelity, despite all odds, earned him the well deserved phrase, Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world).

More on St Athanasius, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Sparks from the Holy Fire
by Victoria Clark, The Tablet
Both the writer and my source for this link have a condescending view of the Eastern Orthodox, sad to say. On the other hand, I know a Russian Orthodox priest who lived for a year in Jerusalem, where Russian and Arab nuns of the Russian Church Abroad still have a convent on Eleon, the Mount of Olives. He has been to the Holy Fire miracle at the Church of the Resurrection/Holy Sepulchre - initially the flame is blue and doesn't burn anything other than candle wicks. Father has a full beard and put his face in the combined flame of several candles - nothing burned! After some time the flames become normal and burn.

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
Al-Fallujah: Two killed in new Iraq demo shooting

Another atrocity
Samer al-Batal: Soldiers' behaviour? Bad form sah.

A good opinion column addressing the conduct of trigger-happy soldiers who seem to have been bred on Doom and Quake:
Has America taken on a new military culture with new rules that allow us to kill civilians at will?

S. al-B.: These incidents are becoming commoner. It is interesting how during the
bombing of cities, extraordinary pains were taken to exonerate the armed forces
from blame in the killing of civilians (going so despicably far as to suggest
the Iraqis caused the market killings; the targeting of journalists also comes
to mind), but now that the commencing with the monotonous duties of enforcing a
police state has begun, the attention span of the American audience has
effectively diminished after a good round of self-righteous congratulations and
"I told you so" posturing, which means that soldiers can now afford to pop some
civilian Iraqis every day or so-all the while resting assured that the massive
large-scale expressions of outrage, anger, and contempt towards them will not
intrude on Mr. Joe's blissful sighing and reflecting over the infinitely looping
footage that plays in his head, of an Iraqi crowd cheering at the tearing down
of Saddam Hussein's statue. And if the soldiers are indeed retaliating to rocks
with gunfire, then their image might slowly merge with that of Israeli soldiers,
and the Americans don't want that to happen, trust me. No rubber bullets
disclaimers here.

Iraqis left baffled as Don drops in for a chat

Greek Cypriots end economic blockade of Turkish north

Watch out, Eastern Europe: the New World Order's jackboot is heading your way.
More US forces will be based in Eastern Europe

A bit of good news from blogforlovers.blogspot.com and The Tablet:
Tridentine Mass has green light to come back at St Peter’s Basilica

Follow-up
The disgraced sex-offender ex-priest I mentioned last night (but not by name, for charity's sake) seems to have gone on an entirely predictable orgy of self-pity in reaction. The issue really is not what he did many years ago, which of course can be forgiven, but that he has shown zero contrition for it - he only seems angry he got caught. All this explains his coy, coded defences of gay clergy, and of the institutions that 'enabled' them, and his implacable hatred of the late Fr Malachi Martin (which sometimes has come out in the form of slanderous gossip, a favorite pastime of homosexual men, it seems), who blew the whistle on such things a long time ago.

All it would take to earn my respect is to come clean and sound like a holy person: 'I made a terrible mistake all those years ago, for which I've repented, and I am spending the rest of my life in reparation for such mistakes, both mine and others. I hope my Web work on behalf of my church can contribute to that in part. I do not defend or make excuses for such and similar sinful acts, nor for the people and institutions that enable them.'

It's that simple.

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