The Null Device
Is U.S. foreign policy guided by Biblical prophesy? An article which argues that the dispensationalist strain of fundamentalist Christianity has a disturbingly strong influence on U.S. foreign policy, from the need to conquer Iraq ("Babylon") to tacit support for Israeli expansionism to contempt for the U.N. ("the Antichrist") and the European Union. Given that dispensationalism is all about fulfilling prophesies to bring about the battle of Armageddon and the end of the world, that cannot be a good thing.
Contact lost with Nauru, the phosphate-mined moonscape and offshore banking centre in the South Pacific recently used as a prison for Middle Eastern refugees headed to Australia. All telecommunications links with the island are down, and it is unclear who the current president is; additionally, the presidential residence is reported to have burned down last month. Have the detention-centre inmates (who, at last contact, had taken control of the detention centre) overthrown the government and established a Republic of New Iraq? Has Cthulhu risen from his aeons-long slumber and decided that Nauru will make a perfectly suitable light snack? Or perhaps someone's filming a reality TV show there or something?
A Canadian court has ruled that parts of the bible are hate literature; specifically, the parts of Leviticus that mandate the putting to death of homosexuals and adulterers. The court upheld a ruling by a human rights tribunal which fined a man for putting an ad in a newspaper quoting Bible verses denouncing homosexuality. It's refreshing to see authorities who aren't blinded from such things by a belief that religion is the basis of all morality, civilisation and common human decency, and a spot of xenophobic hatred here and there is a small price to pay for fending off the chaos, nihilism and lawlessness that would follow mass godlessness. (via rotten.com)
Living in Reykjavík has its advantages; for one, you can take cool photos like these just by going for a walk. (via Die Puny Humans)
I picked up two singles yesterday, after seeing them in the window of Collectors' Corner. Lush's 500 (Shake Baby Shake) CD1 (which has a photo of some Japanese girls picnicking in front of a Fiat 500 on the cover, and a pretty good acoustic version of Olympia), and Radiohead's Street Spirit (fade out) CD1 single (yes, Talk Show Host is an OK song, but I'm afraid I'll forever associate it with Pretty Boy DiCaprio looking sultry and brooding. Thanks a lot, Baz Luhrmann.)