Wednesday, March 11, 2009

15 ’Adhar 5769: Shushan Purim/Johnny Appleseed Day

Greetings.

Worthy cause of the day: “Tell EPA: Pave the way for cleaner cars!”

Also: I gave blood today. Please consider giving yourself if you can, as the Red Cross is in short supply. Two great things about it are 1) you can save a life without having to do anything dangerous, such as run into a burning building and 2) it is a way to do something good which costs nothing.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. On and off I have thought about spinning off a separate Divine Misconceptions blog. This current blog is titled Weird thing of the day, but the range of materials posted on it has gotten rather wide and frequently not particularly weird. Spinning off a separate blog would allow me to focus this one more on weird things and another one on material related to the Divine Misconceptions project; on the other hand, it would mean I have to manage two separate blogs. To help me decide, I have started a new poll in the sidebar on the right, ending on 1 Nisan. Please vote and let me know what you think.
  2. More religious intolerance: “India: Pastor Shot In Bomb Attack On Church”, “Dalai Lama blasts 'brutal crackdown' in Tibet”, “The International Coalition for Religious Freedom: Should Kazakhstan Head the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe?”, and “UZBEKISTAN: Can authorities 'separate the simple study of one's religion from extremist activity'?”.
  3. “Somalis in Minneapolis fall under FBI suspicion”: (Submitted by Barry.) It does not take a genius to note that much of the terror committed on this planet is done in the name of Islam, regardless of whether one considers Islamic terrorism to be a legitimate part of Islam or not. As such, it is only to be expected that Muslims everywhere are being scrutinized for connections with Muslim terrorist organizations, and naturally Muslims who themselves do not engage in or support terrorism are put in a rather uncomfortable situation.
  4. “Egyptian cleric blasts Starbucks for 'Queen Esther' logo”: Thus is it written:
    "The girl in the Starbucks logo is Queen Esther. Do you know who Queen Esther was and what the crown on her head means? This is the crown of the Persian kingdom. This queen is the queen of the Jews. She is mentioned in the Torah, in the Book of Esther. The girl you see is Esther, the queen of the Jews in Persia," the cleric said.

    "The Crown you see here [in the Starbucks logo] is the crown of the kingdom of Xerxes," Higa said.

    "We want Starbucks to be shut down throughout the Arab and Islamic world," he concluded. "It is inconceivable that in Mecca and Al-Madina, there will be a picture of Queen Esther. Can you believe that in Mecca, Al-Madina, Cairo, Damascus, Kuwait, and all over the Islamic world there hangs the picture of beautiful Queen Esther, with a crown on her head, and we buy her products?"
    Putting aside the blatant anti-Semitism, the problem is that the premise for boycotting Starbucks is wrong. According to the Wikipedia article on Starbucks (which includes references to back it up its claim), the girl in the Starbucks logo is a siren, and previous versions of the logo look less plausibly like Queen ’Esther. WARNING: Previous versions of the logo are not suitable to show to children. Or scrupulous adults. Do not blame me if you follow that link and are offended.
  5. “Clean and Virtuous: When Physical Purity Becomes Moral Purity”: Just a curious quirk of human thinking.
Today’s news and commentary:
Today’s weird thing is “Unveiling the "Sixth Sense," game-changing wearable tech”:

Technologically, it is a wonderful thing to be living in the 21st century; we have wonderful toys and keep getting more of them. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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