Saturday, 12 January 2013

Daily digest #2

Well, I didn't quite get the feedback I was looking for yesterday, in fact I got no feedback at all. Nevertheless, I shall continue with this new style of blogging for the meantime, because it suits my present needs. If you hate it, though, please let me know.

I managed to squeeze out a blog post on the issue of dog fouling in Cornwall and a few ideas on how to counter it, and today I got another post out on the Whitehouse's response to the 50 states that posted petition to secede from the union, and a comparison with what is happening in the UK both internally and externally.

Atheism / Secularism Local /Cornwall
Why I don't care if Jesus existed or not

Not the first time I have heard this said, and I have to admit, it is a sentiment I also hold/

The fact that one person existed out of the probable 100 billion that have ever existed is of little consequence to me. Jesus may have been a real and existent person, or he may not have been. The evidence for his existence, though, is conspicuous by its absence, or it lies in texts that are generally considered to be forgeries or latter-day interpolations by those that would seek to give Jesus more historical weight than he deserved.

No, the reason why I don't care whether he existed or not is because his existence is not particularly relevant to the miracles ascribed to him. It is this that interests me.

How can any person do any of the following:

Control of Nature

1.Calming the storm – Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:37-41; Luke 8:22-25 2.Feeding 5,000 - Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14 3.Walking on water - Matthew 14:22-32; Mark 6:47-52; John 6:16-21 4.Feeding 4,000 – Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9 5.Fish with coin – Matthew 17:24-27 6.Fig tree withers – Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25 7.Huge catch of fish – Luke 5:4-11; John 21:1-11 8. Water into wine – John 2:1-11

Healing of Individuals

1.Man with leprosy – Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-14 2.Roman centurion’s servant – Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10 3.Peter’s mother-in-law – Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:30-31; Luke 4:38-39 4.Two men possessed with devils – Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-15; Luke 8:27-39 5.Man with palsy – Matthew 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26 6.Woman with bleeding – Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48 7.Two blind men – Matthew 9:27-31 8.Dumb, devil-possessed man - Matthew 9:32-33 9.Canaanite woman’s daughter – Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30 10.Boy with devil - Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:17-29; Luke 9:38-43 11.Two blind men – including Bartimaeus - Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43 12.Demon-possessed man in synagogue – Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37 13.Blind man at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-26 14.Crippled woman – Luke 13:10-17 15.Man with dropsy – Luke 14:1-4 16.Ten men with leprosy – Luke 17:11-19 17.The high priest’s servant – Luke 22:50-51 18.Nobleman’s son at Capernaum – John 4:46-54 19.Sick man at the pool of Bethsaida – John 5:1-15 20.Man born blind – John 9:1-41

Raising the Dead

1.Jairus’ daughter – Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56 2.Widow’s son at Nain – Luke 7:11-17 3.Lazarus – John 11:1-44

New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

In the British study, SBNRs (spiritual but not religious) were found to be significantly more likely to be drug-dependent (77%) and to suffer from phobias (72%) or anxiety (50%). No wonder they’re significantly more likely (40%) than the religious to be being treated with psychotropic drugs.

Read the abstract here.
Zilch UK launches the first ever national survey on attitudes to fines for littering 

Yesterday, I posted a blog about dog fouling and put forward a few suggestions on how to tackle it. Today, Twitter user, Leave only a shadow, tweeted me with the following:
@tris_stock Got a view of whether people should be fined for littering Express that view here
The link at the end goes to a survey on littering in general, but I made a comment informing them that I also included dog fouling as a litter problem.

Buyers in Devon and Cornwall struggle to pay deposit on new homes

It should come as no surprise to anyone, but a report released today by Lloyds TSB reveals that 'second steppers' on the property ladder are unable to do so because they lack the necessary equity in their current properties to place the deposit on their desired property.

The average cost of a 'send step' property is estimated to be £219,647, but the real problem - apart from this being an enormous amount of money considering the wage levels in Cornwall - lies in the fact that their equity in their current home accounts for just 7% of the asking price of a typical 'second-stepper' home, compared with 42% in 2005. The average required for this 'second-step' is currently at 34%.

The bank has created an "annual affordability measure" which sets average equity as a ratio of average earnings. The South West is one of the worst affected, with a measure of 5.7 times the average gross annual full-time earnings for 2011, compared to 3.3 in 2002. Only the South East, at 6.3, and London, at 6.1, were worse.

All this is compounded in the fact that first time buyers are unable to get on the property ladder because the houses that once would have been available to them, have now been cut off by the inability of present owners to 'buy-up'.

