Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?

WELLINGTON (AFP) - - The biggest squid ever caught, at up to 10 metres long and boasting a fearsome beak and razor-sharp hooks, may be small compared to others still lurking in the depths, scientists said Tuesday.


It weighs 495 kilograms (1,090 pounds), has eyes the size of dinner plates and is estimated at up to 10 metres (33 feet) long.

But that may be relatively small, scientists say after initial examination, suggesting other colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) under the chilly Antarctic waters might grow much larger.

On a museum blog following the progress of the thaw, Chris Paulin -- who is projects manager at the museum, known as Te Papa Tongarewa, said Tuesday that the beak of the colossal squid has been exposed as the flesh defrosts.

The size of the lower beak -- used to chop prey into bite sized pieces -- is around 43 to 45 millimetres.

Colossal squid lower beaks previously found in the stomachs of sperm whales have been as long as 49 millimetres.

Extrapolating the relationship between the length of the beak and body size from another smaller specimen being examined suggests the species could grow much bigger, Paulin said.

"Can we assume that this species reaches three quarters of a tonne in weight?" he asked.

- Yahoo! Singapore News, Tuesday, April 29

This is incredible; this mighty 'devil fish', as Victor Hugo wrote, is but a small specimen! One can scarcely imagine the other monstrous wonders that lurk in the depths.

The ocean depths, hellish and distant, are our last frontier - where wonders innumerable await the next generation of brave explorers who choose to journey there. Let us hope we live to see the day that these amazing creatures are brought to light.

P.S.: Memoirs would like to wish all readers a very happy Easter; a special Paschal post is currently in the works and will be ready soon!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Holy & Great Friday

By Your precious blood
You have redeemed us from the curse of the Law.
By being nailed to the cross and pierced by a spear
You have poured forth immortality for man.

O Our Saviour, glory to you!

Sessional Hymn, Tone 4

A fearful, awesome mystery is performed today!
The releaser of Adam is arrested!
The trier of hearts is unjustly tried!
The God before whom angels stand in fear stands before Pilate!
The creator is struck by the hand of the creature!
The judge of the living and the dead is judged to death - on a tree!
The destroyer of hell is sealed in a tomb!

Compassionate Lord and Redeemer, glory to you!

Vespers, Tone 6

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Holy and Great Tuesday

In envy the priests and scribes
Cunningly gathered a council against you, Saviour,
Moving Judas to betrayal.
He shamelessly went forth and spoke against you,
Saying to a transgressing people:
What will you give me if I deliver him into your hands?
From his condemnation save our souls, O Lord!

Kathisma, Tone 4

Why are you idle, my wretched soul?
What useless cares cause you to be lost in dreams?
Why busy yourself with things that pass away?
The last hour is at hand, and we shall be parted from all earthly things.
Therefore, while there is yet time, rouse yourself and cry:
I have sinned before You, my Saviour.
Do not cut me off like the barren fig tree.
In Your compassion, O Christ, take pity on me who call out with fear.


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Monday, April 21, 2008

Great and Holy Monday

Today Christ's Holy Passion dawns upon the world as a saving light,
For He comes of His goodness to suffer:
He who holds all things in his hand
Consents to be hung upon the wood
In order to save mankind.

Invisible Judge,
How have you been seen in the flesh?
How have you been slain by lawless men,
Condemning our condemnation by your sufferings?
Therefore with one voice, O Word,
We ascribe glory, dominion and praise to your power!

Kathisma, Tone 1

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Palm Sunday

Sitting on Thy throne in heaven, and carried on a foal on earth, O Christ God, accept the praise of angels and the songs of children who sing: BIessed is he who comes to recall Adam!

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

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Friday, April 18, 2008


By Josephus Flavius

The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about himself.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago:
Studying English, Math, Sciene & Chinese at primary school. Absolutely hated the last subject. And girls too.

