A Matter of Hearing


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

One Sunday morning, during the sermon, the Pastor said, “If anyone with ‘special needs’ wants me to pray for them, please approach the altar.”

Albert Perera, a businessman and prominent member of the community, stood up and walked to the altar.

The Pastor asked, ” Mr Perera, what do you want me to pray for?”

Perera replied, “Reverend, I need you to pray for my hearing.”

The Pastor placed his right hand on top of Perera’s head and then inserted the middle finger of his left hand into his right ear. He began to pray fervently, and the congregation joined him with enthusiasm.

After a few minutes, the Pastor removed his hands, stood back, looked into Perera’s eyes and asked, “Mr Perera, how is your hearing now?”

Perera replied, “I don’t know yet, reverend. The Criminal Court has scheduled my hearing for next Thursday!”

The Millennials


Myself

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By T. V. Antony Raj

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In the late 1980s, authors William Strauss and Neil Howe developed The Fourth Turning theory, also known as the Strauss–Howe generational theory or simply the Fourth Turning, describing a theorized recurring generation cycle in American history and global history.

In their book “Generations” published in 1991 which discusses the history of the United States as a succession of generational biographies, the two authors coined the term ‘millennials‘ to describe the generational comradeship of people born between 1982 and 2000. One of the reasons behind the term is the fact that the oldest millennials were graduating high school in the year 2000 – the beginning of the new millennium.

Over time, with more and more young people coming of age, the term millennials has become popular to refer to this generation.

Until 2013, the word ‘millennials’ was not commonly used online and became increasingly popular as psychologists and sociologists sought to understand the millennials as individuals and advertisers targeted them as consumers.

In mass media, newspapers and journals, some people older than the millennials use the term disparagingly to refer to any young person, accusing them of over-sensitivity, an addiction to smartphones, destroying traditional industries, and much more.

Some millennials themselves often use the term as a form of self-deprecation.

Turning 38 this year, the oldest Millennials are well into adulthood.

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HOW PIOUS CHRISTIANS PRAY


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By T. V. Antony Raj

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Prayers recited mainly by Christians are generally brief, rhyming, or have a memorable tune. They are usually said to give thanks before a meal, before bedtime, or as a nursery rhyme. Many of these prayers are either quotation from the Bible or popular traditional texts.

Now I lay me down to sleep is a classic children’s bedtime prayer from the 18th century. Here is the orignal version:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen

The following is a recent version of Now I lay me down to sleep:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
There are four corners on my bed,
There are four angels overhead,
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
God bless this bed that I lay on.

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Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)

.Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), the American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, yogi, historian, and transcendentalist was right when he said that “The modern Christian is a man who has consented to say all the prayers in the liturgy, provided you will let him go straight to bed and sleep quietly afterwards.”

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Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 – June 17, 1719)

On March 8, 1711, Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 – June 17, 1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician wrote an essay that appeared in The Spectator in which he says:

When I lay me down to Sleep,
I recommend my self to his Care;
when I awake, I give my self up to his Direction
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All the prayers of the modern pious Christians begin with one of the variants of this classic children’s bedtime prayer from the 18th century. This prayer and its adaptations are sometimes combined with the “Black Paternoster”, one version of which goes:

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head;
One to watch and one to pray
And two to bear my soul away.

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Frontispiece of Thomas Ady’s A Candle in the Dark.

Thomas Ady in his witchcraft treatise “A Candle in the Dark, or, a treatise concerning the nature of witches and witchcraft” (1656), tells about a woman in Essex who claimed to have lived in the reign of Mary I (r. 1553-1558) the queen of England, blessed herself every night with the “popish ( Roman Catholic) charm”:

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
The Bed be blest that I lye on.

In 1685, George Sinclair, in his”Satan’s Invisible World Discovered” wrote about a witch who used a “Black Paternoster”, at night, similar to Ady’s rhyme:

Four newks (corners) in this house, for haly (holy) Angels,
A post in the midst, that’s Christ Jesus,
Lucas, Marcus, Matthew, Joannes,
God be into this house, and all that belangs (belongs) us.

