Think the unthinkable
08/20/2022. Category: politics. Topic: change.
“It is hard to think the unthinkable. It’s hard to think that all of it, all the misery, all the suffering of the past and to come might just be about money, greed and power. It is hard to tell yourself you’ve been taken for a fool and taken for a ride. It’s hard, but the view from the other side is worth the effort and the pain. Open your eyes and see.”
Known for his thought-provoking monologues, Neil Oliver, the Scottish archaeologist, historian, author and television presenter, cuts to the bone on the ideologies of governments and big corporations. He asks –
“Are our governments more interested in enabling, in aiding and abetting the rich, than in lifting so much as a finger to protect our livelihoods, our ways of life?”Read more…
Bitter Rivals: Sunni vs Shia
02/27/2020. Category: war. Topic: conflict, religion.
Approximately 85% of the world’s Muslims are Sunni and 15% are Shia. While both sects agree on most of the fundamental practices and beliefs of Islam their dispute originated on the succession of their prophet Muhammad on his death in AD 632.
Muhammad did not clearly name who he would have preferred as his successor and died without a male heir. Most of his followers (now known as Sunnis, derived from the phrase Ahl al-Sunnah, or “People of the Tradition”) wanted senior members of the Islamic community to choose his successor while others believed only that his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, should succeed him. The latter became the followers of Ali, in Arabic the Shiat Ali, or Shia. These two groups became bitter rivals.Read more…
Syrian Civil War: who is fighting and why
04/10/2017. Category: war. Topic: conflict.
The name Syria derives from the 8th century BC Luish term Sura’i and an ancient Greek name for Assyria (northern Iraq today). Considering its long history, Syria should be a well-established, stable country. Alas, throughout the centuries it has come to know its share of conflicts.
From the ancient Syrian Wars (274 – 168 BC), Muhammad’s invasion in 626 AD, the onslaught of the Ayubids, Crusaders, Mamluks and Nizaris, the Ottoman Empire invading in 1516, fighting the Israelis and the Kurds, the Syrian Civil War – which started in 2011 – might be it’s biggest battle yet. Read more…
Origins of Israel Palestinian conflict
10/26/2016. Category: war. Topic: conflict.
The conflict between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine is neither complex nor rooted in ancient disputes. The conflict started, in history terms, fairly recently; in 1948.
The conflicts between Jews and Muslims in the middle-east region are rooted in almost ancient disputes but the state of modern-day Israel was establish only in 1948 and the State of Palestine was awarded the status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations only in 2012. Read more…
Money makes the world go round. Does it?
02/26/2014. Category: money. Topic: banks, economy.
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” requires money because “money makes the world go round.” Or does it?
The first-mentioned quote is the well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence and the second is a line from the song Money, Money in the musical Cabaret.
It is obvious that having financial stability – or a sense thereof – in your life is of utmost importance. There even is enough evidence that having financial wealth can add significantly to happiness. But is money the alpha and the omega? Read more…
The number of abortions per day almost equals the number of people dying per day
04/16/2013. Category: society. Topic: population.
“How can you say there are too many children. That is like saying there are too many flowers,” said Mother Theresa. There’s almost no decent debate to answer such an observation. Even when discussing abortion.
Abortion is not about population numbers and most often summarily not about unwanted children. There are deep sociological questions behind abortion. It is an extremely difficult matter, ironically usually most heatedly argued by men. We know of no woman who has an abortion gladly. Read more…
Did you know? video 5
01/29/2013. Category: didyouknow. Topic: education, media.
Titled “Iowa, Did You Know?” the 5th video in the “Did you know? Shift Happens” series of video by educators Karl Fisch and Dr. Scott McLeod is aimed at, as they mentioned, “Iowa policymakers, citizens, and educators and is intended to help them feel a greater sense of urgency when it comes to changing our schools.”
The facts stated in the video will, like all other “Did you know?” videos, leave you to think deeper about the changes affecting the modern world and your responsibilities to it. Read more…
Arithmetic, Population, and Energy
07/05/2012. Category: society. Topic: population.
Population numbers are often discussed. In particular when hot topics such as immigration, energy or sparse resources are debated. “Too many people!” “Look at India,” some say, “9 million new mouths to feed every month.”
On the topic of the number of children born into the world, Mother Theresa gave a strong opinion: “How can you say there are too many children. That is like saying there are too many flowers.” Read more…
You and the Real You
06/19/2012. Category: society. Topic: psychology.
How well do you know of YOU? That depends on how much you remember of you.
Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains that the actual experiences you go through in your life most often does not collate of how you view your own life. You are much more inclined to “know” your life from just a few memories – consisting of just a few minutes – you kept over directly or indirectly from those experiences. Read more…
Countries with most public holidays
06/15/2012. Category: didyouknow. Topic: work.
How many days in your holiday? How many days are you off sick? How many public holiday days are there? Economist magazine had a look at the day-off trends in different countries and came up with some surprising numbers.
We – although not all of us – seem to be working harder than the Romans did. Under Claudius, who was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54 AD, the citizens had the privilege of 159 public holidays, 93 of which were set aside for public games. Read more…