discarded lies: tuesday, january 23, 2018 2:13 pm zst
daily archive: 12/25/2005
guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Dances With Typos in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What did you eat today?
I don't know what posessed my mother and she cooked a ham today. A ham! What kind of Greeks eat ham on Christmas?! Ham is so...American! Maybe not as American as Chinese food, but still...

Anyway, the potatoes were good and there were mushrooms of some sort (I didn't eat them) and bread and salad and of course the God-mandated-baklava at the end of the meal.

And then there's our evariste who had several Christmas dinners today, not a single one of them involving Chinese food.

So, what did you have for Christmas dinner?
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
This year's countdown starts from 11!
2006 will start one second later due to the insertion of a leap-second. Isn't it amazing that they keep time so precisely?
WASHINGTON (AP) - 2006 has been postponed. But not for long. A leap second will be inserted in the world's clocks just before midnight - Greenwich mean time - on New Year's Eve, the U.S. Naval Observatory reported Friday.

That means 7 p.m. EST, Dec. 31, will occur one second later than it would have otherwise.

Leap seconds are needed occasionally because modern atomic clocks measure time with great accuracy, while the rotation of the Earth can be inconsistent.

The rotation of the Earth has been slowing down, so leap seconds keep the clocks and the Earth from getting out of synch with one another.

This will be the 23rd leap second that has been inserted since 1972 when an international timekeeping agreement was signed, according to the Observatory. The last one was inserted seven years ago.
I knew this year felt longer. I just knew it.
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guest author: Aridog in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: annie in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: zorkmidden in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Thousand Sons in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Franco CBI in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Franco CBI in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: joem in Discarded Lies:
Chanukah I - A Little History
The events of Chanukah took place around 150 years after the death of Alexander of Macedonia. After his death, the Greek empire was divided into four parts; Israel lay squarely between the Ptolemaic branch in Egypt and the Seleucid, based in Syria.

Although Alexander the Great himself was a friend to the Jews, his conquest of the world brought about the global spread of Hellenistic civilization. Greek culture, though rich in areas of art, literature, philosophy, mathematics, and science, was antithical to Jewish Torah values in many ways - the philosophies of hedonism, cynicism, and epicureanism, the glorification of the human body, sexual depravity, and the worship of pagan gods - to name a few. Despite some inroads by the Hellenists, many Jews were able to withstand the pressure and stay true to their heritage until the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Evil King Antiochus persecuted the Jews, and set harsh decrees against them, forbidding: Brit Milah, Shabbat, declaration of the new moon, and Torah learning (those things that made Jews unique in body, time and thought). He decimated Jerusalem and set up idols in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple).

In the city of Modi'in, the Greeks set up an idol of Zeus and asked the local populace to sacrifice a pig to it. When a Jewish Hellenist stepped forward to comply, an eldery Kohen (actually the rightful Kohen Gadol) named Matisyahu (Matthias) of the family of the Hashmona'im, came forward and killed him. He rallied the people to his side with the cry "Mi Kamocha baElim Hashem" (who is like You among the mighty ones, oh God!) and the acronym of those words - Maccabee - became the name of the rebels.

Despite facing an overwhelming number of trained, professional soldiers, the Maccabim (Maccabees), led by Matisyahu's 5 sons, were successful in battle after battle, until they were able to recapture the city of Jerusalem itself.

The victorious soldiers cleared out the Temple, but found only one small cruse of oil that had not been contaminated. A miracle occured, and the oil lasted for 8 days (either till they were able to send messengers to Tekoa, a four-days journey, to get oil and return; or 7 days for the process of ritual purity from contact with the dead and another day to process the oil).

To "publicize the miracle", each member of each household lights a Menorah each of the eight nights of Chanukah. The candles must burn for at least half an hour after sunset - which, in times before electricity, was when people were still found in the streets. (Per my Rabbi, I let my Menorah stay alight much longer since people are out and about much later these days.) The best way to perform the Mitzvah is with olive oil, though any kind of flame-producing candles are kosher as well. We light one lamp the first night and progressively add one more each night. The Menorah is best placed to the left of the doorway, so that we are surrounded by Mitzvot (the Mezuza being on the right doorpost. After lighting, the family sings Ma'oz Tzur.
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guest author: kianb in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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kianb in Pahlaver:
Japan sets its defense system right
Japanese want their own super-advanced missile defense system to shoot down missiles coming over from either North Korea or the closer China. It is a joint venture between United States Military and Japan's Defense Agency in which they will roll up a new combination of SM-3 and PAC-3 missile series. A wise choice, specially if you have to sleep with the threat of Kim Jong Il right in front of your nose.
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
Merry Christmas!
This Christmas in Iraq, like last year's Christmas, 73-year old Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put on a mess hall chef's uniform and served Christmas dinner to the young American troops who are fighting to establish democracy in Iraq. There's something very appropriate and very American about that; you don't see French, Russian, or Chinese Defence Ministers humbling themselves in this way. Yet I can't imagine it being otherwise in America. The President serving Thanksgiving turkey to the troops, the Defense Secretary serving Christmas steak, lobster and crab legs. The most powerful men in the land showing their thanks to the men and women who they send into battle. It's a beautiful thing.

The new Pope, Benedict the Sixteenth, led his first Christmas mass at the Vatican as Pope this year. Even though your Bloggie proprietors are atheists, we appreciate the moral authority that the Catholic Pope exerts, and his position at the head of a powerful force for spiritual and temporal good. His Holiness emphasized that something of the splendor of Christ's birth shines on every child, even those unborn, a clear sign of a traditional Catholic opposition to abortion that he has reinvigorated. A renewed, morally strong, principled and vital Catholic church can only be a good thing in the heart of unmoored (and, increasingly, Moored) Europe.

The elderly Holy Father attends to the souls (and hearts) of the faithful and tries to protect unborn children. At the same time, a few hundred miles away, an elderly Defense Secretary attends to the stomachs (and hearts) of his troops as they fight for the birth of a new nation. Europe can regain her religious and cultural identity in the face of the multicultural onslaught, and Iraq can build a representative democracy in the face of an ideology of hate and destruction. All we can do is cheer both along.

Merry Christmas to you, your friends, and your family. Even to those of you who still use inferior browsers. As for us, we're trying to get Zork Grand Inquisitor working on Windows XP so we can play it. If we can't get it working, we'll find some other old PC adventure game to play, or if nothing else, we'll drink ouzo and play backgammon. We hope your Christmas is at least that much fun. Much love and our best wishes for a wonderful day.
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