Thursday, January 24, 2008

100 Historical Figures I admire

(not in any order)

1. Maimonides (Rambam)
2. Albert Einstein
3. Leonardo Da Vinci
4. Isaac Newton
5. Socrates
6. Mozart
7. Winston Churchill
8. Menachem Begin
9. Moses
10. Edmund Burke
11. Marie Curie
12. Joseph Lister
13. Jonas Salk
14. Erwin Schroedinger
15. Golda Meir
16. Max Planck
17. Nikolai Tesla
18. Gauss
19. Aristotle
20. Mark Twain
21. FDR
22. Baruch Spinoza
23. Margaret Thatcher
24. Horatio Nelson
25. Abraham
26. Elizabeth I
27. Henry IV of France
28. Charlemagne
29. Siddhartha
30. Jesus Christ
31. Elizabeth Fry
32. Lord Shaftesbury
33. William Wilberforce
34. John Bardeen
35. Napoleon Bonaparte
36. Comte Mirabeau
37. Antoine Lavoisier
38. Benjamin Disraeli
39. David Lloyd George
40. Chaim Weizmann
41. Theodore Herzl
42. Rabbi Hillel
43. Abraham Lincoln
44. Simon Bolivar
45. Ronald Reagan
46. Thomas Jefferson
47. Benjamin Franklin
48. Thomas Paine
49. Rene Descartes
50. Yitzhak Shamir
51. Vladimir Jabotinsky
52. Jan Smuts
53. Orde Wingate
54. Archimedes
55. Leonard Euler
56. John Locke
57. Soren Kierkegaard
58. Henry Cavendish
59. William Shakespeare
60. Martin Luther King
61. Oliver Cromwell
62. Rashi
63. Rudyard Kipling
64. Richard Feynman
65. Douglas MacCarthur
66. John Churchill - Duke of Marlborough
67. Rembrandt van Rijn
68. Salvador Dali
69. Charles Fort
70. George Washington
71. George Washington Carver
72. Julius Caesar
73. Alfred the Great
74. King David
75. Joseph from the bible
76. John Adams
77. Oliver Wendell Holmes
78. William Harvey
79. J. Gutenberg
80. Enrico Fermi
81. Carl Sagan
82. Georges Lemaitre
83. Murrey Gell-Mann
84. Francis Drake
85. James Maxwell
86. Vincent van Gogh
87. Otto van Bismarck
88. John Harrison
89. Samuel Johnson
90. G.K. Chesterton
91. Geronimo
92. James Madison
93. Nietzche
94. Beethoven
95. Bertrand Russell
96. Oscar Wilde
97. Franz Kafka
98. Louis de Broglie
99. Niels Bohr
100. Robert Goddard

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Surpassing earlier predictions

My nursery school teacher told my parents that I would struggle academically...
This is what I have achieved since then on an intellectual level

1. Completing my Book: A History of the Future (2025-2525). I wrote this between 1992 and 1995. It was published in 2006. The Book chronicles in a year-by-year manner
the next future story of our species. For more on the book go to:
The book can be purchased at

2. Completing my first book. Take the History Challenge (4,500 Questions on the
History of Everything). Contained 300 Quizzes.
For more go to:
The book can be puchased at:

3. Graduating from Chemical Engineering (1994) at the University of Toronto. I made
the Dean's List in my final year.

4. Graduating from my undergraduate Degree (Double Major) - Biophysics and Zooolgy
- obtained at the University of Toronto. Year of Graduation (1991). Graduated
with Distinction.

5. Obtaining distinction in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, World and South African
History on Provincial examinations. A distinction was the South African
equivalent of an A grade. Just missed distinctions in Biology and English.

6. Accepetance into Medical Schools at the University of the Witwatersrand and
Pretoria. Turned down both acceptances.

7. Reaching the National Final of the SA Perm General Knowledge Competition. The
South African Equivalent of the Canadian 'Reach for the Top Competition.'

8. Winning the school wide General knowledge competition that over 1000 high school
students participated in.

9. Presenting an Ecology paper (as part of a team) at the University of the
Witwatersrand while still a high school student.

10. Graduating from Education School (York University)as one of four award winners.

11. Scoring at the 99.5th percentile on the WAIS-III IQ test. Obtained Membership at
Mensa Canada.

12. Setting up the all the content for the Lonelythinker website

13. Representing my public school at General knowledge and Bible Quizzes in Grade 6.

14. I have achieved A- or better on all of the following courses at the University
Level: Physics I and II, Astrophysics, Organic Chemistry, Evolutionary
Biology, Animal Physiology, Chemical Plant Design, Advanced Chemical Reactor
Design, Biotechnology, Fluid Mechanics, General Chemistry, Biology,
Communications and Genetics.

15. Have Taught the following subjects at the High School Level:
Grade 11 Physics, Grade 12 Physics, Grade 11 Biology, Grade 11 Chemistry,
Philosophy Grade 12, History Grade 11, Science Grade 9, Science Grade 10 -
Academic and Applied, Grade 11 World Civilizations.

I believe it is safe to say that my nursery school teacher's predictions were premature.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My head says its Obama vs McCain

As much as I like Rudy Giuliani I think that his decision to 'sit out' Iowa and New Hampshire was ill-conceived. McCain should pick up further momentum in Michigan and South Carolina - the latter giving Huckabee a boost as well.
Both a Huckabee and a Romney candidacy would be dreadful and unfortunately for Reaganite Conservatives it looks like the Fred Thompson challenge is going nowhere.
I hope Giuliani can recover in Florida but I doubt it.

On the Democrat side - I can see Obama taking South Carlolina while Hillary will win in Michigan. Florida should go to the Ice Lady but Obama will bounce back in the West. Expect Edwards to be history over the next ten days.

This has to be the most exciting presidential race since 1968.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Analyzing Said

The following is an excellent extract from an interview with the Muslim scholar Ibn Warraq. The topic is Edward Said's Orientalism
For the Full interview go to:"

His work had the attraction of an all-purpose tool which his acolytes, eager, intellectually unprepared, aesthetically unsophisticated, could apply to every cultural phenomenon without having to think critically or without having to conduct any real archival research requiring mastery of languages, or research in the field requiring the mastery of technique and a rigorous methodology. Said's Orientalism displays all the laziness and arrogance of the man of letters who does not have much time for empirical research or, above all, for making sense of its results. His method derives from the work of fashionable French intellectuals and theorists. Existentialists, structuralists, deconstructionists, post-modernists all postulate grandiose theories, but, unfortunately, these are based on flimsy historical or empirical foundations. Claude Lévi-Strauss, with just a few years of fieldwork in Brazil , constructed a grand theory about the structures of the human mind. This tradition was carried on by Michel Foucault, surely one of the great charlatans of modern times.

Said, influenced by Foucault, Marx and the French intellectual tradition, refuses to acknowledge evidence that does not fit into his already prepared Procrustean bed. Said in an ideologue who is immune to argument, he believes his ideas about man, history and society to be self-evident, and anyone opposing them is either stupid or malevolent.

But why was it so successful among Western intellectuals? Post- Second World War Western intellectuals, and leftists were consumed by guilt for the West's colonial past and continuing colonialist present, and wholeheartedly embraced any theory or ideology that voiced or at least seemed to voice the putatively thwarted aspirations of the peoples of the Third World . Orientalism came at the precise time when anti-Western rhetoric was at its most shrill, and was already being taught at western universities, and third-worldism was at its most popular. Jean-Paul Sartre[1] preached that all white men were complicit in the exploitation of the Third World , and that violence against westerners was a legitimate means for colonized men to re-acquire their manhood. Said went further: “It is therefore correct that every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric." [2] Not only, for Said, is every European a racist, but he must necessarily be so. As I have argued, Western Civilisation has been more willing to criticize itself than any other major culture.These self-administered admonishments are a far cry from Said's savage strictures, and yet they found a new generation ready to take them to heart. Berating and blaming the West, a fashionable game in the 1960s and 1970s which impressionable youth took seriously, had the results we now see when the same generation appears unwilling to defend the West against the greatest threat that it has faced since the Nazis.

When shown that Said is indeed a fraud, his friends and supporters in academia, side-step the criticisms and evidence, and pretend, as did several reviewers of Robert Irwin's book on Said, that Said may indeed have got the "footling details" wrong but he was, nonetheless, onto a higher truth. Said's influence, thus, was a result of a conjunction of several intellectual and political trends: post-French Algeria and post-Vietnam tiers mondisme [third-worldism], the politicization of increasingly post-modernist English departments which had argued away the very idea of truth, objective truth, and the influence of Michel Foucault. In effect Said played on each of these confidence tricks to create a master fraud which bound American academics and Middle East tyrants in unstated bonds of anti-American complicity. [3]

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

In the News XXXIV

Death of Benazir Bhutto

I personally had little faith in her as a leader. Her administration was cursed with corruption and she was not very efficient in routing out the menace of Islamofascism. Still in the failed state of Pakistan she was probably the best of a pitiful bunch of leadership candidates.

For more on US Warnings to Bhutto on threats to her life read:

The article below makes the case as to why Musharraf (despite the allegations by Bhuttos widower) is not responsible for the Bhutto assassination.

Romney leads Huckabee. Edwards ahead of Hillary and Barack
I can understand Mitt Romney's high ranking in the Polls although I am still at a loss to explain how Mike Huckabee who has such a tenuous hold on foreign politics is so highly rated. Edwards over Clinton now thats shocking.
Imagine a Romney v Edwards election - The Battle of the Scheisters.

Front Page Magazine selects General David Petraeus as man of the Year. An Excellent Choice.

More signs that Olmert is caving in.
Its time that Olmert is run out of office before he ruins the country.

Muslim population in European Cities

These numbers seem a bit high. I'll let you be the judge.

Marseilles - 25% (200,000 of 800,000)
Malmo - ~25%
Amsterdam - 24% (180,000 of 750,000)
Greater Amsterdam - 12.7%
Stockholm - 20% (>155,000 of 771,038)
Brussels - ~20% (some say 33%)
Moscow - 16%-20% (2 million of 10-12 milllion) - Surprising!!!
Greater London - 17% (1.3 million of 7.5 million)
Luton - 14.6% (26,963)
Birmingham 14.3% (139,771)
The Hague - 14.2% ( 67,896 of 475,580)
Greater Hague - 11%
Utrecht - 13.2% (38,300 of 289,000)
Greater Utrecht - 7%
Rotterdam - 13% (80,000 of 600,000)
Greater Rotterdam - 9.9%
Copenhagen - 12.6% (63,000 of 500,000)
Leicester - 11% (>30,000 of 280,000)
Aarhus - ~10%
Zaan district (Netherlands) - 8.8%
Paris - 7.38% (155,000 of 2.1 million)
Antwerp- 6.7% (>30,000 of >450,000)
Hamburg - 6.4% (>110,000 of 1.73 million)
Berlin - 5.9% (~200,000 of 3.40 million)

New Year 2008

Best Wishes to all friends and associates as we celebrate the Earth completing one revolution around the sun.