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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kerala MLA out to change luck of 13

Ramesh Babu , Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram, July 23, 2007
Most people avoid the number 13 like the plague, considering it to be unlucky. But one man in Kerala is trying to change that.

Anglo-Indian legislator Simon Britto has requested the Assembly Speaker to allot him room 13 at the Legislature Hostel. Britto, a victim of campus violence and confined to a wheelchair, hasn’t had much luck in life but cannot tolerate the superstition around the number.

Interestingly, Britto was allotted room 12B at the hostel. The room should have normally been numbered 13 but was numbered 12B instead and the previous room 12A. “I am a Marxist and an atheist. I am not superstitious and scared of the number 13. It is unbecoming of a legislator to succumb to such baseless fears,” he said.

As in many other countries, buildings in India rarely have a 13th floor, hotels a room 13 or aeroplanes a 13th row. “See, someone has to take an initiative to bust this myth. Now I feel it is the lucky number,” says Britto.

The fear of 13 — called triskaidekaphobia — is not just confined to the lawmakers’ chambers. A year ago, when the new Left ministry assumed office, the housekeeping wing of the tourism department was reluctant to allot an official car bearing the board ‘Kerala State 13’. Finally, state education minister MA Baby came forward to accept it.

Even the courts have fallen victim to this fear. The Kerala High Court did not have a judge’s chamber with the number 13. The Supreme Court intervened and declared that there should be no room for superstition in the judiciary. In reaction, the judges’ chambers (24 of them) were renumbered chamber 1 A to D and so on, so the number 13 could still be avoided. Old-timers say the court once had a chamber 13 till 1990 but many occupants died in harness. It still does not have a court 13.

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  • Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Ashes Scattered In UK's Ganges

    Sky News, United Kingdom - 20 Jul 2007
    A river on Tyneside could become Britain's answer to the Ganges as the place for people to scatter the ashes of their loved ones. conitue

    See also:
  • Hindus, Sikhs allowed to scatter ashes of dead in UK river
    The Times of India, 21 Jul 2007
    LONDON: Hindus and Sikhs in Britain are allowed to scatter ashes of their loved ones in designated part of Derwent river in northern England, it was officially stated on Saturday.

    Sam Reed of Gateshead Council said Hindus and Sikhs have been allowed to scatter the ashes in the Derwent, which flows to the river Tyne, for at least five years. continue reading
  • British Indians get waterway to perform cremation ritual
  • Sikhs, Hindus can immerse ashes of their dead in a UK river, FL -
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Court reprieve for sacred bull

    Shambo the bullock in his pen at the monastic Hindu Skanda Vale community in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Photograph: The Hindu Forum of Britain/PA
    Mon Jul 16, 3:57 PM
    LONDON (AFP) - A court on Monday quashed a decision to slaughter a sacred bull which tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, after protests by Hindu monks and nuns.
    The ruling by the High Court in Cardiff, Wales, was immediately hailed by the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) as "a landmark judgment in the history of religious worship" in Britain. continue reading
  • Judge grants Shambo reprieve
    Steven Morris
    Monday July 16, 2007
    Guardian Unlimited
  • Saturday, July 14, 2007

    3 Ways to Handle Anger Before Anger Handles You

    Posted by David Romanelli
    on Tue, Jul 03, 2007, 1:41 pm PDT
    Feelings are much like waves. We can't stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf." -Jonatan Mårtensson

    In the Western world, we think of strength as big muscles, heavy weights, physical power. But in the ancient Eastern cultures, strength means something entirely different. The yogis think of strength more as an ability to overcome powerful emotions such as anger and jealousy.

    In the heat of the moment, a normal person (myself included) will want to lash out. In her song "White Trash Deco," country singer Cynthia Ford catches her husband cheating and responds with anger and jealousy by maxing out his credit cards to misdecorate his house. The words go like this:click here for the full article

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  • Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    British School Justified In Reprimanding Teacher Who Told Children Harry Potter Author Was A Witch -- Faithwise Review of the Week

    A British employment tribunal has ruled a teaching assistant was not a victim of religious discrimination after her school gave her a hard time when she refused the reading of a Harry Potter book in class.
    Sariya Allan, 47, was a teaching assistant at Durand Primary School in Stockwell, England. She gave a seven-year-old student a book to read but the student found it too easy and picked up a Harry Potter book. Continue reading @ The Witches' Voice Inc.

  • Vegetarians demand meat-free malls
    FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Malls are currently doing a balancing act between consumer sentiments and making profits. Saturday , July 07, 2007 IBNLive
    Mumbai: You’ve heard of niche marketing, but this could be new. Vegetarians in Mumbai are now demanding meat-free mall...