Five things on my To Do List today:
1. Attend an 'Emotional Intelligence' workshop.
2. Buy blueberries for Liza & Vika.
3. Give a talk at Holy Family [Roman Catholic] Church with Edward on Holy Week & Easter in Byzantine Christianity.
4. Store more songs in my mp3 player.
5. Spend less than $3 on journey home.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
* Donate to orphanages.
* Purchase land, build a church in the image of the Kazan Cathedral in Moscow and donate it to the local Russian Orthodox church.
* Buy an SUV for my father (probably the Audi Q7).
* Campaign to end bride kidnapping in the Caucasus.
* Move into Orchard Parksuites.
* Buy homes in Moscow, Prague, St Petersburg, Athens, London, Chicago, Paris, Yalta, Montréal and Vladikavkaz (don't ask).
* Meet PLANKA.
* Optional: send Karyn off to Nativity of the Mother of God South-Ussury Convent (Archdiocese of Vladivostok).

Three of my bad habits:
1. Procrastinating too often.
2. Being infatuated with all the wrong women.
3. Over-educating myself in all the things I shouldn't have known.

Five places I’ve lived:
Uh? I haven't moved since I was born.

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Shop assistant
2. Babysitter
3. Altar server
4. Office temp
5. Surveyor

Five books I’ve recently read:
1. Illustrated History of the World: Powers of the Crown AD 1600-1700
2. The Origins of Everyday Things
3. 1000 Wonders of Nature
4. Conflict in the 20th Century: The Cold War
5. London: In the Footsteps of the Famous

The five I tagged:
1. The Western Confucian
2. Camille
3. Andrew
4. Ben
5. Karyn


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This Week's Weird News

A man in New Zealand has been charged with using a hedgehog as a weapon, the New Zealand Herald has reported.

Police said William Singalargh, 27, had hurled the hedgehog about 5m (16ft) at a 15-year-old boy.

"It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," said Senior Sgt Bruce Jenkins, in the North Island town of Whakatane.

It was unclear whether the hedgehog was still alive when it was thrown, though it was dead when collected as evidence.

The police spokesman said the suspect was arrested "for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog."

Mr Singalargh is due to appear in court on 17 April. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

- BBC News, 09:35 GMT, Monday, 7 April

Yes, you read correctly.

No, no, not this.
No mere mortal could hurl something like that across 5 m.

Something more like this.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Arousing Desire

So I have been speaking with this teen-aged lass from the SSPX for some months now. Like most girls her age, she is impetuous, headstrong and eclectic.

She's got a log-sized chip on her shoulder from being in the SSPX. For rather inexplicable reasons, being in the SSPX for nearly 4 months now and receiving personal catechism didn't instill in her a feeling of obedience toward the hierarchy or empathy for their uncompromising views. Instead, it just fed her adolescent self-consciousness and sexual paranoia. The bad news is that she doesn't seem to have gotten over it yet.

The views of SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson, particularly those on women, have caused her much grief. She takes much offence at "women being fit only for the kitchen and bedroom", and has been airing her grievances at me, expressing her frustration with every opportunity at this supposedly widely-held perception of women.

I don't know the people who tell her these things, but isn't it obvious in modern society, women have never had it easier?

They enjoy freedom of choice in the job market, or can opt to stay at home and raise children (or do both). They are perfectly free to use marriage and divorce as businesses, enriching their personal fortunes by doing nothing more than providing sex. They are allowed to manipulate men with sex and tears to get whatever they want. They have been granted permission to usurp traditional male jobs yet still - with bold-faced hypocrisy - expect men to finance their social lives. They can choose to serve in the military without fear of losing their lives in combat. They expect to be able to denigrate the male gender and treat men like emotional punching bags without protest. They force men to endure "sensitivity training" to pressure them into becoming more like women.

All of this is apparently absent in the SSPX, and all she hears about the fairer sex comes from Bishop Williamson; "true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls". That the SSPX wishes its female adherents to return to the state of women before the 1960s should come as no surprise to some. In most affairs, ranging from liturgical practice to taste in fashion, the SSPX is generally conservative.

