Monday Metro Music™, April 27 – Trains and Planes Once Again

 

There is a bit of Soviet-time leftover in that picture from the Aeroflot app, isn’t there? 

Anyway, after having spent part of the weekend getting irritation over what I see as religious stupidity (and, mind you, I do not consider all religion or all religious people stupid – just to get that settled), it is now workday again. And with that, as things go at the moment, travel time. 

This week is the second in a row and the third in four weeks. You’ll get a repeat performance next week, making it three in a row. Or, almost, as I will be flying out already Sunday. 

Yes, it is a little it crazy. Even for me. At least I do have a decent flexibility work-hour wise when I’m back – no mandatory, punch in/punch out office credo. As long as the tasks gets done…

And at the end of this intense period, we kick back and relax with some good friends. And … … go travelling with them ;)

Ain’t No Moutain High Enough – Zindy Kuku Boogaloo 

Sheer Heart Attack – Queen 

The Grit – Hannah Pearl 

Only The Lonely – Diana Krall 

All By Myself – Céline Dion 

Half A Minute – Matt Bianco

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What may be an exercise in futility: Rebutting a religious zealot

I know – don’t feed the trolls. But recently, when I stumbled over this page: Skærmbillede 2015-04-26 kl. 11.54.44 – honestly, I got mad. This is insulting – partly because it smears my country by an obvious string of false statements and outright lies, partly because my intelligence is affronted by such careless and reckless use of dubious source material as references. I reacted by a tweet and got a predictable response: TWEET1 (I have choosen to edit out my Twitter identity – I know it won’t be hard to track, but nevertheless) Oh well – maybe the guy actually believes that he is correct. So I took one of the claims – that of Denmark being populated mostly by convicted rapists. “Mostly” translates to >50% of the populations, or some 2.8 mio. convicted rapists. Here it already starts becoming obvious that the claim is utterly rediculous. Nevertheless: Tweet2 Yes, I actually made a mistake in my numbers – overestimating the number of convictions for rape in Denmark. And there is a typo in there – “FK” should be “DK” – but I still do not believe that the Bible contains rape statistics for Denmark.

But 44 convictions for rape in a year would mean that half of Denmark’s population would be convicted over 63,000 years. Honestly, it’s ridiculous.

And as to the challenge at the end: I am obviously a complete rollover when it comes to battling on Bible quotes and have no intention to do so. But this is about something else: this is about looking in the real world for arguments to support a burning religiousness – and if you do that, you’d better pick some that actually have merit and show up to be true when they’re investigated. Because otherwise, you lie to forward your cause.

So let’s take them apart, then:

Denmark are not a nation of rapists and neither were Vikings

As already demonstrated, Danes by and large are not rapists. In fact, Denmark has a rate of rape incidents well below that of the average in the EU and approx 1/4 of that in the US. That would put us on the relatively good side of morality, I should think. Sources: link and link.

Vikings, then? These horned mad-men raping and pilloring their way through the world? (hint #1: they did not have horns on their helmets). It is of course hard to document viking age happenings and I do not doubt that there were Vikings that committed the crime of rape. After all, wartime sexual violence has always been a thing that, sadly, continues to this day.

But there actually is historical research that not onnly shows that vikings were trading as much as the raided, but also that they brought their families along on the raiding/trading voyages and actually were not stealing women along the way. Sources: link and link.

Did Denmark offer free prostitutes at the COP15?

No. Actually, I cannot even see a trace of evidence that the author of this piece has read the article linked to as a source of the outrage. The very first lines of the article says:

“Copenhagen Council and Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard have sent postcards out to 160 Copenhagen hotels urging COP15 guests and delegates to ‘Be sustainable – don’t buy sex’.”

In other words, official Denmark urged delegates to not buy sex and seek prostitutes. Quite the opposite of what the claim says. And – when you actually say the opposite of what is factually out there? In my book, you lie.

The climate hoax

Won’t even go into that here – as Neil de Grasse Tyson says, the thing about science (unlike, I’d like to add, religion) is that it is true whether you belive in it or not. And when 98% of scientists agree that man-made actions have a distinct impact on our climate and that temperature increases are dramatic – then is clearly not a hoax.

