Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur

 




A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.

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How to make a complaint and/or claim under the British Data Protection Act re the BlockBot team

Posted 28-Mar-2015 at 04:07 PM (16:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

If you are resident in Britain, the Data Protection Act, 1998, and small-claims-court proceedings, can often be an easy and cheap way of stopping someone from misusing your data. That applies to the present situation with the BlockBot, if the Blockbot team have appended false allegations about you to their blacklisting of you on their BlockBot list, including with your real name or any clear connection to your real name. A similar avenue of redress exists in Ireland too. Here is some official information...
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Rating: 18 votes, 5.00 average.

Preliminary report on the Cologne (Koeln) 2012 European Atheist Convention, Germany

Posted 26-May-2012 at 04:01 PM (16:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-May-2012 at 02:20 AM (02:20) by Gurdur

I went to the 2012 European Atheist Convention in Cologne (Köln, a.k.a. Koeln), Germany, yesterday, and will go again today (if I can; other jobs are pressing too) and tomorrow. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and this is only a preliminary report; I'll blog more in depth on aspects later. You can find the convention schedule here. Embedded here are two audio clips I made, of the speeches by Dan Parker and PZ Myers. I didn't get to do more recordings, but there was a video team at the convention, and...
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Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average.

The Hunger Games, and why you should take notice of it

Posted 14-Mar-2012 at 05:56 AM (05:56) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 14-Mar-2012 at 09:44 AM (09:44) by Gurdur

The movie The Hunger Games hits the cinemas worldwide around March 22, and should be in cinemas for around 4 weeks or more after that date. It is a film adaptation of the first novel from the trilogy of the same name by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set, USA hardcover edition, British paperback edition; the other two books in that set are titled Catching Fire and Mockingjay). The trilogy of books, meant for young adults and older children, is in my opinion quite a brilliant bit of...
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So, the smoking gun: the Vatican, sexual child-abuse by priests, and defiance of secular laws and morals

Posted 19-Jan-2011 at 08:05 AM (08:05) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 19-Jan-2011 at 11:22 AM (11:22) by Gurdur

You know, I have a sympathy for counter-culture, I have quite a bit of sympathy for those who say, "We determine what is right and wrong for ourselves regardless of what others say", I am not entirely against a church which says it will determine its own ethics and live by them, it's exactly what I do after all, and I can see why a church, just as I would, might ignore local laws say meant to implement political repression.

On the other hand, there are always things one needs to...
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The Simultankirche, the simultaneum mixtum - a humanist creative-tension model for society, part 1

Posted 28-Sep-2010 at 05:13 AM (05:13) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Sep-2010 at 05:24 AM (05:24) by Gurdur

In 1618 A.D., the most destructive war ever fought on German soil broke out. It lasted till 1648, and is known as the Thirty Years' War. At the end of that war, the total population of Germany had shrunk by anywhere between 20% and 50%; the usual estimate of population loss is 30%, though Wikipedia gives a range of 15% to 30%. One large region, Württemberg, lost 75% of its population. The Czech regions suffered like Germany, losing around 30%. More than all that, the Thirty Years' War was part...
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Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

A loosely translated summary of the German Jesuit sexual child-abuse report

Posted 15-Jun-2010 at 02:53 PM (14:53) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Jun-2010 at 07:37 AM (07:37) by Gurdur

With thanks to Ruth Gledhill and The Times for making its existence publicised initially, and full credit to the German branch of the Jesuits for being proactive in uncovering such sexual child-abuse, but I cannot find any in-depth translation into English in any of the English-speaking media of the now completed and released report by Ursula Raue, so I am going to do a partial translation of the actual findings of that report released 27th May 2010 here myself, of which I have blogged in very short note beforehand....
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Cleaning out the cesspool: the Jesuits in Germany determined to make a clean sweep, report coming out tomorrow on sexual abuse of children in Germany by Jesuit priests and teachers

Posted 27-May-2010 at 10:18 PM (22:18) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 15-Jun-2010 at 03:00 PM (15:00) by Gurdur

Earlier this year, in response to the child-abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic church begging to surface, the Jesuits in Germany at least started to make a clean sweep -- while others in the Catholic church hierarchy still tried and try the usual evasions and powerplays. For example, Cardinal Brady refuses to step down from his postion in Ireland, even though he was directly part of a cover-up of child-abuse, a cover-up in 1975 forcing children to sign vows of silence over cases of abuse by paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth,...
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Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

How Greece makes Britain nervous: and would it be better for Greece itself to default?

Posted 07-May-2010 at 06:25 AM (06:25) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 07-May-2010 at 09:31 AM (09:31) by Gurdur

The current debt crisis in Greece is something that makes Britain very nervous, and the reasons why should be a wake-up call for all the anti-EU prejudiced in Britain; but it won't be one, since the anti-EU mob in Britain largely base their position on emotion, rather than facts. Even though the debt crisis in Britain itself is a very damn pressing problem, very little has been said about it in the present British election.

The problem is that if Greece goes under, then it is felt...
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Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.

Graeca fides, nulla fides: the Greek debt crisis and its possible effects on the euro: Σὺν Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ χεῖρα κίνει

Posted 30-Apr-2010 at 02:00 AM (02:00) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 30-Apr-2010 at 05:19 AM (05:19) by Gurdur

So as everyone should know by now, there is a massive Greek debt crisis; the bonds and stocks rating agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Moody's have downgraded the rating status of bonds issued by the government of Greece, which means a massive hike in what the Greek state needs to pay in interest rates on loans made to it. You can read about the Greek debt crisis recorded blow-by-blow and hour by hour here.

Furthermore, everyone seems to be looking to Germany to save Greece, since...
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Intentions, atheists, intentionality, religion, the problem of evil - an uneasy mix

Posted 04-Feb-2010 at 02:44 AM (02:44) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 30-Mar-2010 at 11:38 AM (11:38) by Gurdur

Humans are a mixture of often-conflicting things. Humans tend to be born neutral, and many stay that way their whole life-times, since it takes real effort to be either markedly good or bad. Add to that that much of the time many are all out to sea with no compass when it comes to talking about what is good and what is bad, and that includes those such as the religious believers who like to talk a lot about evil, yet are totally confused about it.

The problem of evil is a huge problem...
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The mysteries of history: religion, nationalism, Jinnah and the partition of India

Posted 27-Aug-2009 at 12:52 AM (00:52) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Mar-2010 at 06:52 AM (06:52) by Gurdur

Partition of a country where ethnic groups are warring is one of those issues that constantly crops up. Whether it's the Wikipedia link for Anglo-Irish Treaty Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 which partioned Ireland, marking the end of the Wikipedia link for Irish War of Independence Irish War of Independence begun in 1919, or whether it's the modern-day partion of old Wikipedia link for Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina into three parts as a result of Serbian and later Croatian aggression, or whether it's the Wikipedia link for American Civil War American Civil War, or whether it's the Wikipedia link for United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947, partition...
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