Whatever the case may be, one could not afford to be ignorant in the age of Google and Wikipedia - one sifted through the mess that is the Internet and found writings from our friend, Bishop Williamson. Now, as much as some women find them antiquated and bigoted, I personally found them to be quite offensive toward men.

In an October 13, 2007 column on the subject of female Doctors of the Church, the bishop contended that "any woman set up in public view is liable to arouse unclean desire in men".

One would think that Williamson has never laid eyes upon a womyn priest before. They inspire much, but I don't any of it constitutes an "unclean desire" in men.

The SSPX has long denounced the use of women in advertising, and the good bishop's words merely follow the trend. As much as I agree with the former, I find the latter to be insulting and contemptuous - with those words, Bishop Williamson has joined the SSPX to centuries of belief that men have unquenchable sexual drive and are unable to control their urges. It's only natural, of course.

Why, this puts the good bishop more in league with the local mullah than with any Catholic bishop today. Whatever the case, any woman who takes Bishop Williamson's words seriously ought to have her head examined. After all, this is someone who condemned The Sound of Music as virtually pornographic!

I cannot speak for all masculinity, but one can safely say that men are NOT aroused by the sight of ANY woman - not even those who have been deprived of female company, like those working in the military, or in engineering. "But hold on, Constantine," you may be yelling at your computer, "what about the men who rape elderly women and have intercourse with animals?" Well, do all men rape elderly women and have intercourse with animals? Certainly not. Just like not all Moslems are terrorists.

On a side note, rape is often a crime of power and control rather than purely that of sex - but that is a story for another time.

Who are these women who have "set [themselves] up in public view"? They are myriad; we have police officers, models, politicians, ballerinas, insurance agents, actresses, salesgirls, bank tellers, singers, royalty, famous-for-being-famous types, waitresses, etc. The list goes on and on.

Are we to say that all these women arouse unclean desire in men? Why, the poor men won't be able to leave home without suppressing serious testosterone urges first - but since men are incapable of doing so, how are we to solve this troubling issue?

Those who have propagated that message have given us a solution: keep women covered up and out of the workplace, a la Yemen. Better yet, why not arrest every man, as he is likely to commit a criminal offence? After all, growing on every man's body is an organ which may be an accessory to rape.

This goes to show how ridiculous the notion is. Most women would like to have the power to arouse men on sight, but unfortunately (or fortunately), that is not the case. Men do not arouse as easily as certain people would like us to believe. Why, as many have already pointed out - it is often used as a tool to keep women chaste and submissive. This is not to say, however, that women should now do the reverse and flagrantly display their uh, feminine virtues with utter abandon.

Being chaste is a good thing, but it should not be achieved on a foundation of lies told about men.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Church of Cyprus Sues Turkey

Nicosia, Apr 8 - The Church of Cyprus has decided to take legal action against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the destruction of Cyprus’ religious heritage in the Turkish occupied areas of the island.

Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus Chrysostomos II has said that the decision "is final" and added that the legal advisors of the Cypriot Church are ready to proceed with the case.

"We have already assigned the case to our lawyers and we are in the process of registering all properties of the Church of Cyprus all over the island with the Land Registry", he said.

Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus about 550 churches have been desecrated and 15,000-20,000 icons are missing, believed to be stolen or sold on the black market.

Some Orthodox Churches situated in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus have been converted to mosques, military camps, barns, mortuaries or silos.

- Embassy of Cyprus in Washington D.C.

It's about time the Church stood up to Moslem injustice.

Readers may remember Sandro Magister's report, 'Cyprus: Portrait of a Christianity Obliterated' from two years ago. I doubt much has changed since.

An excerpt:
...most of the mosques in Greek Cypriot territory have been restored, while [the Turkish Cypriot] government has authorized the transformation of churches into restaurants and hotels

What is this, but yet another example of the famous Moslem double-standard?

If we live in a world where the strong rule and the weak submit, why is it that whenever Muslim regions are conquered, such as in the case of Palestine, the same Islamists who would never concede one inch of Islam’s conquests resort to the United Nations and the court of public opinion, demanding justice, restitutions, rights and so forth?

As in Kosovo, the Moslem occupiers of Northern Cyprus have undertaken a similar, systematic obliteration of historic Christian culture. The world vexes over Iran, supposedly the "most active state sponsor of terrorism", when eyes should be on Turkey - genocide of its native Christian population is not known in Iran.

I am doubtful that bring this matter before the ECHR would resolve anything. The Court, based in Strasbourg, is dominated by the same politically correct Western European ilk who run the bureaucratic monster in Brussels. The West has always been slow to respond to the needs of Eastern Christians; as we have witnessed in recent months, neither do they care.

Virtually all of Western Europe has consented to the surrender of Kosovo and Metohija to Albanian crime lords. Earlier in 1999, NATO killed a few thousand Serbs then too stupid to realize their fellow Christians didn't give a @#$% about them.

Why, in the 17th century, France provoked Russia to war when Napoleon III forced Ottoman Turkey to recognise France and the Roman Catholic Church as the sole Christian authority in the Holy Land, with control over the Christian holy places and possession of the keys to the Church of the Nativity, formerly held by the Orthodox Church. Looking back further, we remember the Sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade and the establishment of the Latin Empire. We remember how the Teutonic Knights, seeing how the Orthodox Novgorodians were in need of salvation as much as the pagans, invaded the Russian territories, only to be inflicted a crushing defeat by the 21-year-old St Alexander Nevsky.

When they were Christian, the Western powers were reluctant friends at best. Now, one does not expect much help from these postmodern, secular states.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Fuss-Free Wedding

Like most men (except those seeking alcohol binge opportunities), I have an utter distaste for large, lavish weddings - particularly the obligation involved and the tendency to focus on attendants other than the bride and groom.

A Moscow couple had the ideal alternative. They held their wedding in the metro (subway for some of us) and had the "reception" at a fast food joint:

And that's how weddings ought to be.
Pity about the church ceremony (or lack thereof), though.

More HERE.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Return to Christian Roots?

I don't think this is what the Second Vatican Council meant when it decreed that "elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the earlier norm of the Holy Fathers".

Holy Thursday Mass, St Aidan's Cathedral
Enniscorthy, Ireland

This almost looks pagan.

[via Catholic Church Conservation]

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The Rising Market for Russian Icons

Fueled by religious patriotism and encouraged by both the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church, Russia's tycoons are reclaiming masterpieces that were scattered worldwide by the chaos of the Russian Revolution, the flight into exile of those opposed to the Communists, and the illegal export of art, which continued into the 1990s.

Russians are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to reacquire all kinds of Russian art, not just icons. To help the process, the government has eliminated customs duties on the import of art.

- Washington Post, February 17, 2008

Whatever the reasons are for buying them, these spiritual treasures are returning home.

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I Live!

Greetings, faithful readers!

My sincerest apologies for the dearth of posts for more than a month now. The ugly farce in Priština had kept one embroiled for weeks on various discussion boards, in a vain attempt to fight ignorance of Balkan history (as one can witness in my previous posts as well).

Following that, one found oneself drawn into yet another protracted dispute on another discussion board. This time, it involved the Roman Catholic faith and the "Charismatic Renewal" in the Christian West. As with the former, one was engaged in a vain attempt to fight ignorance of history (details can be provided upon personal request). Contrary to what most people might tell you these days, knowledge of history remains as vital as it ever has been - history grants one perspective and a context for various deeds; without it one cannot make value judgment. But I digress.

The editorial team at Memoirs thought we'd kick-start this new blogging season with a picture:

As it turns out, this is not the removal of yet another monstrous symbol of the atheist philosophy that had dominated half of Europe for over five decades.

This "monument" was made from plastic foam for the upcoming movie Budapest, which was filmed in well, Budapest - capital of Hungary (itself a former communist state). Though, be it a stone Lenin or a foam one, it is a beautiful and apt illustration of the phrase sic transit gloria mundi (thus passes the glory ofthe world)!

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