That guy Rasmussen

Yes, former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen did pose in a photo with a rather ill-fitting bicycle helmet. But as with the Viking thing above, the helmet does not tell the story.

The idea that Mr. Nyrup Rasmussen due to wearing a bicycle helmet has also been participating in the Tour de France can only come from the fact that he shares his family name with Michael Rasmussen, a former professional bicyclist. And yes, Michael Rasmussen has confessed to using doping – but at no point in time has he been involved in Danish politics, much less holding a prime minister seat.

And this is where I feel insulted on my intelligence. When someone – excuse me – is either sloppy or stupid enough to slander one person and, in addition, a country, on flimsy arguments of two persons sharing the same family name, then it follows automatically that whatever else said persons write is not worth the paper it is written on.

And just to be perfectly clear: There are 94,535 Danes with the family name Rasmussen. Currently, none of these are Prime Minister and, as far as I know, none are involved in professional bicycling doping scandals.

Probably good the writers of this mad article didn’t think of a Jensen – there are more than 250,000 of these to get confused by…

Hans Christian Andersen glorifies all sins in the Bible

A hard one to contradict – I, for one, have neither heart nor time to try to succeed in this comparative literature study. But I must admit that I find it hard to believe that H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales would have been cherished and beloved reading for children all over the world, regardless of religion, were it so. And then there is this:

“You are killing the unfortunate man,” said the pastor, and as he stretched out his hand to protect him who already suffered too much, the scene changed. They flew through rich halls and wretched hovels; wantonness and envy, all the deadly sins, passed before them. An angel of justice read their crimes and their defence; the latter was not a brilliant one, but it was read before God, Who reads the heart, Who knows everything, the wickedness that comes from within and from without, Who is mercy and love personified. The pastor’s hand trembled; he dared not stretch it out, he did not venture to pull a hair out of the sinner’s head. And tears gushed from his eyes like a stream of mercy and love, the cooling waters of which extinguished the eternal fire of hell.
Just then the cock crowed.
“Father of all mercy, grant Thou to her the peace that I was unable to procure for her!”
“I have it now!” said the dead woman. “It was your hard words, your despair of mankind, your gloomy belief in God and His creation, which drove me to you. Learn to know mankind! Even in the wicked one lives a part of God—and this extinguishes and conquers the flame of hell!”
The pastor felt a kiss on his lips; a gleam of light surrounded him—God’s bright sun shone into the room, and his wife, alive, sweet and full of love, awoke him from a dream which God had sent him!

– which sounds more like a healthy and decent religious view on life than a celebration of all possible sins. Source.

Lego being sinful

Oh yeah, there is s titillating link there to a picture where someone who has used Lego to depict sexual positions. But why not condemn the inventor of photography for it? After all, no one would know about it unless the picture was made public…

Or it could actually be the internet that was the culprit – because that is the medium through which this picture was spread. Of course, Lego was not invented to create images of sex. But as with any other playful, creative toy, it can be used for that – and apparenly is. In what I guess is 0.0000017% of creative activities done with Lego.

Maybe the author should have looked up Lego – the name of which, by the way, is short for Leg Godt – play well. The vision is “Developing children” and continues:

The LEGO® play experience is built on the idea of systematic creativity. The unique LEGO system combines structure, logic, and unlimited creativity and provides children with the ability to think creatively and reason systematically.

We believe that play is essential for children’s development in that it stimulates their learning abilities by fostering creativity. Creativity supports critical thinking, sparks curiosity, and facilitates learning by doing, which is why we support the notion that children should have access to play. (link)

Hmm… “…provides children with the ability to think creatively and reason systematically” and, further, “…Creativity supports critical thinking, sparks curiosity, and facilitates learning by doing”. Maybe the author of this worthless diatribe could have done with some Lego when he was a kid and maybe have picked up some much lacking critical thinking skills along the way?

Pippi

In order to make a long story short, Pippi is Sweidsh, not Danish. Source: link.

Not that it makes her in the least more sinful – unless, of course, you happen to think that women’s place is to shut up and submit, which apparently is a very important principle by many religious fundamentalists, regardless of religion.

Again, the merest of source verification would have eradicated this error.

Danish TV

I don’t know even where to begin on this one.

Let me just say it straight out: when you depend on a ridiculous travesty instead of a proper translation to claim what is shown on Danish TV, your argument is more full of holes than a colander.

About the wildest thing in that TV programme is “News in sign language” (which is what is on at 15:00). Here is probably the most blatant lie of the whole list – not a single word of that translated TV programme is true. And in case anyone should doubt my abilities to say so: I am a native Danish speaker – but go on, prove me wrong (hint: it is futile).

Homosexuals adopting

Here is probably the nearest thing to a half truth: Yes, in Denmark, homosexuals in a registered partnership / marriage can actually adopt. Discussing religion vs marriage can be a long and arduous discussion – I will actually respect anyone’s opinion on that. Given, of course, that they do not try to force their views on anyone else.

And, of course, the right to adopt do not include the right to rape children. Child molesters are criminals in Denmark, just as they are in any other decent country in the world.

Just as example: If you have any role or function that involves you being in a leadership role to children – sports organisations, scouting organisations, etc. – you must allow the police to look up your record and thus prove that you have no convictions of anything like sexual crime against children.

Danish car taxes

Yes, they are high. You could probably argue that the revenue allows the Danish government to help poor people in- and outside of Denmark. And helping the poor, last I checked, was a decent Christian principle. And not only are car taxes not any significant source of the state of the Danish economy – the economy isn’t particularily bad, either:

… (unemployment) have remained at about 6% in 2010-13, based on the national measure, about two-thirds average EU unemployment. An impending decline in the ratio of workers to retirees will be a major long-term issue. Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit in 2009, where it remains. In spite of the deficits, the new coalition government delivered a modest stimulus to the economy in 2012. Nonetheless, Denmark’s fiscal position remains among the strongest in the EU with public debt at about 46% of GDP in 2013. Source: link.

Hans Christian Andersen again …no he didn’t.

Lesbians satisfying themselves with “dyke bikes”?

Wonder what drug has created that impresstion from the linked article:

Hundreds of black, clunky, single-speed bikes roll by me in an endless procession, most with baskets, some with homemade crates welded to the front filled with building materials, children, dogs and the elderly. And the occasional cello. Businessmen in suits pedal with laptop bags bungee-corded to their racks, women in short skirts and high heels chat on cell phones, uniformed clerks and waitresses, construction workers and kids, all ride by me like an exodus of very fashionable refugees. I’m standing on Copenhagen’s Queen Louise Bridge, watching some of the 36,000 bike riders who cross it daily.

– not a single mentioning of any sexual orientation in there.

And, listen: everybody bikes in Denmark. High, low, middle class, parliament ministers, school children, pensioners, priests, ladies, gentlemen… It’s practical, it’s healthy – what in the world could the Bible have against that?

– – – – –

And there you have it – not one single claim holds up. Slander, based on religious zealousness in overdrive, is what it is.

Nothing more.

Let me add that something like this makes it even more clear to me why I do not believe in religion. I do firmly respect others’ rights to do so, however – as long as it is not used to harm anyone else or to spread utterly meaningless and harmful lies and fabrications.

If you don’t have anything true and valuable to say – you’d better shut up.

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Springtime – Light and Sheer Green

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Monday Metro Music – Away After Being Away

Spent the weekend away – was a part of a brilliant team teaching Appreciative Inquiry Based Leadership to a bunch of brilliant scout troop leaders.

Came home last night, well and truly done and tired and somewhat roasted by spring sun but happy.

And am now en route to my oh so well-known Copenhagen Airport en route to Scotland.

Spejder Jörg – Tjenesten på P3
Bang a Gong (Get It On) – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
I Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Technoparty – Red Warszawa

 Photo by me
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Monday Motorway Music™, April 13 – An Angie Stone Sort of Monday

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I confess, I am generally not the strongest follower of R’n’B – in the modern sense, at least. The genre has had the same title, rhythm and blues in some abbreviation, since the 1940s  or so but content has changed from blues over rock and roll to soul and funk and into what I believe is named “contemporary RnB” – and I got thrown off at some point during that journey. Especially as it seems to me that there is preciously little blues in it in the last incarnation.

And, as a university friend said it once, “blues is everything”.

But Angie Stone’s “More Than a Woman” just … is good. Enough for me not to care about the genre :)

In other news, I came home Friday from my last trip and were welcomed with the Danish sky above – blue and sunny and it’s more or less been a great weekend. The rain that came and was welcomed in the garden mainly stuck to hours where it didn’t bother and Saturday was a great day to be out.

And catch a few wee birdies – with the camera, mind:

Angie Stone – More Than a Woman
Get Down on It – Kool & the Gang
Contact High – Scissor Sisters
Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
1999 – Prince

Photo by me.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XVI – Slow Lamb Shank in the Oven

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Once again, a nicked but somewhat modified recipe – in this case partly because that’s the way I like it, party because of what was not in the fridge and cupboards… The general recipe (and yes, it’s yet again in Danish – that’s the way we do it here…) is from a very popular Danish TV cooking show by the one of two brothers Price (who have their own cooking show together – and whose name is, of course, not pronounced like you would in English) and another very popular TV cook, Mette Blomsterberg, who’s a marvel with pastries, cakes & desserts.

  • Lynard Skynard, Sweet Home Alabama
  • Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Take the lamb shanks and clean the top part of the bones well – as you can see, they sort of stick out at the top and this way, the whole thing will look much nicer.

Arrange two sheets of alu foil on top of each other per shank, butter well. Prepare and cube vegetables – recipe said carrot, onion, garlic, celeriac, parsley root; I used carrot, garlic, red onion and broccoli. Ad a few small lumps of butter, salt and pepper well, and add a bit of thyme.

  • Level 42, Running in the Family
  • Infernal, A to the B

Pack the alu foil up around the meat and just before closing firmly around the bone, sprinkle in a wee bit of white wine. I used a bit of a Veneto Garganega/Pinot Grigio – and now you may take one guess as to what we’ll drink along with it…

  • Ray Parker Jr., Ghostbusters
  • Hanne  Boel, Son of a Preacherman

Into the oven it goes, something on the top side of 2 hours at 170-180°C.

Along with it, I’ll do a potato/carrot mash – straigh forward: boil them in cubes until soft and then mash with some butter, milk, salt & pepper. And, if I can summon the energy, a salad of raw grated red beets and apple.

  • Rednex, Cotton Eye Joe
  • The Trammps, Disco Inferno

Happy cooking!

Photo by me.
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A morning walk in Dalaman, Turkey

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“Monday” Motorway Music™, April 7 – What Was That Sound?

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That sound happened to be my alarm clock waking me up  – first time in a bit more than a week. Man, I was not quite ready for that *yawn*

The “Monday” bit refers to the fact that yes, I do realise that it is Tuesday – but a very Mondayish form of one as it is the first workday of the week. Easter Monday is a day off here, you see – known in these parts as “second day of Easter”. Since there are actually four days of Easter – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and the aforementioned Monday, that probably does not make too much sense but there you have it. (Note: There may well be a biblical reasoning behind that – if so, I confess to being completely ignorant of…). By the way, as we’re luxuriuosly lazy here (and have a state religion – again, none of my doing), we have the full Easter off as national holidays :)

And the weather turned. I guess the positive angle to that is that we had all the lovely blue-sky, sunshiny weather while we had time off to enjoy it. But even though, I’d liked to see a nice, smiling blue sky today as well.

Seems that the car music registered the “need to wake that guy behind the steering wheel up” and responded by … being loud.

Bat Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf
Links 2 3 4 – Rammstein
Gimme All Your Lovin’ – ZZ Top
Girl Can Rock – Hilary Duff

Photo by me.
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Re-blogged: She Taught Me

“She taught me to dream.
To fill the grey with colour.
To glow like the stars.”

Yeah.

I have been blessed with a few true and dear friends like that.

Reblogged with thanks from She Taught Me.

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Late Winter Late Evening

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Huge moon shines through trees
Winter cold still in the air
Spring ought to approach

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