Cornwall on snow and ice weather warning for the weekend

Yellow Warning of Ice

12 Jan 2013, 15:00 

Issued at - 11 Jan 2013, 12:10 
Valid from - 12 Jan 2013, 15:00 
Valid to - 13 Jan 2013, 12:00 

Outbreaks of rain, sleet and some now will gradually clear southwards during Saturday night, and with temperatures falling rapidly through the evening and night, there is a risk of icy surfaces. he rain, sleet and snow may linger in parts of southern England well into Sunday morning, by which time it will be light and mainly falling as snow. While local accumulations of up to 2 cm of snow are possible on some higher level loads, it is the risk of ice which is expected to present the main problem. 

The public should be aware of the risk of disruption to travel. The public is advised to take extra care, further information and advice can be found here.


Build A Death Star I am no fan of Star Wars - I haven't even seen any of the films - but I am a fan of science fiction and more so in science reality. Blurring the two is exciting and truly awe-inspiring. I would rather build a Borg cube - as it is described in Revelation, but a Death Star is kinda cool too.

What about a USS Enterprise, or a Millennium Falcon? And I suppose I ought to mention the T.A.R.D.I.S. of Dr Who; it would certainly be a wonder of modern achievement  but it does look kind of dull from the outside.

If you want the U.S. Government to support the construction of the Death Star, keep hassling the them. They clearly want to do this. They simply lack the cojones.

There appears to be an outright statement of intent coming from the Republicans in America, a quick Google search for 'Republican civil war' returns some 36,000 hits on the UK site.

Civil war is - at the least - an act of insurgency, so the question need be asked; Should registered Republicans be named as enemies of the State?

If Republicans were speaking the way they are in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan or Iraq about the USA, they would be killed without a trial. If they gathered guns to fight Obama in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan or Iraq about the USA, they would be killed without a trial. What action should be taken against these Republican insurgents that speak this way about their Government and threaten taking up arms against it on American soil?

I used to be a Republican leaning type. In some ways I still am (a fiscal conservative, if not a small Government conservative), but having spent more time actually paying attention to US current affairs, I find it hard to believe I was ever so naive.

The second any Republican movement fires a shot in anger against their own Government, it should come down on it with all the force and venom that has been inflicted on those it has attacked abroad. It is, after all, their very freedom that is at stake.

What do you think of the new approach? Is there anything you would like me to approach with more consideration? What else on this site do you think needs changing? Leave a comment below to let me know.

n.b. I am working on a new site that will further delineate between my increasingly diverse interests, but for the time being this blog will have to suffice. I'll let you know more when the roll-out date approaches.


  1. Tris,
    In re: Dog Fouling.
    It has for several years bothered me that, back in the 70's, dog 'leavings' would more or less instantly turn into a white, chalky mess and blow away in the breeze. Nowadays, dog 'leavings' seem to hang around forever, necessitating the bags and the bins. What has changed? Perhaps, with your puppy, you could perform an experiment?

    Yours in good faith,


    1. Thank you, Bangleduck. You raise a very important question. I think it comes down to - like so many things - a calcium deficiency. You see, back in the 70's, pet food manufacturers didn't have enough meat to put into their product, so it was supplemented with whelk shells.

      As I am sure you are aware, whelk shells are rich in calcium), and are found in vast abundance on the Gower Peninsula where ravenous puffins have decimated the whelk population due to their evolutionary jump to using chemical attacks on the unsuspecting crustaceans in the form of vinegar.

      Of course, whilst the vinegar helps the puffins extract their meaty goodness, it is not ideal for pet food production. So the brightest scientists in all of Christendom were called to the state-of-the art Chappie pet food laboratory at Melton Mowbray, where the vinegar was extracted and sold back to Sarson's from whence it came. in order to crush up the shells and add to what became known as Pedigree Chum and Kit-e-Kat.

      This high calcium content was enough to bulk out their product until Jamie Oliver began to effuse about poofy red wine vinegars that entered into the food chain. Despite all their efforts, no one has been able to extract this pathogen from whelk shells.

      Fortunately for the pet food manufacturers, Bovine Spongiform Encaphelitus hit the scene, and meat was once again available for pet food products in abundance. However, to cover this fact from the authorities (that claimed that the meat was not fit for consumption by any living beast), it was necessary for them to present it in the form of 'complete' dried pet foods; hence its preponderance to this day.

      But I digress. It was this high level of calcium that caused the mineralisation of cat and dog faeces, and I for one call for its reintroduction.

      P.S. JUNIPER!

    2. Mr Stock,

      Thank you for your earnest, heartfelt and scientifically convincing response.

      I, myself, was convinced that the answer lay somewhere in the realm of crustacea but was merely waiting for a mind such as your own to convince me.

      I have not noticed, since the 1970's, a marked improvement in the health or wellbeing of domestic pets such as dogs and cats. As such, I shall now endeavour to substitute my own pets current diet of "Felix" biscuits with clams and whelks.

      Many thanks, in perpituity, for your assistance in this matter.

      Yours, inevitably,



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