Saturday, April 17, 2010

You said if we paid them no mind,
they'll stop bothering us!

A website in Britain called Neighbours from Hell in Britain is offering to help "hardworking normal citizens" develop a strategy for dealing with terrible neighbours who wreak chaos for those living in close proximity to them.
Positively Managing Negative Neighbours. Are you suffering or suffered in the past with a nuisance neighbour, noisy neighbour, harrassment, bullying, boundary problems, anti-social behaviour or any form of unwanted neighbour attention or interference? Neighbours From Hell in Britain (NFHiB) can help you to resolve neighbour problems or any issues with neighbours within many different situations, there's no need to be or feel alone.
So is there anything they can do, then, with the good folks in Iceland who, since 2008 and the banking crisis, have made their little nation painfully well-known to the rest of us.

Having neglected their family debts and chequebooks in 2008 they've now clearly forgotten to perform regular volcano maintenance and they've got one heck of a spewing example of such neglect right in their back garden (which they named Eyjafjallajoekull - in order to irritate the Welsh who thought they could only come up with unpronounceable names using few vowels) which is spewing ash and delaying travel for the rest of us.

An ASBO. That's what's needed. It may be too late for mediation by a good hearted local charity.

Friday, April 16, 2010

One of the "must do's" when visiting the Sea of Galilee for the first time (other than seeing if the water will bear your weight) is to sample the famous Saint Peter's Fish at one of seaside restaurants on the Kibbutz Ein-Gev. The Rabbit family are due for a return visit to Israel to visit family in the summer of 2011 except the St Peter's Fish will be in short supply. A two-year ban on fishing the Sea of Galilee will begin this month.

These are a fast-growing fish which, being vegetarian, does not accumulate mercury in its flesh through eating smaller prey fish. It can be eaten in copious quantities with no risk to health unlike the big Lake Trout in northern Canada.

They are one of a large family (1300 subspecies) of the family Cichlidae found in various parts of the world. Africa and Central/South America host the greatest number of these fish and these populations are very distantly related to each other in that the continents were joined in the distant past. In like manner the cichlids of India and Madagascar, related to each other, are examples of the same sort of Gondwanan distribution. The popularity of ciclids as aquarium fish and the intentional or accidental introduction of these energetic and fast-growing fish into the watercourses of Florida or Australia have (unfairly) given such fish as the Tilapia a bad name as a destructive interloper. The particular branch of the Cichlid family represented by the Saint Peter's fish is, in fact, vegetarian. They tend to clear up weed-choked watercourses and improve the habitat for other fishes.

They are definitely a warm water creature and they suffer in the cool water of the Sea of Galilee in the winter time. One of the places they congregate in enormous schools is at the outlet of the fairly warm spring which gushes forth from the foot of the Mount of the Beatitudes, near Tabgha at the north-north-west corner of the lake.

So, if you knew where to drop your net - or if somebody told you - you'd be in business.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

When did you last make up your mind? How difficult was it for you to get married or to change careers?

When I was a teenager, I attended a church service where the preacher asked people to make a commitment of faith – to make up their minds - and to signal that decision by sticking a hand up in the air. I remember the preacher saying:

I see that hand…yes, and that hand too.

Life would be easier if we’d been part of a Golden Age when men and women didn’t need to agonize over decisions – when everything was so blindingly obvious that there really were no decisions to make. Even in a time of national crisis or a family emergency we imagine it would be easier. Adrenaline would take over. We’d be inclined to act rather than to deliberate.

Some of us look back at the collection of stories in our Bibles to find people who, we suppose, had it easy - who heard a voice speaking out of a burning bush or encountered the risen Christ standing on the beach welcoming them. “Bowled over”, we imagine they were, “gobsmacked” even. People like these didn’t need to weigh options like we do.

Except that’s exactly what they did in these stories – from Moses to Saint Peter. These people were presented with promises and challenges which they measured and pondered. You’d be safer to read some silences into the text. That silence is the sound of Saint Peter making up his mind. That silence is the sound of God waiting to see what Moses will decide.

God does not rob people of their right to choose – of their ability to say yes or no. The energy for faith – the energy for community building – the energy required to change your course in life. This is energy which is triggered by decision and every decision you make requires a certain amount of human agony - just enough blood, perhaps, to mark it out as “yours” and not merely the byproduct of events.

the audio is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:18.33 - a little more than halfway along the audio bar.