March 28, 2008
A couple of weeks ago Paul and I went along to Skeptics in the Pub in Holborn to see a talk on regulating alternative therapies. Unfortunately it was really hard to hear so we didn’t stick around for very long. I would like to go to it again but am worried about not being able to hear!
It actually snowed a little in London over the easter weekend. Apart from being terribly, horribly cold, it was nice to sit in bed and watch large snow flakes falling from the sky.
This week I saw a Physiotherapist for my back and afterwards it was feeling much better for a few days but now it is quite sore again. I’m seeing him again on Monday.
This week I started reading Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic by Esther Perel. I’m quite enjoying it so far.
March 26, 2008
So I’ve planned my first book club meeting with some friends and it’s happening Sunday, April 20 at 3pm at my house (we’ll have moved by then to our new place with a lovely terrace). We’re reading Truman Capote‘s In Cold Blood. So if you want to come, you’ve got 25 days to read it.
March 22, 2008
On Thursday I finished reading Infidel; it was such a good read. I cried a lot – so many sad things happened. I really want to donate money to help protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali from crazy muslims who want to kill her. Tonight I watched the film Submission on Youtube – it is the film that Hirsi Ali made with Theo Van Gogh that led to his being murdered by a muslim man in 2004. The ten-minute film briefly explores the submission to Allah that a muslim has to believe in, as well as the submission to men that Muslim women live with.
Today I’ve been reading Epileptic by David B. It is really sweet. I’ve also started reading Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson.
Last night I watched Thank You For Smoking. It was amusing but nowhere near as amazing as I’d been led to believe.
Paul has been playing World of Warcraft a fair bit lately so I’m quite used to hearing the theme music, and various grunts and whacks from the killing of things but he decided today, on a whim, to download the WOW theme music! Oh dear. If I was ever going to play a computer game, I would definitely play World of Warcraft. In fact, I have even made two characters in Paul’s account. A dwarf called Pigiron and a mage human called Yarrow. I only played Pigiron for about an hour all up I think and I don’t think I ever played Yarrow. It looks really cool (the world where WoW takes place) – I have occasionally watched while Paul plays, and I’ve been in the same room as him for countless hours as he’s played and I’ve done other things so for a nonplayer, I know a LOT about World of Warcraft. I’ve even seen the South Park World of Warcraft episode and I got most of the jokes!
My back is still sore so I’m going to see a physiotherapist on Tuesday. I hope it helps.
March 17, 2008
Another book I’m reading at the moment is Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer who is a skeptic and founder of the Skeptic Society and editor of their magazine the Skeptic. I’ve already read the chapters on Holocaust denial where Michael Shermer examinies what Holocaust deniers say, why they are wrong, and how we know they are wrong. Having never really studied the Germans and the Second World War very closely, it was a really interesting read.
March 17, 2008
I borrowed a large pile of books from my local library yesterday and today read the Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens which was a very good book. I have written a review over at Spinster if you’re interested.
I have started reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali‘s autobiography Infidel and the graphic novel/memoir Epileptic by David B. Both books look like very good stories.
I have spent the weekend resting. Yesterday I watched Stranger Than Fiction, a really sweet, cute film featuring Maggie Gyllanhaal, Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah.
It’s back to work tomorrow. Hope my back holds out and isn’t too painful.
March 16, 2008
Here’s a list to make you feel really warm and fuzzy about human beings and the evil they are capable of:
The top 10 Evil Human Experiments from the List Universe.
March 14, 2008
I contemplated running away many times as a child but I didn’t know where I would sleep, how I would get food or money – I didn’t seem old enough to get a job – so I just stayed.
March 14, 2008
I’m home from work today again with my sore back. The doctor did give me some extra special pain killers for it. So, I’m lying on my bed, watching films.
The first was a film from Afghanistan and was the first film made there after the fall of the Taliban, called At 5 in the Afternoon. It was good but quite sad. Seeing the beliefs of Islamic Afghanistan and how they impact on women’s lives was of course sad. The main protagonist in the story, Nograh, wasn’t very educated (her father didn’t believe in girls being educated, or showing their faces) but she wanted to be educated and she would sneak off from the religious school she went to to join much younger girls at a new school. It was very sad watching Nograh, her father, her sister-in-law (whose husband was missing) and baby seek out an existence in the bombed-out remains of Afghanistan, without a place to stay, enough water or enough to eat. But it was very moving.
The next film was the very scary Jesus Camp, which I watched on youtube. Watching evangelising Christians brainwashing children was not going to be fun but I’ve wanted to see this film since I first heard about it last year (it had a showing at the ICA). The woman who runs the camps actually said about Harry Potter: “Warlocks are an enemy of god. If Harry Potter was in the Old Testament, he would have been put to death.” These people actually believe in warlocks and wizards and witches! That’s why they hate Harry Potter. Because they’re scared their kids might learn a spell from the books and cast it upon them. This would be quite funny but unfortunately 25% of Americans are evangelical Christians, the kind of people who don’t believe in evolution or Global Warming and they are brainwashing their kids into their crazy belief system. I was left wondering what would become of a lot of the kids in the film. There’s really something wrong with watching kids preach! Especially a kid who says he was “saved” at the age of 5!
Next up, I’ve got Stranger Than Fiction to watch and Thank You For Smoking.