Monday, July 31, 2006

On Religion

What religion should be?

1. A vehicle for communication between an individual an G-d
2. An inspiration to motivate one to heal the world - Tikkun Olam (in Hebrew).
3. A reminder of our non-material linkage
4. A recourse to reason - G-d is after all the ultimate source of all logic.
5. A format for reaching out on a common level to our fellow human beings.
6. A pathway for us to interact with our environment especially the Flora and Fauna of our beloved planet.
7. The antithesis of all that that is self-destructive.
8. A partnership with science.
9. A belief open to questioning. G-d seeks questioning. Hence the presence of our brains.
10. A methodology to increase our sense of self and decrease our desire toward excess (often the cause of many problems).

What religion shouldn't be?

1. A device to create ill-feelings between believers and non-believers
2. A hierarchy of knowledge controlled by a few
3. A platform for dogma and lack of tolerance
4. A war ideology
5. A battering ram against science
6. A tool that over emphasizes the afterlife at the expense of the physical life
7. A tag of superiority
8. An argument to restrict necessary progress that will benefit humanity (eg. stem cell research).
9. A byzantine system of rituals that are lost to the participant.
10. Stagnant

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Superhero Movies

Here is my ranking for several superhero movies.

0-2 - Awful. Trash with a big 'T'.
3-4 - Pathetic but has one or two redeemable qualities.
5-6 - Average. A DVD rental if you must.
7 - Worth seeing on the big screen.
8 - A Great Movie
9 - A Classic.
10 - Haven't seen one yet.

Batman I - With Jack N. as the Joker - 8.5
Batman II - With Danny D. and Michelle P. Burgess Meredith and Julia Newmar were better in their respective roles - 6.5
Batman III
- With Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey. Better than II but a far cry from I - 7
Batman IV - The worst and most campiest of the Four. Even Arnold and Uma as Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy could not redeem this one. Liked Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. George Clooney made for a worse Batman than either Michael Keaton or Vil Kilmer - 5.
Batman Begins - with Christian Bale. Finally a serious Batman movie. Bale may be the best Batman yet. A movie that is a must see for fans of the Dark Knight.- 8.5

Superman I - A promising retell of the origins of the Man of Steel - 7.
Superman II - Loved the Trio of Super Villains -8.
Superman III - One of the worst superhero movies ever. Can't believe that such a first-rate comedian as Richard Pryor acted in this crap. - 3.
Superman IV - Couldn't be bothered to see this.
Superman Returns - Heard it has potential. Will rent (not easy to see movies these days with the baby)

Spiderman I - Excellent. Well Directed. Well acted, First rate work by Willem Dafoe (and I don't even like him as an actor). - 8
Spiderman II - Even better than the first. Doc Octopus was superb. - 8.5

X-Men I - A strong screen adaptation. Both Ian Mc'Gandolf' and Patrick Stewart were worth observing in their highly believable roles. 8.5
X-Men II - A drop in quality from version X Men I but not by much - 7.5
X-Men III - Another future rental.

Daredevil - Bulls Eye was great but the movie wasn't. Then again I am not a big Ben Affleck fan. Jennifer Garner's character (Electra) needed more development - 5.

The Fantastic Four - Ok for a laugh but nothing to write home about even with Jessica Alba as the Invisible Girl - 5.

Judge Dredd - The Judge is my favourite comic book character. See
The movie didn't do him justice although the special effects were phenomenal. - 7

Ten Superhero movies I would like to see made

1. A Justice League Movie.
2. A DC/Marvel Crossover movie (have a few of these special edition comics)
3. A Judge Dredd movie with Judge Death as Dredd's enemy
4. A Green Lantern/Flash movie.
5. A Superman movie with the Shark, Bizzaro and Soloman Grundy as villains instead of boring Lex Luther.
6. An Iron Man Movie
7. An Avengers movie
8. A Rogue Trooper movie (Rogue Trooper is a character from 2000AD)
9. A Roy of the Rovers Movie (Another British comic)
10. Dan Dare vs The Mekon

Saturday, July 29, 2006

10 Similarities between Russia and Brazil

1. Both are the largest countries in their respective continents.
2. Both have populations concentrated in much smaller areas. In Russia the majority of the population is concentrated in the smaller European portion of the country (West of the Urals). In Brazil, the coastal region contains most of the population.
3. Both have two very large cities that dominate over all others. In Brazil, it is Rio E Janeiro and Sao Paolo. In Russia, it is Moscow and St. Petersburg.
4. Both have power structures that are riddled with corruption.
5. Both have populations of 140 to 200 million.
6. Both nation states have had a history of dictatorships and poor government.
7. Both countries were established by European settler populations. The Greeks and Vikings in the case of Russia. Portugal in the case of Brazil.
8. Both have vast regions of enormous natural wealth. Siberia in Russia. The Amazon in Brazil.
9. Both countries are plagued with environmental problems.
10. Both have a strong neighbor immediately to the south. China in the case of Russia. Argentina with respect to Brazil.