    This is the latest battle between vegetarians and non-vegetarians in Mumbai. Pro-vegetarian groups like the Maharashtra Gopalan Samiti have launched a campaign against malls selling non-vegetarian items. continue reading

  • Religious diversity: Can we talk? By Stephen V. Sundborg, Special to The Times
    The second obstacle to engaging one another within our religious diversity is that most of what separates us from one another is not belief or religious practice, but the cloud of culture all religions create around themselves. There is a Catholic culture, a Protestant culture, an Anglican culture, a Jewish culture, a Muslim culture. All religions create these thick cultures from ritual, customs and tradition. They are not the religion; they are its cloud, its skirt, its exterior, not its interior.
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    Albany Times Union, NY - 7 Jul 2007
  • You are God's Piccolo, By Fr Adolf, Deccan Herald, Bangalore
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  • Welcome to the church of romantic love
    The search for a mystical 'baby' is replacing the search for God as the dominant religion of this century, Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun, July 07, 2007 see also: 07/07/07: A perfect date with destiny?
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    Mumbai: Mukesh Ambani’s Rs 100-crore dream home plan, said to be the world’s most expensive city mansion, may now realise after remaining in a land-transfer controversy.
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  • State to pay pujas in old temples Deccan Chronicle on the web
    Hyderabad, July 9: To prevent the possibility of religious conversions at the village level, the endowments department has decided to revive pujas and rituals in all old temples. As a first step, the department would extend financial support to 4,000 temples out of 32,000 in the State. It will give Rs 1000 for pujas and Rs 1,500 as honorarium to priests.

    The Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams will allot grants for the effective implementation of the scheme. It is expected benefit archakas who have been demanding salaries for the several years on par with priests of 21 big temples. According to the guidelines issued by the department, temples which require grants should be listed in Section 6 of the Endowments Act. The temples should have been constructed at least 25 years ago and should not have an income of more than Rs 30,000 per year. Committees running the temples have been asked to apply before July 18.

    District level committees appointed by the government will verify the physical condition of the temples before issuing the grants. Officials expect that regular spiritual activity in the villages will prevent people from converting to faiths other than Hinduism. According to them, people are being attracted towards other faiths since there is nobody to explain the culture and traditions of Hinduism. "Temples play a vital role in preserving our heritage and culture. They will also inculcate unity among the people. So we have decided to extend financial support to all temples in a phased manner," said endowments commissioner P. Sundara Kumar.
  • Purposeful site, By KAREN HEINSELMAN, Courier Staff Writer David Kupka, left, and Dan Feehan make adjustments on the sound board on a Sunday morning at Cedar Valley Community Church.  <br />BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Photo Editor
    WATERLOO --- About seven years ago, Emily Sullivan and her family were preparing to move from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Northeast Iowa. To familiarize herself with the area, she researched her future hometown online.
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  • Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    God and Smoking

    Today's Daily Mail had the slightly ridiculous story of UK churches being forced to display non-smoking signs ... Compulsory 'no smoking' signs in churches are 'daft', says Dean.
    I'm not sure what Jesus has to say about smoking, but yesterday I found out about Mohammed and Islam's views of smoking - courtesy of this clever little leaflet they were giving out at the chemist. It was produced with the co-operation of the Muslim Council, and makes it clear that smoking is against the Koran and Muslim law.
    Conitnue reading the full article
    Smoking (Fatwa)
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  • Saturday, July 07, 2007

    07/07/07: A perfect date with destiny?

    6 Jul, 2007 l 0026 hrs ISTlAmit Bhattacharya / TIMES NEWS NETWORK
    NEW DELHI: Remember the hype and phobia over June 6 last year as the date 6/6/06 was associated with the Devil? Well, the buzz around this coming Saturday is even bigger. For, 07/07/07 in the Western world is being associated with perfection.

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    Monday, July 02, 2007

    Year dedicated to St. Paul will have ecumenical dimension -- Faithwise Review of the Week

    Holy Father's address at Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
    ROME, Jul 2, 2007 (CNA) .- While preparing for the celebration of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the importance of the Apostle Paul for Christians today and announced that the year dedicated to him will focus on ecumenism.
    The Holy Father was at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to begin the solemnity honoring the two saints who helped found the Church.
    Speaking about St. Paul, the Pope said that he, "was 'set apart for the Gospel of God,' to spread the announcement of divine grace that, in Christ, reconciles man with God, with himself and with others." continue reading: Year dedicated to St. Paul
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    Well, I'm sure your July 4th plans have shaped up by now. You're going to wave the flag, praise our president, and feel proud as hell...

    Our point is to take a traditional ultra-nationalist holiday with its theme of "bombs bursting in air," and American triumphalism, and reshape it in two ways:

    A. to affirm all the good in America, particularly the struggles of ordinary citizens that led to the expansion of democratic rights and civil liberties throughout the past two hundred and thirty one years.

    B. to affirm that in the 21st century there is no such thing as "independence" without affirming and thinking in terms of our inter-dependence with all other people on the planet, and with the planet itself--so our celebration seeks to transcend chauvinist nationalism and affirm a democratic and human-rights and generosity-oriented internationalism. continue reading
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  • Sunday, July 01, 2007

    British Library’s Sacred exhibition: Interactive learning resources

    Info courtesy: William J. Kopycki, University of Pennsylvania and Elizabeth Beaudin, Yale University Library @ "melanet-l"
    Investigate the Abrahamic scriptures by posing questions to faith leaders, educators, young people, theologians and a philosopher. The activity reminds us that the meanings within the texts are complex and endlessly fascinating.

    "One of the key messages of the Sacred exhibition is about learning how sacred texts can be interpreted today; do they still have relevance and meaning to life in 21st century Britain? We've created two interactive resources on our Learning website to help explore these questions. Try them out here and let us know what you think!"Continue
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