A Hung Jury on Global Warming?

February 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, RELIGION, Ulalume |

"What did South Australians use before Tom gave them candles? Electricity."

16 February 2017. Twelve years to the day since ‘implementation’ of the Kyoto Protocol.* You and I sit in a jury box. We have only just met. We bring to our mutual task our life experience and understanding of the ways of the world, our endogenous prejudices, and our gut feelings. The Judge sends us into our room charged to answer whether we are amid an interglacial, or, rather, is the globe warming – are anthropogenic CO2 emissions causing or contributing to this warming – and does this pose a clear and imminent danger, on the balance of probabilities? So we…

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A Mighty Heart

February 1, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, POLITICS, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Michael Winterbottom) (2007) Daniel Pearl was an American Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, based in India, who had gone to Karachi in January 2002 for what he thought was an interview, but was probably a set-up.  He was abducted and held hostage by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, ostensibly for ransom, probably for terror.  Nine days later, on 1 February 2002, Pearl was beheaded, and the atrocity was captured on film. A Mighty Heart is a film that concentrates on the frantic efforts of his wife, Marianne, to find him during those nine days.           Adapted from the…

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French Connection

January 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, POLITICS, RELIGION |

Pope Innocent X (who held the Keys to the Kingdom from 15 September 1644 to 1 January 1655) and whose name, in the world, was Giambattista Pamfili, died today (7 January) in 1655. A wily operator in the Age of Absolutism, Innocent flailed vainly against the rise of nations and decline of Catholic hegemony – his papal bull directing ripping-up of the Treaties of Westphalia was simply ignored. P is not so keen on Innocent as he was rather anti-Bernini (L would be favourably disposed to His Holiness for the same reason). On the other hand, the Holy See had…

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When Empirical Observation is Dangerous

December 28, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Plays, POLITICS, RELIGION |
only said I th

"Gee whiz, I only said I THOUGHT I saw Neptune..." (painting by Rubens)

28 December 1612: heretical heliocentrist Galileo Galiliei (1564 – 1642) observes the heavenly body later identified as the planet Neptune.  Twenty one years later he would be punished with permanent home detention because he would not adhere to the received wisdom that all moved around the static earth.  “And yet it moves…” Galilei, in the play by Bertolt Brecht*, says: I offer my observations, and they smile.  I place my telescope at their disposal so they can convince themselves, and they quote Aristotle. But the man had no telescope!…Truth is the child of time, not of authority. Our ignorance is…

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Suddenly it’s Christmas

October 28, 2016 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC, RELIGION |

(photo by Prathyush Thomas)

Tidings of Comfort and Joy! Yes, Christmas is almost here!  If you haven’t ordered the turkey, or booked the restaurant, you’ve missed out….  

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