I am fascinated by the science. The idea of a vast universe of galaxies, quasers, stars, nebulae and planets drives my imagination and sits well with my sense of being. It makes me appreciate G-d even more for the wonder of creation. It was my father who introduced me to the noble science at age six, whetting my appetite to know more about space. I jumped at every opportunity I could and was rewarded by the treasure of a clear sky over Pretoria that allowed for a clear view of the far superior Southern Hemisphere heaven. Orion’s Belt was my favorite constellation with the Southern Cross not far behind. Every time I looked up I would always ask the same questions: Who was out there? Was I looking at G-d? When would we ever travel to the stars? And why is the universe so big? I knew I could never answer these questions myself but it didn’t hurt to ask.
In 1985 my parents bought me my first and only telescope, a reflector, that I still have to this day. I have made great use of it earning my spurs as a sky watcher in earnest when the Southern Hemisphere opened to Halley’s comet in 1986. It was astronomy that fueled my love for science fiction, crystallizing a passion that would drive me with joyous pursuit to the writing of my book: The History of the Future. Even today with the stress of work I always take care to inform myself of the latest developments in the discipline. Always on the lookout for a Patrick Moore book (Moore is a wonderful popularizer of Astronomy - I attended a lecture that he gave in Pretoria in 1984), I often pick up the odd copy of Astronomy magazine and was for a time a member of the Canadian Astronomical Society.

Areas of Astronomy that interest me the most (not in order)

1. Cosmology - Origin of the Universe.
2. Stellar Evolution
3. Galaxy formation
4. The planets of our solar system
5. Mysterious ‘substances’ eg. Dark matter and energy.
6. Comets

Friday, July 28, 2006

Conservatives (Personalities)

Ten Conservatives I like (not in any order)

1. Dennis Prager -Prominent thinker on Jewish/Christian relations.
2. Mark Steyn - A thorn in the side of the leftist intelligensia
3. David Horowitz - Front Page Magazine is awesome
4. William Buckley Jr. - Still has it in him to wield a powerful pen
5. George Jonas - Voice of Reason on Canadian scene
6. Thomas Sowell - A true rationalist
7. Michelle Malkin - One of the internet's best bloggers
8. Paul Johnson - A historian per excellence
9. Bernard Goldberg - Loved his work Arrogance - Really understands the media
10. Walter Williams - First rate economic thinker

Seven Conservatives I don't like (almost all are Paleo-)

1. John Sununu - A first rate scheister from Bush Sr's regime
2. Patrick Buchanan - An American firster whose ideas border on bigotry.
3. Joe Sobran - Another bitter Old Conservative
4. Ann Coulter - Long on Volume short on content
5. Jerry Falwell - His remarks after 911 were deplorable
6. Robert Novack - An opportunist and too often a 'spokesman' for terror groups
7. James Baker - The oil world's best friend
8. Eric Margolis - Views politics from the rear end of a horse's ass. Guaranteed to miss the point.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israel defends itself...

Below is a link to an excellent article where a Lebanese writer blames Hezbollah for destroying his country.

courtesy of Front Page Magazine

Here is a frightening image of the Hezbollah of the future

courtesy of Israel National News.

Big News in the Footer World

Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentia have punishments reduced. Juve still lost their last two Scudettos but now have to play off a 17 point deficit in Serie B next season (they will appeal again). Lazio and Fiorentia are back in Serie A with point deductions while AC Milan may still be allowed into the Champion's League. The big winner from this all is Inter Milan who were awarded last season's Scudetto (their first since 1989) and as a result of AC Milan's point deduction are favourites to finish first in 2006/2007.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy is off to Real Madrid. Happy to see the end of him in the EPL. Man U still haven't bought anyone new this season but that is sure to change very soon. I still see Michael Carrick coming over to the Theatre of Dregs.

Jermaine Pennant is now a Liverpool player. His skill on the wing will be useful but like many fans of the Reds I wonder how both him and Craig Bellamy will handle the off field pressure.

Other moves:

Franck Quedrue - Boro to the Cottagers. A decent pick up for the Londoners.
Damien Duff - Chelsea to Newcastle. Excellent for the Geordies but the Magpies still need a striker and time is running out. The battle for Dirk Kuyt will most likely resume.

Looking ahead - A bidding war for Italian striker Luca Toni. I expect Inter Milan to win this one.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Most overrated...Most underrated

Just finished reading a book by American Heritage on the Most Overrated and Underrated Snippets of American History.

This inspired me to come up with my own list. More for later.

