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Church and McDonald’s

20 Jan

Despite the US being extremely religious as a whole, there is still a very strong sense of separation of church and state. It goes even further, and many businesses will not mention anything religious, especially around the holidays. Ironically, we will send Happy Holiday cards and our Jewish friends from Israel will send Christmas cards. Go figure.

Now, the Czech Republic is almost entirely atheist. As I have mentioned before, the Catholics make up all of about 4%, and that includes the more religious south. Well, despite that, people still believe that baby Jesus brings them presents at Christmas. Santa Clause can go hang his coat, because no one here has fallen for that.

A couple of weeks ago we had the Epiphany. Most people would have no idea what it is, but there is a tradition that you take a piece of chalk and write K+M+B 2013, the initials of the three kings, above main entrances. You will see that even on restaurants and other public places. Another strange example of how tradition overrides common attitudes toward organized, or more specifically, Christian church.

And the one that gets me the most is McDonald’s. They have Christian symbols in the menu and in their advertising. The Three Kings of winter?? 


Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 12.10.17 PM

How are they so against the institution of the Church that it prevents them from even coming close to a church, yet they can so easily fall for these myths and old stories? They all know them, accept them and then use them. Do they not associate them with Christian history or do they just not think about it?

As long as it sells, then I guess they do not question why, where it came from or what it means.

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Padfone

15 Jan
A phone that fits into the back of a tablet?
Slap on a keyboard, add a mouse and off you go.
Why does it seem that there are so many new ridiculous technological ideas popping up all over the place?
 PeepPlayer
Yes, technology should go forward, but should there not be some sort of common sense barrier that says that something is ridiculous? It is great that we can create a device that you can pop your phone into, but why?
These types of inventions feel like a quick patch up of things just to get something new on the market. Yet these inventions seem to make the credible companies just look plain ridiculous. It used to be that these funny, creative, but useless gadgets were on the TV infomercial channels or in the airplane magazines. This wild goose chase is our greed to be constantly stimulated by new things. It is causing a whirlwind that everyone is getting sucked into. Although these gizmos are neat, I would still much rather invest in 1 item that I know works and will last me some time.
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The Blessing of a Union – Marriage controvery

14 Jan

Not too long ago a bishop was quite sympathetic towards homosexual couples. He purported, that historically there have been cases where same sex couples have been blessed.

I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. It kept puzzling me until I started looking it up.

Sure enough, there have been such cases:

Roman Catholic Church

During the 1990s, a discussion began in the Roman Catholic Church about blessings for same-sex unions. In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen in Germany, five same-sex unions received a blessing in German town ofMönchengladbach.[83] In 2007, one same-sex union received a blessing in German town of Wetzlar in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg.[84] Wikipedia

On one hand, I found that such a blessing did occur, yet on the other hand, I found the 5 Non Negotiables which are strictly against any homosexual marriages. One theory could be that by giving homosexuals a blessing, the church really does separate the common living arrangement from a marriage because they establish it as something different. This in turn would protect the marriage sacrament because they define it more clearly.

But the theory couple be completely off because as I found, there have been priests who blessed the couples and then were removed from their position. 

A German priest granted a blessing, and then the bishop “removed Fr. Kollas as dean of priests to avoid further “damage” to the Church’s reputation.” Catholic

We as Catholics have a duty to respect, honor and love any human being, even if homosexual, but that does in no way mean to endorse, bless or pardon their deeds. Being open to them would in no way harm the reputation of the church, but a blessing….

But, if we consider the blessing. It could be, that the priest were blessing a household in which two homosexuals lived. If that were the case, then any non tradition household, which functions as a compatible and loving environment, should be eligible for a blessing as well.

Jesus Jingle

15 Dec
Christmas is in full swing in Prague. Everywhere you go you see Christmas stands with hot wine, ornaments, cookies, mistletoe, sausages and small gifts. Department stores are draped with lights and Christmas carols jingle all around.
Despite the commercial side of it, it is nice to see that the Czechs still wait for Baby Jesus, Ježíšek, to bring them gifts. In one of the most atheist countries in the world, the biggest holiday is possible more religiously founded than in other countries.  In others parts of the world, there seems to be a bigger conflict between the religious and commercial aspects of the season. In the US it went so far one year that even the word Christmas was scarcely heard. So as not to offend anyone, Happy Holidays were more acceptable. This was a battle not even between the Christian holiday and Santa Clause. Santa was having to battle with the commercialization of the winter holiday season.
Back in Prague, they still take it as a given that Ježíšek brings gifts. Many even recognize that something special happens in the churches and tune in to watch at least a snippet of the midnight mass.
Both the Pope and Dalai Lama have visited the Czech Republic to warn of the danger of losing a faith systemyet Baby Jesus goes on strong

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Make some noise

22 Nov

Yesterday I went to see STOMP the musical extravaganza that finds a way to make noise on pretty much anything. What an amazing show. There was no intermission, but they kept us entertained and engaged the entire time. With trash cans, brooms, inner tubes, lighters, PVC tubes and even matches they simply made a whole lot of noise! Each one of the dancers also had a unique personality they played up throughout the show.

Coming home, I felt my hand wandering and testing the sound of anything that came under my reach. Now, for the social experiment:

Let’s say, you walk into a store and get a rhythm going by banging on cans, carts and stomping your feet. Would people get pulled into the music and start bobbing their heads in unison? Or, would they start glaring at your for disrupting the mundane silence they need so hard to be able to concentrate on their selections? And, would the reactions differ by countries or even city versus country side?

I think it could be possible to loosen them up.

Who cares

1 Oct

Last week the Czech president Václav Klaus was attacked by a replica gun. The 7 shots fired showed an absolute failure in the highest Czech security forces. How is it possible that Klaus was surrounded by 3 bodyguards and each one of them failed to react?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19767929

In the news report, they are captured smiling and joking. None of them took it seriously. This is a reflection of how the state values its highest representative, and the absolute lack of national pride, let alone respect for the position which requires absolute dedication to the well being of a singular person.

The head of security resigned, not surprisingly. But again, no one cares. A more proper course of action would be jail time or trial for breaching his oath to serve and protect.

This is an incredible reflection of Czech character as a whole. In every aspect of society you can see how selfish and immoral it has become. Everyone looks only after themselves. Because of the years of communism, lack of national pride, absence of religion and apathy, the Czech people have become very passive.

Why bother with anything if I have nothing to gain.

“The pistol gave us a good laugh, so who cares,” is their attitude. No one was willing to carry out his job, (even if at the expense of making a fool of himself) and jump the plastic pistol and camouflage man.

“The government is deaf and blind,” the shooter told reporters, and is exactly right. Except that it extends to all people. All deaf to anything besides their own wants.

In the end, this is another item to add to the list of news coverage of Czech Republic in world media:

  • Elephant floating down Vltava river during the 2002 floods
  • Slap during s session of Senate while settling personal matters over a woman
  • Vaclav Klaus hiding a pen at a summit in Chile
  • National guards laughing at the president being shot

Way to represent. Go team.

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Bizarre Technology

29 Aug
Technology is evolving so rapidly these days, that what may seem like a ridiculous ideas becomes a reality very quickly. Think Google glasses, credit card payment over phones, SmartTVs. The latest developments in TV purport to be very smart. Sensors detect your motions, pick up your dance moves and decipher exactly what you want. Pretty soon, they may know what you are thinking.  Actually, that may be the better alternative.
Here are two hot new gadgets.
The first, a motion detector for your computer. No mouse. No keyboard. Awesome.
And the TV would not be left behind. It also has motion detectors. Check out the funny commercial.
But can you imagine flailing your arms around like that? At home, ok maybe. But sitting in an office? I would be way too embarrassed.
Can you imagine walking into a room to find everyone waving around their arms and legs randomly? Maybe it will pick up, and in a couple of years we won’t be able to imaging life without it. But until then, it seems strange.