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Profile: Dr WWWW
User Name: Dr WWWW
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Thursday, April 14, 2011
Last Visit: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 10:25:07 PM
Number of Posts: 264
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach...
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 10:01:07 PM

striker wrote:
more war have started over religion in history

This may be true, since religion can be used as a uniting force when a nation goes to war, distinguishing one's country from its enemy. But I know of no wars that started over love, in the sense that one loves one's neighbor.(I don't think the Greek/Trojan war was an exception -- Helen was more a prize than one who was loved).
Topic: Omizutori Matsuri
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 9:39:04 PM

Todai-ji Temple Daibutsuden Hall, the world's largest wooden building

Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple),is a Buddhist temple complex, that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden), houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana,known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Deer, regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, roam the grounds freely.

(I find these anthropomorphic buildings a little scary.)

Topic: Alexander Graham Bell
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:33:37 PM
Barnacle Barney Bill wrote:
It really gets up my nose that articles from Wiki are seriously used as references - in this case it seems almost deliberately misleading.

I have used as reference on occasion and trusted the information. Thank you for the making me more aware of the source.

I believe that the articles in Wikipedia, for the most part, are factual and informative. Many of the contributors are experts in their fields. I use it for quick background material in fields of chemistry, math, physics, medicine. It seems sufficiently trusted by TFD that one finds that many TFD entries are directly from Wikipedia. About 10 years ago several articles, starting with one in the British journal Nature (not peer reviewed) did a comparison to Encyclopedia Britannica, the result being that the two sources were found to contain a similar number of "serious errors". The controversy is thoroughly documented in a Wikipedia entry titled: Reliability of Wikipedia.

I'm not sure what opinion has to do with the material presented there. Perhaps some of the bios or historical interpretations are susceptible to bias and manipulation by those who have an axe to grind or those who have been smitten by those finely honed axes.

In the case of Bell, I am not an expert on him and perhaps the Wikipedia/TFD article fails to properly demonize the man. The article appears to present an account of the challenges to his patents without casting opprobrium or doubt on his accusers. Inventors are no more saintly than the rest of us.
Topic: ersatz
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 12:46:50 PM
Ersatz is a German word literally meaning substitute or replacement.[ Although it is used as an adjective in English, Ersatz can only function in German as a noun on its own, or as a part in compound nouns such as Ersatzteile ("spare parts") or Ersatzspieler ("substitute player"). While the term used in English often implies that the substitution is of unsatisfactory or inferior quality compared to the "real thing", it has both connotations in German, depending on the other noun; e.g. Ersatzteile ("spare parts") is a technical expression without any implication about quality, whereas in other cases it may mean things of poorer quality, e.g. Ersatzkaffee (coffee not made from coffee beans).

The reason for Ersatz being only a noun in German but also an adjective in English is that in German compound nouns are single words formed by concatenating the constituent nouns, while in English the constituents tend to remain separate words. In the case of Ersatzkaffee, in which the latter two syllables were recognisably "coffee" to English-speaking ears, this compound noun was anglicised by a calque translation that retained the constituent Ersatz as a loanword, resulting in "ersatz coffee", in which the first part was interpreted as an adjective. In this way, "ersatz" came to be an English adjective connoting an inferior substitute.

Wikipedida Etymology entry for "Ersatz Good"
Topic: Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 12:43:18 PM
Thank you monamagda for the passage. I located it also, but still find it quite as mystifying as the fragment quoted. He seems to say that the generating formula of creation, though unchanging, produces the multitude we see about us; and we, humanity are the beautiful outcome of this creative principle, though ascending among less noble forms.

What "badges of servitude" is he referring to when he writes:

"In man we still trace the remains or hints of all that we esteem badges of servitude in the lower races; yet in him they enhance his nobleness and grace"
Topic: Dr. Seuss
Posted: Monday, March 2, 2015 11:54:21 PM
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why, No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
I could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
Topic: panorama
Posted: Monday, March 2, 2015 11:19:46 PM
Then there is the Cyclorama, exemplified by that on display in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA.

The "Cyclorama" was a very popular form of entertainment in the late 1800's, both in America and Europe. These massive oil-on-canvas paintings were displayed in special auditoriums and enhanced with landscaped foregrounds sometimes featuring trees, grasses, fences and even life-sized figures. The result was a three-dimensional effect that surrounded the viewers who stood on a central platform, literally placing them in the center of the great historic scene. Most cycloramas depicted dramatic events such as great battles, religious epics, or scenes from great works of literature. Hundreds were painted and exhibited in Europe and America during the 1800's, yet most were lost or destroyed as their popularity died out with the introduction of a more entertaining art form, motion pictures.

The "Battle of Gettysburg" Cyclorama at Gettysburg National Military Park is one that has survived. This fantastic painting brings the fury of the final Confederate assault on July 3, 1863 to life, providing the viewer with a sense of what occurred at the battle long touted as the turning point of the Civil War.

From the National Park Sevice Website - Gettysburg
Topic: Salem Witch Trials Begin
Posted: Sunday, March 1, 2015 10:25:40 PM
Quote from the article:

"More than once it has been said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered."
Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706

John Winthrop, first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a Puritan, in his 1630 sermon "A Model of Christian Charity", described the colony as "a city upon a hill", an exemplar of a community operating under Puritan Christian principles showing the world the pilgrim's utopian view of the ideal society. The pilgrims left England because their religious practices were not tolerated. On arrival on American shores, they were equally intolerant of religious practices of groups such as the Quakers, Anglicans and Baptists.

The distopic reality of this theocratic ideal was exposed by the Salem witch trials and should serve as an object lesson to those, even today, who attempt to mold human nature by wedding religious principles to the statutes and judicial proceedings of the state. With the background of teachings that disbelief in witches and demons was evidence for lack of faith (and their falling under the influence of Satan), members of the Salem community had few means to stand against the accusations of their minister's daughters.
Topic: Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Posted: Sunday, March 1, 2015 9:05:41 PM
Actually, The Mysterious Stranger is his darkest tale and, to me, it seemed that in that story he had run out of laughter.
Topic: Faith, n.: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:58:38 PM
It appears to me that those who lack faith, yet desperately seek a faith to anchor their lives, most readily fall prey to the few who seek power over the many.