Let MO = Most Overrated and MU = Most Underrated

US Presidents: MO = JFK; MU = Harry Truman

First Ladies: MO = Jackie Kennedy; MU = Abigail Adams

American Writers: MO = Ernest Hemingway; MU = Ambrose Bierce

Soccer Stars: MO = David Beckham; MU = Garrincha

Tennis Players: MO = Andy Roddick; MU = Guillermo Vilas

Boxers: MO = Larry Holmes; MU = Joe Frazier

American History Events: MO = Pilgrims + Indians at Thanksgiving; MU = US taker over of Oregon and Washington

Political Commentators (left) : MO = Noam Chomsky; MU = Bill Maher

Political Commentators (right): MO = Patrick Buchanan; MU = Mark Steyn

Monday, July 24, 2006

Liverpool #1 in England

As mentioned several times Liverpool FC is my favourite football club (I have been a fan since 1976). The following is an article that appeared on-line at

It describes how Liverpool have accumulated more points per game than any other English Club.

Courtesy of IOL SA.

Ten Jewish related books worth reading

1. The Way of God - Moshe Chaim Luzzatto - Very Logical
2. The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology I - Aryeh Kaplan - Especially the part on the 14 Principles of Faith
3. Those who forget the Past - Edited by Ron Rosenbaum - Excellent Essays on Anti-Semitism
4. Jewish People, Jewish Thought - Robert M. Seltzer - An excellent guide to Jewish intellectual thought
5. World Perfect - Ken Spiro - Outlines the Jewish intellectual contriburtion. A tad simplistic but worth a read.
6. Immortality, Resurrection, and the Age of the Universe - Aryeh Kaplan - More of Kaplan at his best.
7. The Jewish Approach to God - Rabbi Neil Gillman - Concise and easy to understand.
8. God is a Verb - David A. Cooper - Although Cooper is a tad PC his take on the Kabbalah is insightful.
9. The Holocaust Chronicle - Publications International Ltd - As mentioned before a wonderful reference work.
10. A History of Zionism - Walter Laquer - A must for every student of Jewish nationalism

Reference Books

I am a sucker for a great reference book especially if it has a science, history or philosophy focus.
The following is a list of twenty reference books that I read and peruse through on a regular basis.

1. The Timetable of World History - Bernard Grun
2. Atlas of WorldHistory - John Haywood - One of my top ten buys ever.
3. Chronicle of the 20th century - Longman - Top 10 buy
4. Holocaust Chronicles - Publication International Limited
5. Encyclopedia of Science and Technology - James Trefil
6. The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference
7. 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written by Martin Seymour-Smith
8. Larousse Dictionary of World History - Top 10 Buy
9. A Dictionary of Modern History by A. W. Palmer - Another Top ten buy
10. The Timetables of Jewish History by Judah Gribetz and Edward Greenspan
11. 1000 Great Lives - Plantagenet Somerset Fry
12. 1000 Great Events - Plantagenet Somerset Fry
13. Timelines of war - David Brownstone and Irene Franck
14. Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
15. Whos who in the Old Testament - Joan Comey
16. The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places - Brian Stableford
17. Secret Societies - David Barrett
18. A History of the Sciences - Stephen Mason
19. The Penguin Dictionary of Astronomy by Ake Wallenquist
20. Dictionary of British History - J.P. Kenyon

Check them out on the internet if they are still in print I recommend acquiring one or two of the above.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Reading Classic Illustrated Comics - Another Hobby

Over the years my father has collected almost all every story featured in the Classic Comics illustrated. These are a wonderful resource that I have had the privilege to enjoy. For those of you who don't know what these are the Classic IllustratedComics were a series of graphic novels produced in different versions from 1941 to the present. (Most of my dad's collection is from the 1960's). Each magazine contains the story of a great work of literature eg. Three Musketeers, Crime and Punishment, Last of the Mohicans etc.

For more on Classic Comics go to:


Tiger Woods - Incredible - 11 Majors

There is no question about it now. Nothing short of a nuclear war will prevent Tiger Woods from eclipsing Jack Nicklaus' Major title haul of 18. Woods has 11 now with his victory at Royal Liverpool.

The British Open is my favourite what with the weather and the somewhat untamed courses. Next year it will be held in Carnoustie where negative scores are a luxury at the best of time (remember the Van Der Velde collapse).

Here is the list of the Top Eleven Major winners:
(All American unless otherwise stated)

Jack Nicklaus: 18 (over 24 years)
Walter Hagen: 11 (over 15 years)
Tiger Woods: 11 (over 9 years so far)* - Still Active....
Ben Hogan: 9 (over 7 years)
Gary Player: 9 (South African - Top non-American).
Tom Watson: 8
Harry Vardon: 7 (UK)
Gene Sarazan: 7
Bobby Jones: 7
Sam Snead: 7
Arnold Palmer: 7

For my own personel greatest Players in Golf ranking go to:

The ranking is a bit old(circa 2003) and will be revised

More News from the Footer World

There is an excellent article written by Roberto Gotta on the Italian Soccer Scandal.
Go to

Also Arsenal opened the Emirates stadium yesterday with the Dennis Bergkamp testimonial.
I am no Gunners Fan but Bergkamp is arguably with Zola, Cantona, Schmeichel and Henry one of the best foreigners to play in the EPL. His retirement will be a loss to the game.

