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the metaphysical and speculative

Ken Ham’s Ark

Oh I do like this one, via Chuckles, who headed it: “James at Work”:

Ark-Building Creationist Explains Why It Was Totally Cool

Yo, c’mon you Creationists, ra, ra, ra. Huffington Post, home of the godless and leftist:

Ken Ham, the creationist behind the giant Noah’s Ark replica nearing completion in Kentucky, received some pointed questions on Twitter from those who have a problem with the central message in the biblical story. 

Ken Ham?  Excellent name, excellent.  Naturally, the narrow-minded Huffposters who believe in nothing beyond their eyes see all sorts of nefarious doings in this on the part of God and they’ll find the kookiest individuals who claim to be Christian and make fun of them, just as the left does with the GOP RINOs who are not real conservatives.…


palmyra arch

There’s this thing you could call white noise, it gets in the way of understanding and comes down to unfounded prejudice.  Prejudice can be well founded, it can also be irrational.

The rejection of god is not irrational, though I believe it’s wrong. It comes down, not to facts and figures but to evidence and faith. That’s not what I’m referring to in this post.…

Started well, went downhill from there …

Mixed Sunday – good a.m. with friends from Oz on Twitter and the football. Turned to the Beeb and more good news:

boaty mcbf

Boaty McBoatface has become the overwhelming choice in a public vote to name a £200m polar research ship.

The name, suggested by former BBC Radio Jersey presenter James Hand, went viral, crashing the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) website.

Boaty McBoatface was the runaway winner with 124,109 votes. The second most popular choice, Poppy-Mai, had 34,245.


It was either another post or some music. Let’s have the post now and the music tomorrow morning.

In 1932, the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort tallied the stars in the Milky Way and found that they came up short. Judging by the way the stars bob up and down like horses on a carousel as they go around the plane of the galaxy, Oort calculated that there ought to be twice as much matter gravitationally propelling them as he could see.

He postulated the presence of hidden “dark matter” to make up the difference and surmised that it must be concentrated in a disk to explain the stars’ motions.

But credit for the discovery of dark matter—the invisible, unidentified stuff that comprises five-sixths of the universe’s mass—usually goes to the Swiss-American astronomer Fritz Zwicky, who inferred its existence from the relative motions of galaxies in 1933. Oort is passed over on the grounds that he was trailing a false clue.


family together

Not only is it highly emotive, it illustrates all that’s wrong in man-woman relations.

I deliberately wrote a piece where I was hoping to see women’s reactions, specifically that the man is nothing in this, the man doesn’t count. I wrote as much in comments.

To a point, it was fine. People referred to themselves, their situations, telling their tales, not an issue. Where it crossed the line was in attacking someone else personally and it was wrong on two counts –…

Catholic professor sacked for defending Catholic position

No human-made organization should be beyond criticism. Sure the altruism of the Sermon on the Mount and wisdom of The Ten Commandments are eternal but even there, humans wrote the words and thus the element of criticism comes in.

Where there’s an earthly organization with property and money, such as many churches, especially in America, then they are subject to just as much scrutiny as, say, Exxon or GS.

The Z Man minces no words, as Martin Luther also did not:

The Catholic Church is now a disgrace. Now we see that Catholic universities are going full moonbat, censuring people for expressing what is still Catholic dogma.

In the fall of 2014, junior faculty member Cheryl Abbate told a student, who secretly recorded the exchange, that his defense of man-woman marriage was an unacceptable topic in her ethics class and compared his views to racism. She said, “You can have whatever opinions you want but I can tell you right now, in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, and sexist comments will not be tolerated.” And then she told the student he should drop the class.

When Buddhism meets Judaism

#  If there is no  self, whose arthritis is this?

#  Be here now.   Be someplace else later.  Is that so complicated?

#  Wherever you go,  there you are.  Your luggage is another story.

#  The journey of a  thousand miles begins with a single Oy.

#  The  Tao does not speak.  The Tao does not blame.  The Tao does  not take sides.  The Tao has no expectations.  The Tao  demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.

#  Breathe  in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.   Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your  problems.

#  Let  your mind be as a floating cloud.  Let your stillness be as a  wooded glen.  And sit up straight.  You’ll never meet the  Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

Deep  inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten  thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You  might want to see a specialist.…

The lie of “it’s just a few radicals”

Most of us are of a certain mindset these days on everything from the corruption above to radical Islam to all sorts of things, e.g. Osborne’s budget.

There is, as everyone knows, also the other side with scrambled brains, or clever brains deliberately pushing disinformation in the form of PCism and it is most corrosive. The best lies are those based on a modicum of truth or a plausible principle and that makes them all the more diabolical, more difficult to counter.

Analogously, if there were people of a certain land who managed to escape that land, then they would still bring much of their upbringing with them in the first generation. If they found a society which was based on a different, more enlightened tradition of upbringing, and that society was strong in its traditions and values, then by the third generation, those kids might be fitting in with the new land and so racism and other isms become far less of an issue.…

Passion Play

Just finished St Matthew Passion at 22:11.

Why? Why sit through it? Felt I had to, not for just religious reasons but in a commentary on us today, when so many can only tweet 140 characters or SMS or do selfies. The serious people do short blogposts. I just felt a mammoth undertaking was necessary, so why not this one?

And by the way, don’t even attempt it without this beside you:

The Triduum – Holy Saturday


The following more properly follows Easter Sunday but as there’s not a lot else to post on Easter Saturday, it will be treated here.

One needs to sort out in the head existentialism v rationalism v positivism before going any further – Wiki:

While the supreme value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity.[6]  

Existentialists oppose definitions of human beings as primarily rational, and, therefore, oppose positivism andrationalism. Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on subjective meaning rather than pure rationality.

The Triduum – Good Friday


The crucifixion is not the most important day for Christians, as most are aware, it is the precursor and a nasty one too.

If Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, if it did happen and there is corroboration even from non-Christian sources that it did, then the issue is whether He knew it was coming. And if He did know, then what a thing to have on your mind.

This story from some years ago puts it in perspective and explains why it is a most solemn period of time, the Triduum.

A Physician testifies about the Crucifixion
by Dr. C. Truman Davis…

The Triduum – Maundy Thursday

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vo


This year, let’s start at the Triduum. For Palm Sunday and Holy Week, please see Cherie’s Place – following the arrows at the top of each post navigates you.

My aim in mentioning these things at N.O., a secular blog, is in the spirit of classical liberalism and scholarship, relying on educated men and women who are interested in the world’s major customs and rituals as topics of study, showing respect for the observances as one would hope they would post on their own observances, if they have any.

Russian Orthodox Easter Day [Paskha] is on Sunday, May 1, 2016.  Ours is Sunday, March 27th and as most know, it’s the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars responsible for this.

On each day of the Triduum, I’ll post something here.


Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on alunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar.