January 19, 2011 Leave a comment
You simply must try this.
Most interesting… The world was indeed a very different place back then…
What path have you taken?
We mentioned this site’s opening here. Now,
Just months before the official opening of one of Christianity’s holiest sites to visitors, the area where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus remains surrounded by thousands of land mines.
Israel says the sites visited by pilgrims and tourists in an area known as Qasr el-Yahud will be safe, but advocacy groups warn that crowds could be in danger.
On Tuesday, some 15,000 Christian pilgrims marched between two fenced-in minefields to reach the Epiphany ceremony led by the Greek Orthodox patriarch on the Jordan River, five miles (eight kilometers) east of the oasis town of Jericho at the edge of the West Bank.
Worshipers from around the world dipped themselves in the muddy waters, facing fellow believers on the other side of the small river. Orthodox clergymen dressed in dark frocks and robes chanted prayers as Patriarch Theofilos III blessed the waters, hurled branches and released white doves into the air.
This site is Christianity’s third holiest - after the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, on the spot where Christian belief says Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where tradition holds Jesus was born – and the baptism marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
Since Israel took control of the area in the 1967 Six-Day War, pilgrims have had to coordinate their visits with the Israel Defense Forces, because of security concerns and leftover land mines.
The ancient churches and monasteries on the Israeli side, some dating back to the fourth century, are surrounded by signs reading “Danger! Mines!“
Since it was a border, the place is really littered by hundreds and hundreds of mines, and therefore the area is not open to the public and to the believers and pilgrims, said Avner Goren, an archaeologist who works with Israel’s Tourism Ministry.
The ministry says about 60,000 people visit each year, but with the upcoming official opening that number is expected to rise to the millions. No date for the opening has been set.
The IDF says the baptism site and adjacent churches are located in a completely mine-free zone, and insists no danger is posed to tourists or worshipers…
Read on here.
This is just plain weird. Ok, so you give it a try:
There’s a meme flying round the internet at the moment that tells you to…
… add the last two digits of your birth year to the age you will turn on your birthday this year (2011, for any time travellers). It tells you the answer will be 111.
So for me: ’74 + 37 = 111!
Did it come to that for you too? Nelson.
If you want to know how it works, click here. There’s even a formula.
The paywall was the stupidest thing The Times could have ever done. Spurred on by profits and Murdochian greed, readership as we all by now know, has plummeted. It will fail (I’ve said that before) and it’s but a matter of time before they will be constrained to open up.
Talking of RSS, I note than some more changes have hit everyone’s favourite paywalled enterprise, The Times online.
First up, the blogs now have a free-to-air front page, and the main page is also available to view. Here’s Ruth Gledhill’s Articles of Faith, for example.
You’ll still need to cough up to see the full posts, though. And the blogs now have RSS feeds, too (again, here’s Ruth’s, by way of example). They’re not full text feeds, indeed, sometimes they’re not even the whole of the first sentence, but it’s another step towards a more conventional approach to blogging. I wonder if login-protected full text is next for subscribers?
I miss reading Ruth’s blog. Anyway who wants to pay to subscribe to The Times when we have The Telegraph? Now there’s an online paper worth reading!
In the deadly boring Commons Debate, there is this interesting snippet:
Figures held centrally by the Ministry Division of the Archbishop’s Council show that in the period 2005-10 the division’s candidate’s panel dealt with 14 former Roman Catholic priests seeking ordination in the Church of England, of whom 11 were accepted for ministry. As there is discretion at diocesan level over the requirements for acceptance into ministry, not all cases are centrally recorded, meaning the national figure is likely to be higher…