On a less sombre note here are the twenty events that I am looking forward to in next year's footer season.

1. Liverpool winning the EPL - I hope and pray.
2. Man U offloading van Nistlerooy and ' I wanna play for Real Madrid' Ronaldo.
3. Chelsea's midfielders complaining about spending time on the bench.
4. Newcastle with no strikers.
5. Arsenal with no defenders. I wonder how long Ashley Cole will remain a Gunner.
6. Spurs choking...again.
7. Andriy Shevchenko struggling to deal with the pace of the English game.
8. Fulham in a relegation battle.
9. The shenaniggans off the field at Villa.
10. Stuart Pierce's second year in charge at city. I hope Didi comes through for them.
11. Reading in the Premiership?
12. A Yorkshire team in the EPL - Sheffield United.
13. Sam Allardyce pulling off some crazy signings for Bolton.
14. Chievo winning Serie A - not much chance there but its wirth dreaming.
15. David Beckham joining Watford - Ok more dreaming but at least its closer to London.
16. Theo Walcott - may be the only Englishman on the Gunner's line up is Cole leaves.
17. England under Steve McClaren. He has to be a better motivator than Sven.
18. English domination of the Champion's League (now that two Italian powerhouses are not there). Wishful thinking maybe...Oops forgot about the Spanish.
19. No League games for Pool against Birmingham City (hate that fixture even if Liverpool beat them 7-0 in the FA Cup).
20. Buffon to Chelsea? I know they don't need him but since when has that ever stopped the Blues.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Zionism is not racism and responding to terrorists

Here is the address given by Chaim Herzog in response to the UN's vile 1975 Resolution equating Zionism with Racism (The resolution has since been overturned).

Coutesy Jewish Virtual Library.

Also another read showing why Israel's response to Hezbollah attacks are not disproportional nor are they war crimes.

Note the second article was written by a member of Peace Now - Gideon Remba (no tool of the government by any means).

My Two Books - Future History + Quiz

While you can find my Future History Book at


You can find my History quiz book at



Matchbox Cars

One of my hobbies as a kid (and I had a few) was collecting matchbox cars.
These were your good old fashioned dye cast models (not the crap you see nowadays). I have over 200 cars in my collection that I intend to share with my son one day.

For more go to


Political definitions

I found this 'definitions' blog on the web.

Courtesy of neo-neocon.

Worth reading

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quiz #5 Time

Time - An incredibly fascinating topic.

1.What is equal to 9,192,631,770 vibrations of a cesium-133 atom?
2.What word is used to describe the first and/or last glow of sunlight for the day?
3.Which political leader was responsible for making January 1st the first day of the new year?
4.How did the Gregorian calendar improve on the earlier Julian calendar?
5.The Egyptian calendar was based on the rising of this star (the brightest in the sky other than our sun). What was the star?
6.Up until 1752 in what month did the beginning of the year fall in the England and the American colonies?
7.What was the name of the calendar (proposed after World War II) that had days named W December and W June?
8.What is the only fictitious animal in the Chinese year cycle?
9.What is the date of the vernal equinox?
10. What calendar change was introduced in the US in 1967?
11. How many standard time zones are there?
12.What is midnight in military time?

Answers to Time

1.One second. This is the definition of a second for those that believe in precision.
3.Julius Caesar
4.It improved on the alignment of the calendar with the seasons by not providing for a leap year in century years that are not divisible by 400 eg. 1900.
5.Sirius. The Egyptian calendar had twelve 30-day months containing five day weeks and five dates of festivals.
6.March. Specifically March 25th.
7.The World Calendar. Its adoption has failed passage in the UN.
8.The Dragon.
9.March 21st.
10.Daylight Saving Time or fast time.
11.24. The division into time zones was agreed at the 1884 Washington Meridian Conference. Canadian Sandford Fleming played a key role in the development of this now internationally recognized system.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Football Transfers

There has been some transfer activity (although less than expected) in the football market.

Here are some of the moves and my opinion's thereof.

Bernardo Corradi - Valencia to Man City. Except for Gianfranco Zola and Paolo Di Canio Italian's are normally a bust in the EPL. We will wait and see.

Sol Campbell - released by Arsenal. Big Sol is past his peak and is injury prone. Arsenal need more reliability. Good move.

Djibril Cisse - Liverpool to Marseilles loan. I liked the big French man but with Bellamy on board he will likely be redundant at Pool.

Dietmar Hammann - Liverpool to Man City . Great pickup for City. His time at Liverpool had passed what with Sissoko and Alonso in midfield.

Francis Jeffers - free to Blackburn. I guess Rovers have nothing to lose but don't expect much from the overrated Scouse.

Michael Ballack - Bayern to Chelsea. Selection problems for Mourinho. On World Cup form he may displace....yes... Frank Lampard. Methinks not.

Robert Pires - Arsenal to Villareal. Good riddance to the duck boy.

Tim Howard - Man U to Everton loan. Great pickup by the Toffees. Howard should prove excellent for the first ten games but then deterioate as the season continues.

Andriy Shevchenko - AC Milan to Chelsea. More Chelski Shirt sales in the Ukraine. Chelsea pay heavily for a play who has past his peak.

Cannavaro and Emerson - Juve to Real Madrid.Moves that should have happened three years ago. Finally Real realize that defence is the key to success.

Emile Heskey - Birmingham to Wigan. Should work well with Paul Jewell but don't expect goals galore.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - Free to Carelton. Hasselbaink and Bent to save the Addicks? Maybe but don't expect the South Londoners to do much this year.

Western Civilization - A resounding success

Despite much kvetching by the left Western Civilization has been a resounding success and humanity is much the better for it.

If you don't agree, ask youself earnestly which other civilization on Earth can even match up at all with any of these components below? I bet you that you can't find one.

1. The spread of Judeo-Christian values of Ethics and Morality.
2. The Development of Liberal (and I mean true Liberal) democracy. Easily the best form of government.
3. An unparalled output in scientific research.
4. Strong anti-corruption laws.
5. Emphasis on Individual rights.
6. Access to Free Speech and a Free Press.
7. Gender Equality.
8. Environmental Protection
9. Population control
10. Best levels of wealth distribution.
11. Strongest middle class.
12. Lowest Infant mortality rates.
13. Best Access to health care.
14. Private Property Protection.
15. Best sewage and drinking water facilities.
16. Highest levels of Gay rights (which I don't see as running contrary to Judeo-Christian values). Human rights are the cornerstone of the Judeo-Christian system.
17. Unsurpassed success in the arts and literature.
18. Best guarantee's of Freedom of Religion.

.... and with all of this there are those in our society who would seek to change it all by implementing the failed systems of marxism, socialism, fascism, religious autocracy or plutocracy. It boggleth the mind.......

Did they learn nothing from history?

Noam Chomsky and Hezbollah

Taken from Little Green Footballs.

The nation's #1 hypocrite Noam Chomsky unites with a fellow enemy of the US. Birds of a feather.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

British Comics #2 - Three of the Best

The following is a list of three the many comics that I read as a kid and the websites that you can find out more about them.

1. Tiger - Sports Comic. Best Stories:
Johnny Cougar - The exploits of a Seminole Indian Wrestler
Skid Solo - A F1 motor racer and his pit team.
Billy's Boots - A boy who owns an ancient pair of soccer boots that give him amazing skill.
Nipper - A wrong-end-of the railway tracks kid becomes a First Division Footer Player.
Hot Shot Hamish - A Scot from the Hebrides with a cannonball shot.

For more go to

2. Battle Action. War Comics Best Stories:
Charley's War - A teenager experiences life in the trenches at the Somme
Johnny Red - A RAF pilot helps the Russians at the Battle of Stalingrad
Spinball - A futuristic sport (pinball with motorbikes) played by a bunch of misfits who in their spare time are forced to carry out dangerous covert missions.
Sarge - A British Troop led by a tough sergeant fights their way out behind enemy lines
in Italy ansd France during WWII.

For more go to

3. 2000AD. Sci-Fi Comic. Best Stories
Judge Dredd - A Futuristic lawman dishing out justice in a post-apocalyptic megalopolis.
Rogue Trooper - A Genetically Engineered super soldier in search of his friend's killers
on a planet cursed by war.
Future Shock - Short stories on what the future may or may not hold presented by the
Alien Tharg.

For more go to

More to follow.....

Voices of Reason

In an insane world where radical feminists, anti-global activists and Islamo-Fascists find common ground - ie. the hatred of Western Civilization, the following blog by the first-rate scholar John Ray stands out as a beacon of logic and common sense.

Keep up the great work John.

A View on the Middle East

As Israel fights to defend herself against Hezbollah's lunacy, here are two articles worth reading.
Both are courtesy of Front Page Magazine.



Sunday, July 16, 2006

France Likes and Dislikes


1. French History particular the French Reveloutution, Napoleon and the Second Empire.
2. The writings of Alexandre Dumas.
3. Jules Verne and his works.
4. Asterix and Obelix.
5. French Film (some of it anyway)
6. Emile Zola
7. Gerard Houllier - Former Liverpool manager
8. The Louvre
9. The Musee D'Orsay
10. The Latin Quarter
11. French Gothic Architecture (Chartres, Amiens, Rheims)
12. Charlemagne (although he was more German)
13. Banana Crepes
14. Champagne
15. The TGV
16. The Contributions of the Pasteur Institute to World Science
17. The Physicist De Broglie
18. The Mathematics of Laplace, Lagrange, Poincare, Jordan
19. The Palace and Gardens of Versailles
20. The Tour De France
21. The Paris Metro
22. Baguettes
23. Bridget Bardot before she became a nut bar.
24. Napoleon's Tomb
25. Novels of Victor Hugo

25 Dislikes

1. French Pro-Arabism in the Middle East
2. French Anti-Americanism/Anti-Capitalism
3. De Gaulle + Fifth Republic
4. Smoking - its everywhere in Paris
5. French hygience
6. French artistic snobbery
7. Eric Cantona and Didier Deschamps
8. The Dreyfus Case
9. French Anti-Semitism
10. Petain and Vichy France
11. The Muslim Invasion of the Country since 1960
12. French Existentialism esp Sartre
13. French business ethics (if any)
14. The French inferiority complex - indirectly responsible for WWII.
15. French Beer
16. French Coffee
17. Doggie Poo all over the place
18. Student Riots
19. Numerous Strikes
20. French Hotel Rooms (way too small)
21. The Pompidou Center - really ugly
22. Muncipal water in Paris is deadly
23. Orly Airport - Terrible place
24. De Gaulle Airport - Not much better
24. The City of Marseilles - Drug entry point to Europe
25. Jacques Chirac + Jean Le Pen

Italian Soccer Scandal Decision

Personally I thought it was too harsh. Yes the teams screwed up but the league has done themselves a disfavour by relegating Juve, Lazio and Fiorentina to Serie B. Juve's deficit in Serie B means that the team will unlikely gain promotion to the top league at the end of this season. A killer for the sport and a disservice to the innocent players and fans who have been needlessly punished along with the guilty.

A better plan would be to heavily fine all three clubs + AC Milan, have Juve play off from a deficit of 30 points (less for the other two clubs + AC Milan) but keep all parties in the big leagues. Money from the fines could then be distributed to the lower clubs.

This will ensure a better revenue flow for the league (which helps professional development)whilst punishing those clubs who erred with the appropriate gravity.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Britain...Likes and Dislikes


1. English History especially the Period between the Tudors and Queen Vic.
2. British Comics eg. Judge Dredd, Roy of the Rovers, Battle etc.
3. Music groups - Depeche Mode, OMD, The Cure, Stones, Beatles, Dire Straits, Talking Heads,
4. Winston Churchill and the British Spirit during WWII
5. The Lotus
6. The British Museum and the City of London Museum
7. British Football especially Liverpool FC
8. Monty Python and the Goons
9. Rowan Atkinson
10. The Ashes (Cricket)
11. Former Middle Distance Runners: Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram. Decathelete: Daley Thompson
12. Fish and Chips, Yorkshire Pudding and Pot Roast
13. English choclates - Yorkie and British Cadbury
14. Walls Ice Cream
15. Visiting London
16. West End Drama
17. The Imperial War Museum
18. English Countryside
19. Agatha Christie
20. Maggie Thatcher
21. British contribution to Science and Technology
22. HG Wells - but not his political opinions
23. Thinkers: Bernard Lewis and Paul Johnson
24. British TV - Fawlty Towers, Carry on Series, Persuaders, Professionals, Thunderbird
25. James Bond
26. British Naval History
27. The RAF
28. The High Quality Knowledge/Fact Books on History and Science that greatly enthrall me now just as they did during my childhood- (Publishers: Hamlyn, Collins)
29. Scouser wit and humour
30. The English Language
31. Blenheim and Windsor Castles
32. The Collectible Market
33. Tradition of Liberal Democracy
34. The Poetry of Tennyson
35. The Traditional Educational System - which now seems to be on the decline

25 Dislikes

1. British Arabism
2. London as a refuge for too many politically subversive groups
3. Man U supporters
4. Policy of Appeasement prior to WWII
5. The strong undercurrent of Anti-Semitism
6. Know it all actors such as Vanessa Redgrave
7. Alexander Cockburn and other snooty pseudo-intellectuals
8. The Historical Class Structure
9. London Traffic
10. The Commercialization of the Nation - No its not Thatcher's fault
11. Tony Benn and George Galloway
12. The Rising stream of Political Correctness
13. Richard Dawkins
14. The reliability of the Jaguar
15. Haggis
16. The history of British Army snobbery towards the colonials
17. The Drinking Culture
18. Terrace Housing
19. Plumbing in the UK
20. The Growing Political Correctness Movement in the Country
21. The loss of British culture at the expense of European values
22. The BBC Editorial board
23. The Guardian
24. The decision to rename the Old 1st Division as the Premier League
25. The handling of the New Wembley.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

British Comics

A passion of mine as a child and indeed as an adult has been British Comics. I collected and followed many of these serials. Unfortunately business costs, changing tastes and the strength of the American comic market has forced the closeure of most of these magazines. However I intend to write about these in the next few blog entries.

In the mean time you can find out more about this genre by going to

This truely is an excellent site. Kudos to the author.

I have been a father for almost three weeks now

And this is what I have learnt....

