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Pedestal 42

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Pedestal 42 has (edit: largely) retired from Y!A owing to illness, for an indeterminate period. The e-mail contact is still open. (edit, back occasionally driven by sheer boredom since there are few things I *can* do. My health has not improved.) A variety of interests affect (afflict?) this 55-year-old: History, theology, philosophy, science, and more, all taken both seriously and lightly. Books on on these, and Science Fiction and Fantasy can be found piled up everywhere in my house. Add in a special interest in certain odd corners of the art and railway world, centreing on the work of Rowland Emett and spreading out from there. A saying? There are so many wise words, and I would tend to call on Kipling or Shakepeare. But perhaps: "If one wishes to find consolation in this world, one must be prepared to accept at least one or two large lies" Graf Ulrich von Bek. I haven't been able to refute him yet.

  • In nine pages of Y!A Christmas...?

    I found two questions relating to Christianity.

    Has the religious, Christian, Christmas been completely buried under the commercial and material one?

    If not, why has it been here?

    3 AnswersChristmas8 years ago
  • Is this really the end of...? time in Y!A R&S?

    I've not seen many new questions for a while, and as a New Year's experiment I am uncertain about my resolution) I'm going to find out if I am truly addicted to R&S by attempting to put it down and back away.

    Estimates maybe offered here as to how soon people think I'll have withdrawal symptoms and come hastening back.

    (which would be a sad example and warning to others.)

    Farewell R&S, (or is that Adieu, or Au revoir?)

    Pedestal 42.

    5 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
  • Is today the end for Rome?

    Never mind the 21st: someone has called time on Rome for today.

    "The panic was sparked by rumours that seismologist Raffaele Bendandi, who died in 1979, predicted the city would be devastated by a quake on 11 May."

    Personally I'm more concerned by some of the thought processes revealed in the BBC article

    "Tania Cotorobai, told Reuters she planned to spend Wednesday in the countryside.

    "I don't know if I really believe it but if you look at the internet you see everything and the opposite of everything, and it ends up making you nervous." "

    3 AnswersReligion & Spirituality10 years ago
  • Have the Christians in R&S taken look at Y!A "Christmas" lately?

    I suggest it indicates that they may be losing the fight over what Christmas is about.

    Presents, Presents, Presents, Food... with an odd scattering of other items, largely Decorations.

    Not that that's my idea of a great Christmas...

    Question two, then: what's your idea of a great Christmas? Are the folk in R&S different from the inhabitants of "Christmas"?

    6 AnswersReligion & Spirituality10 years ago
  • Are there any Christians here who can show they understand..?

    ... an atheist's mindset (there are several), *from the perspective of the atheist*?

    Describing such from the viewpoint of Christianity is easy. (Romans 1:18-32 will do.)

    But having a sufficiently well-developed theory of mind to see the world as someone else sees it, putting your own viewpoint aside for one moment, that's something else.

    Anyone care to?

    10 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Television and torture?

    French Television have just run a version of the notorious Milgram experiments as a reality game-show.

    "Out of 80 players just 16 walked out refusing to administer the shocks."

    "TV contestants 'electrocute' rivals"

    Milgram got only 65% killers. They got over 80%

    Is it "just television", or do the majority of us only take even our most basic morality from our local culture and authority figures?

    Would you buck the norm? Why are you so sure?

    2 AnswersPsychology1 decade ago
  • What do Atheists (or others) do with their bodies when they die?

    This a near-repeat of Sarah's question, not far below, since although she's asking atheists she's blocked me.

    I'm having any useful organs donated and re-used, and my brain has been offered a short but interesting post in research at Oxford university once I've finished with it. (Seriously: it is unusually wired and they want to examine it. It's already been scanned at Cambridge University.)

    The rest of me will be cremated and I, as ashes, will take a final trip on my local steam railway, this time in the loco firebox, going to wind and clinker.

    How about you?

    24 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Veterans/Remembrance day question: can you name the ship...?

    ...without searching. Or failing that by searching.

    Over the course of three days this ship was:

    Torpedoed and set on fire.

    Damaged by near-miss bombs.

    Hit by two crashing bombers.

    Damaged by bombs again.

    Took a direct hit from a bomb..

    Hit by yet another bomb.

    This was no armoured warship but a fully-laden tanker. She survived just long enough to deliver her vital load.

    Of the fourteen merchantmen in that critical convoy, only five got through.

    An aircraft carrier, two cruisers and a destroyer were lost trying to protect it.

    Can you name the tanker?

    Lest we forget.

    One story out of thousands.

    2 AnswersHistory1 decade ago
  • For or against: large-scale bunny boiling?

    A peculiar news item which appears to have divided the Swedes.

    And I wonder how it would go with an international audience.

    "The bodies of thousands of rabbits are fuelling a heating plant in central Sweden, local newspapers say."

    Sensible or horrific?

    Would you want your house heated by burned bunnies, even if it helped the environment?

    And what on earth category is Y!A going to suggest for this?


    Based on your question, we think it belongs in one of these categories:

    Suggested Category

    *Science & Mathematics > Chemistry

    Food & Drink > Cooking & Recipes

    Entertainment & Music > Polls & Surveys

    Education & Reference > Homework Help

    Food & Drink > General - Food & Drink


    Hmm, let's give it to Polls...

    7 AnswersPolls & Surveys1 decade ago
  • When utterly firm faiths and convictions collide...?

    ...where do you find hope for a less than bloody resolution?

    Two adjacent articles on the BBC news site today:

    A Palestinian woman prepared to kill and die to regain the land of her people.

    "...all of them have violated our land...Palestine is only for Palestinians. We must kick them all out in any way we can."

    And an Israeli youth equally convinced the land is his by God-given right.

    "It's the land of the Israeli people, the Jewish people, so we're allowed to be here."

    The nearby articles are not much more positive.

    Siding with one or the other won't help answer my question:

    Is there hope or is there just going to be more bloodshed?

    And is religion and faith here part of the solution or part of the problem?

    1 AnswerReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Is the quality of "Good News" getting worse?

    Normally, "Government puts down uprising by Islamic fundamentalists" might be reasonably good news.

    But when the government turns out to be Hamas, and they are effectively the "moderates" in the situation, it's not as obviously good news after all:

    "The group is very critical of Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007, accusing the Islamist group of not being Islamist enough."

    BBC article:

    Any other suggestions for "not quite so good news"?

    The price of oil is down...

    .. because the industrial economy is so bad no-one wants it at the moment....

    3 AnswersCurrent Events1 decade ago
  • Your dream or your nightmare?

    Your new head of state, being sworn in, promises "I swear to protect the official faith... "

    And what if the official state religion is not yours?

    The quote is from today in Iran:

    9 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Christians have asked... What's the worst verse in the bible?

    Not me, though I have my opinions, and may chip in later.

    "The Ship of Fools" Christian website is appealing for people's suggestions for the worst bits of the bible.

    Their perspective and justification can be found at the url above,

    along with a nomination form.

    Later they will be looking for votes on the suggestions that have been made.

    I picked this up being mentioned on a religious radio broadcast.

    (BBC radio 4)

    No, Ship of Fools is not a spoof site, but has Christians with a sense of humour.

    What would you suggest, or how do you react to the competition itself?

    12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Sadly I knew it would happen: is it happening already?

    The headless chicken brigade are apparently beginning to conflate 2012 panic with swine flu panic.

    (six questions on Y!A search, so far)

    So the question is:

    I've lowered my estimate of humanity (average) down a notch, again.

    But have I lowered it enough?

    (Just wait till the Giant Hadron Collider comes back on line...)

    12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Have you ever had a deep or powerful convincing experience..?

    ... spiritual or otherwise, that seemed overwhelmingly true and unquestionable at the time, but that proved false, or at least markedly misunderstood or misinterpreted, in the light of later information or experience?

    Or the reverse: found such experiences always utterly reliable?

    I'll not skew this more by adding anything else at present.

    13 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Twilight: How big is Edward's mouth?

    This has suddenly become a very important piece of information...

    ... if you want to put a brick in it.

    See BBC News article.

    "The skull, discovered in Venice, dates from the middle ages and the brick was probably an attempt to prevent her rising from the grave. "

    7 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Atheist / Theist bus: the next two rounds?

    Three Christian groups are responding to the London atheist bus posters with their own.

    One is going with the traditional but firmly dogmatic: "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (psalm 14 or 53)

    What would you say? Really! In a democratic move, you can now word your very own bus, at least on the internet:

    With artwork provided by the atheists, you can even have a Pastafarian bus: go to it!

    10 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Christians, would you refuse to drive an atheist bus?

    Yes, the atheist bus returns, once more, to the news:

    a Christian driver has refused to take one out from the depot, responding with "shock" and "horror" to the idea.

    For reciprocity...

    Any atheists: what advertising would you object to if you were a bus driver, and do you think you could make your objection stick?

    8 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Now Terry Pratchett has been knighted...?

    ... deservedly in my opinion, can I enquire here for more comments, plaudits and even criticisms to commemorate the event?

    Has anyone read him and not liked his work? Why?

    Favourite books, characters, quotations?

    I might get into trouble here if I pick:

    “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”

    But my world would be much poorer without Jingo, Vimes, and line after line of both pointed and gentle wit.

    3 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • So, if I'm a gay atheist lumberjack..?

    ...does that mean I really won't be getting a Christmas Card from the Pope this year?

    "Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. "

    Don't panic. I don't actually put on women's clothing and hang around in bars. I just like a man who does. The other Palin.

    18 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago