Friday, March 31, 2006

Let's play, Who wants to be a Millionaire

We're having a quiz this saturday evening at the nook. Team Arsenal takes the rest of the world in a Who wants to be a millionaire type of trivia quiz. Whenever me and my friends engage in any kind of competition (one that involves teams) we invariably end up as Team Arsenal vs Man United (or the rest of the world). This is mainly due to the fact that either camp feels their premiership counterparts are the benchmark of English (and sometimes European) football. Sometimes it's just that eveyone else hates the team that is dominating. *Fuck Chelsea, Drogba and Mourinho*

Quiz Question: Who is the only person in history to have won both the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics, and in what years?

Another quiz question: What is Nwankwo Kanu's shoe size?

I kissed her and she kissed me!

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

--James Leigh Hunt

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This land is your land!

My muscles are killin me. Not in the *take that you SOB* kind of way, but they're aching like hell.
I went to the gym on monday morning and like anyone who's put on a few pounds, not to mention been absent from the gym for several years, I went into overdrive. I was everywhere, liftin this and that and the other, on the treadmill, bike etc. If it wasn't bolted down I lifted it, if it had wheels I rode it. After two intensive hours, I had a cold shower and headed into town for business as usual. Monday was quite uneventful, had the usual
game of scrabble against Mark, and headed to the Nook in the evening.

Woke up on Tuesday morning and I couldn't move a limb, couldn't even stretch my hand to see what time it was. If this is going to be the price of a six pack and co, I just might pass and stick to sunday football. As if spending the day in pain wasn't enough, I had to endure 90 minutes of Arsenal vs Juventus
. Now, any neutral fan will tell you it was a brilliant game from Arsenal, don't believe the hype. Me as an Arsenal hater absolutely and without any basis whatsover assures you that it was crap, I think it's Capello's idea of a joke; to make Arsenal think they've gone through and then ambush them in Turin (how i wish!).

Went back to the gym this morning despite all the resistance from my limbs. It was definately a case of mind over matter.

mind: Wake up! Gym time!
body: What! leave me alone!
Oh come on, we agreed to this yesterday
I can't move any muscle
mind: Let me help you *my mind then proceeds to give my body a mental picture of me in 10 years minus gymwork*
body: okay but that's coercion, one day I'll just resign.
mind: I know, but not until I'm through with you, then I'll probably throw you off a bridge.

Was humming Dido's "This land is mine" today when my 5 year old cousin, Alana, heard me and proceeded to correct me. She thought I was trying to sing some kid's song called " This land is your land" so she sang it for me. Kids can be very cute.

This land is your land,
This land is my land,
From California To the New York Island,
From the redwood forest, To the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking,
That ribbon of highway,
I saw above me That endless skyway,
I saw below me That golden valley.
This land was made for you and me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

it's never too late to start

This being my first foray into blogging, I have been wondering how to go about it. Actually, I read only two blogs on the net;Raymond's Bliss, not me (how wierd would that be?), some chap in belgium, got to know his blog from Izak, who is a brother to my friend Mark. Why am I explaining all this? I guess because it's my blog and I can write almost anything I want. Oh and the other blog is Minega's World, Minega is a friend of Raymond's. I've never met these two chaps in my life but I find their blogs interesting. Think I will drop them a comment one of these days.

Anyway back to the point (if any), I read these blogs and thought to myself; "Hey, I'm not going to run for political office any time soon, so let's go blogging (Ooh la la la, trumpets) and so here I am.

Got a new book to read, "The moral intelligence of children", only gone a few pages so can't really tell how good it is. According to the cover it's about how children acquire morals from the people around them, how you can be a better moral model or reference for children you come into contact with. Reads good so far.

Most recent poem I read

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
---John Donne

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

some of the Best

4 of the best books I have ever read. In no particular order

The Prophet: Kahlil Gibran
A brilliant man's philosophy on love, marriage, joy and sorrow, time, friendship and much more. Originally published in 1923 - translated into more than 20 languages..

"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."

Opening Skinner's Box: Lauren Slater
A very interesting look at what we know and don't know about human nature and the issues surrounding the process in which we find out. A novel that engrosses you in it's telling of some of the most intriguing psychological experiments of the last century.

Quote: "In the unlikely event of a water landing;
1. You, the potential helper, must notice an event is occurring.
2. You must interpret the event as one in which help is needed.
3. You must assume personal responsibility.
4. You must decide what action to take.
5. You must then take action."

The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini
A very emotionally involving book. Khaled Hosseini captures your heart with his story of Amir, an Afghani who is forced to flee his country after the Taliban take it over and eventually forced to return to it to purge the ghosts of his childhood.

Quote:".....for you, a thousand times over!"

Losing Faith in Faith: Dan Barker
Losing Faith in Faith' deals with Dan Barker's de-conversion from a fundamentalist Christian preacher to an atheist. He recounts the personal and turbulent story of how he gave up his faith, and how he found new meaning in atheism. Not only does he recount his personal story in the book, but he also provides some chapters with arguments on why a belief in God is not viable, as well as some chapters explaining the concepts of atheism and freethought.
A very powerful book for me personally.

Dear friend, "You probably already know that I have gone through some significant changes regarding spiritual things. The past five or six years has been a time of deep re-evaluation for me, and during the last couple of years I have decided that I can no longer honestly call myself a Christian. You can probably imagine that it has been an agonizing process for me. I was raised in a good Christian home, served in missions and evangelism, went to a Christian college, became ordained and ministered in three churches as Assistant Pastor. During those years I was 100 percent convinced of my faith, and now I am just about 100 percent unconvinced...."

In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing

I've been reading this really interesting book, "Opening Skinner's
Box" by Lauren Slater. It's about Psychological experiments in the
last century, how they impacted the scientific field,their influence
on our lives, their origins and the myths and facts surrounding these

10 experiments are looked at ranging from behavioural
shaping to lobotomy. One of the most interesting experiments was
carried out by two psychologists (Bibb Latane and John Darley) after
the murder of a one "Kitty Genovese" in 1964. Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in 1964 by a mentally ill serial
rapist and murderer.

The murder took place over a period of about
thirty minutes, during which 38 witnesses heard her screams for help
but did nothing. During the period she was attacked three separate
times, each time she screamed for help, each time her neighbours
switched on the lights in their apartments and did nothing more.

The news of the murder and the action (inaction) of her neighbours
enraged the nation and prompted Darley and Latane to investigate what
they came to call the "bystander effect".
This basically is that people are less likely to intervene in an emergency situation when
there are others present. Harley and Latane showed this using a
series of experiments, one which involved helping a supposedly
epileptic student.
The results of the experiment showed that 62% of
people will fail to offer help in an emergency situation if others
are present, whereas if alone, they will almost always offer help
Darley and Latane then developed what they called the five stages of
helping behaviour.

10 years after Harley and Latane's experiments, a social scientist
(Arthur Beaman) at the University of Montana took a group of college
students and showed them the films of the experiments that
articulated the five stages of helping behaviour. He found that the
students who saw the films and learned the necessary stages were almost
twice as likely to offer help than those without such education.

In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing.

1. You, the potential helper, must notice an event is occurring.

2. You must interpret the event as one in which help is needed.

3. You must assume personal responsibility.

4. You must decide what action to take.

5. You must then take action.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Life, the universe and everything!

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"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."

--William Blake

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

.....and then there was R.

According to science, the earth is roughly 4.55 billion years old, religious accounts (christian that is) put it at about 6,000 years old. The earth, science says came into existence several million years after the bing bang.

The priest tells me, "Son, God made the earth, the moon, the stars and all the universe in the first six days.". Whatever the case, my earth begun (6000-25) years or (4.55billion-25) years after the beginning.".....and God said, let there be R, and then there was Raymond".
So basically I've been around for the last 25 years, eating, sleeping and generally attempting to be useful. After 25 years I have come to realise that hell, I haven't done anything worth writing home about! Apart form consuming copius amounts of beer and food, and comping up with a few philosopies (most of them attained in the proverbial alcoholic's 'moment of clarity'). I will dispense some of these philosopies with time.