1. to wipe, change and position at the same time... the baby not me.
2. To duck when he sends a golden arch in your direction
3. Burping is a big feat for a baby.... thought I would get that one off my chest
4. Before Three months ...When he smiles it means that he is passing gas
5. He calls the shots not you
6. That breast milk goes right through the system (almost instaneously)
7. That chaos in the house in more of a mainstay than it was before
8. That 2am is a great time for a snack
9. That a poorly made diaper can have nasty consequences
10. That swaddling is an art form
11. That being a parent is not easy...sorry mom and dad.
12. An hour sleep here and there is a God send
13. That babies have well developed vocal chords
14. Starting him on Calculus now is not a great idea
15. That there is a whole science around the fluids/feces produced by babies.
16. That teamwork with your spouse is vital
17. That everyone has advice to give. Sifting out the good from the bad is important.
18. Pacifiers are awesome at times
19. There are hardcore opinions on each side of the Breastfeeding debate that refuse to listen to each other
20. That having a child is a fantastic experience that I am glad to be a part of.

Monday, July 10, 2006

History of the Future

This is where you can buy my book - History of the Future.

Scroll down to History of the Future.

I am an info freak

The following is a group of lists that my overly obsessive mind has commited to memory over the years. I now have instant recall in order of each of the items mentioned. A useful pary trick that annoys the hell out of some. This is not the complete list.

1. English monarchs - Ethelred II to Elizabeth II
2. French Kings - Francois I (Valois) to Louis Phillipe (Bourbon-Orlean)
3. Dates of Founding of French Republics.
4. Henry VIII's wives. Reasons for oustings.
5. Men's Wimbledon Champs 1954-2006.
6. Wimbledon Men's runner ups 1974-2006
7. Women's Wimbledon Champs 1970-2000
8. British Open Golf Champions 1968-1998
9. French Open Men's Champs 1974-2000 - Tennis
10. US Open Tennis Mens Champs 1968-2005
11. Australian Men's Champions Tennis 1980-1998
12. English Football League Champions 1947-2006
13. English FA Champs 1960-2006
14. World Series Winners 1934-2005
15. Cricket World Champions 1975-2003
16. Rugby World Champs 1987-2003
17. Locations, Scores, Winners, Finalists World Cup Soccer 1930-2006
18. English League Cup Winners 1978-2006
19. Russian Rulers - Beginning of Romanov to the Present.
20. Prussian Hohenzolleren Rulers
21. Spanish Kings - Ferdinand/Isabella to Philip V
22. South African Prime Ministers 1910 (Union) to Present
23. Israeli PMs - Ben Gurion to Olmert
24. All the US Presidents - including their Parties
25. All US state capitals
26. All World Capitals except some of the smaller Indian Ocean, Pacific and Caribbean Islands
27. UN Secretary Generals
28. Roman Emperors - Augustus to Septimus Severus and a whole bunch afterward
29. Heavyweight Boxing Champs - Joe Louis to Lennox Lewis
30. Formula One Champs 1968-2000
31. Super Bowl Winners 1982-2002
32. Serie A Soccer Champs 1985-2006
33. European Champions League Winners 1956-2006
34. World Cup Golden Boot Winners and Goals - 1968 - 2006
35. Australian States
36. Jacob's 12 sons and 1 daughter
37. Losing Presidential Candidates US - Hoover to Kerry
38. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
39. French Presidents - Fifth Republic
40. British PMs- Disraeli to Blair. Many before D. but not in order.
41. Chinese Dynasties - Xsia to Quing
42. Canadian Provinces and Capitals.
43. Tennis Masters 1977-1990
44. Olympic Locations - 1896-2004 (Summer)
45. Olympic Locations - 1968-2006 (Winter)
46. European Soccer Championship Winners 1960-2004
47. First Six Mogul Emperors
48. Canadian Prime Ministers - MacDonald to Harper - (Although I do have problems getting Abbott, Thompson, Tupper straight).
49. Stellar Classification System
50. Olympic Mens 100m Champs - Hines (1968) to Gaitlin (2004)
51. Aussie PMs - Whitlam to Howard
52. German Chancellors Post WWII
53. First Five Persian Kings.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

World Cup Musings

I have been pre-occupied in a very good way with the birth of my son. Nevertheless I still have managed as much as possible to watch World Cup Footer. This is part 1 in my musings:

Best Team offensively in the Tournament: Germany - Klose, Pod0lski and Schweinstager were brilliant

Most Exciting Team: Ghana. They always play to win.

Best Defensive Team: Italy (no surprise there)

Best midfield: France

Best Goalkeeper: 1. Buffon 2. Lehmann 3. Kingson (Ghana)

Biggest Disappointment team: England (once again)

Biggest surprise: Ecuador. They beat Poland and Costa Rica and almost knocked off England.

Most boring team: Sweden

Worst Losers: Croatia

Top 5 Games: Argentina 6 Serbia + Montenegro 0
Ghana 3 Serbia 2
Netherlands 2 Ivory Coast 1
Mexico 3 Iran 1
Portugal 1 Netherlands 0 (if nothing else the drama)

Worst refereered games: Croatia v Australia
Paraguay v England
Australia v Italy
Portugal v Netherlands

Best strategic game: Germany v Italy
Best defensive displays: France against Brazil
England against Portugal after Rooney was sent off.
US vs Italy when US was down to nine men.
Best manager: Juergen Klinsmann

Best goals:
Frings (Germany) vs Costa Rica
Cole (England) vs Sweden
Schweinstager's (Germany) brace vs Portugal
Rodriguez (Argentina) vs Mexico
Deco (Portugal) vs Iran
Zidane (France) vs Spain
Kaka (Brazil) vs Croatia

Best Defenders: 1. Cannavaro (Italy)
2. Thuram (France)
3. Carvalho (Portugal)

Most creative player: 1. Zidane (france)
2. Deco (portugal)

5 Teams with great heart: 1. Angola
2. Trinidad and Tobago
3. Ghana
4. Germany
5. Australia

10 Players who had poor World Cups:

1. Lampard
2. Pauleta
3. Ronaldinho
4. Rooney
5. Adriano
6. Ibrahimovic
7. Shevchenko
8. Roberto Carlos
9. Most of the Serbian team
10. Trezeguet

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Important Events of the 16th century (Part I)

Today is history day and since I have a passion for listing and have blogged for close on to two months. Here goes (not in any order):

1. The Spanish Armada. England 1 Spain 0. Good old Francis Drake and Lord Howard.

2. Battle of Lepanto. Holy League defeats Ottomans. Christianity breathes once again. Don Juan of Auastria is the hero.

3. Sulamein the Magnificent’s conquest of Hungary. If its not the Turks its the Austrians. Story
of Magyar history.

4. The Voyage of Magellan. He dies (killed in the Phillipines) but crew finishes voyage around the world.

5. Cortes destroys Aztec Empire. A bleak time in humanity's history.

6. Pizzaro conquers the Incas. Dark Ages for S. America begin.

7. Galileo falls foul of the Inquistion. He agreed with Copernicus that we are not the center of the Universe. Some people still haven't figured this out.

8. Henry VIII and Francis I negotiate at the Cloth of Gold (Great name). English and French speak as opposed to kill one another.

9. Henry VIII breaks from the Catholic Church. They wouldn't give him a divorce so he tells them to go to #$!&. Good King Hal festablishes Anglican Church and makes himself head (well somebody had to be in charge).

10. Martin Luther pins 95 Theses to church door at Wittenberg. Beginning of the Reformation in force. E-mail would never have had such an effect. Irony is that Henry VIII initially opposed Martin Luther, wrote a treatise against the German monk and was later given the Title Defender of the Faith by the Church.

11. War of the Three Henry’s in France. Henry of Navarre wins out over Henry III and Henry of Guise to become the eventual king of France. Henry of N. will convert to Catholicism, form Bourbon dynasty, institute religious freedom for Protestants before being killed by a religious fanatic (so much for toleration).

12. Charles V becomes Holy Roman Emperor. With Spain, Burgundy, Austria. parts of Italy, the Netherlands under his control, Charles was the most powerful person in Europe since the Old Emperors of Rome. OK maybe not more than Charlemagne.

13. Meeting of the Council of Trent: Beginning of the Counter reformation. The Catholic Church strikes back. Nuns and monks on the run.

14. Formation of the Jesuits. The religious troops of the church driven by Ignatius Loyola to spread the word of Rome. They pop up everywhere.

15. Birth of Calvinism a church reform similar to that of Lutheranism but only more serious. Pre-destination is a biggie.

16.Clashes in Switzerland between Pro-Catholic and Anti-Catholic Cantons. Death of reformer Ulrich Zwingli. Yes peaceful Switzerland was once a site of bloodshed. I visited Zwingli's church when I visited Zurich. The climb up the tower was intense.

17. Michelangelo completes Sistine Chapel (took him four years working on his back). Expensive project is a hit with the cultural elites but not Luther and co.

18. Luther called before Diet of Worms. No this was not an exotic delicacy but Martin Luther's stance before the German Parliament (Diet) at Worms where he refused to recant his beliefs. Charles V was not pleased. Local Nobles back Luther so that he comes out unscathed.

19. Abdication of Charles V in favour of his brother and son in 1556. Old Chuckie was 'sick and tired' of being Europe's power monger after 25+ years on the job so he handed over control of Spain to his son Philip II gave Austria and its domains to his brother Feredinand II (the next Holy Roman Emperor) and headed for a monastery to spend the last years of his life. Fighting the Reformation will do that to you every time.

20. Wars between Venice and Turks. These two always seemed to be fighting (They were trade rivals in the Mediterranean Sea). Neverthless this did provide the backdrop for Shakespeare's play Othello.