A year later it was quoted again by John Aubrey, an English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer, but in the form:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
Bless the bed that I lye on.
And blessed Guardian-Angel keep
Me safe from danger whilst I sleep.

So, we find the typical pious Christian does not wish to be bothered. He looks forward to a future of inactivity. Any effort, especially intellectual effort, is distasteful to him and is apt to offend and unsettle him. Hence for him, the intellectual life must not be real but sleep should be real. Sleep seems to be his quest, “and he is forever looking forward to the time when he shall go to his ‘long rest.

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Paintings With Navels of Adam and Eve – Part 1


Myself

 

 

 

By T. V. Antony Raj
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Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)
Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)

The above painting opened my eyes to the world of art. Do you see anything wrong in this painting of Adam and Eve? I am not a connoisseur of art per se, nor do I pretend to be one.

Explain this - Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)
Explain this – Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1526)

I couldn’t but exclaim “What? Adam and Eve with belly buttons? The artist was a dumb idiot!” 

But the artist who painted it was an educated person named Lucas Cranach the Elder, a German Renaissance painter and graphic artist who excelled in portraits and in female nudes. 

Self portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Self-portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder was the principal member of the family of artists by the name Cranach who were active in Saxony during the 16th century.

From about 1501 to 1504 Lucas Cranach lived in Vienna, and his earliest known works date from this period. They include a portrait of the Wife of Dr Johann Stephan Reuss (1503), found in the collection of Staatliche Museen, Berlin and The Crucifixion (1503, in Alte Pinakothek, Munich).

In 1505 Cranach became court painter to the electors of Saxony at Wittenberg and held the position until 1550. As a prominent citizen in Wittenberg, he received a title and was mayor in 1537.

In 1508 he visited the Netherlands, where he painted portraits of such royalty as Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and the young prince who succeeded him as Charles V. He painted biblical and mythological scenes with decorative sensual nudes that were new to German painting. These works include many versions of Adam and EveThe Judgment of Paris (1528, Metropolitan Museum, New York), and nearly 20 versions of Venus and Cupid from 1527 to 1545. 

As a friend of Martin Luther, Cranach’s art expresses much of the spirit and feeling of the German Reformation. 

Cranach ran a large workshop and produced hundreds of works. His sons too were artists. His oldest son Hans Cranach died prematurely. His other son, Lucas Cranach the Younger was his pupil and assistant and distinguished himself.

Lucas Cranach died in Weimar, on October 15, 1553.

Here are some more paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder. All with navels!
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Adam and Eve - 01b - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 16 - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 19 - Lucas Cranach the Elder

Adam and Eve - 17 - Lucas Cranach the ElderAdam and Eve - 05Adam and Eve - 18 - Lucas Cranach the Elder

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Having a Homosexual Relationship Is Not Wrong in India


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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The Buggery Act 1533, formally An Acte for the punishment of the vice of Buggerie (25 Hen. 8 c. 6), was an Act of the Parliament of England that passed during the reign of Henry VIII piloted through Parliament by Thomas Cromwell.

The Act defined buggery as an unnatural sexual act, “the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with Mankind or Beast” against the will of God and Man. This was later defined by the courts to include only anal penetration and bestiality.

It was England’s first civil sodomy law, such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts. The act remained in force until repealed and replaced by the Offences against the Person Act 1828, and buggery remained a capital offence until 1861, though the last executions were in 1835.

The Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533,. It makes sexual activities “against the order of nature“, illegal.

377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section

All over the world many still consider homosexuality as a “deviant behaviour” and not merely a question of one’s sexual orientation or preference. In India, too many consider homosexuality as taboo, and opinions are divided on this controversial issue but the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT community and some freedom-loving people want homosexuality de-criminalised.

On July 2, 2009, in response to a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalized consensual sexual activities between homosexual adults conducted in private, the Delhi High Court struck down portions of Section 377 concerning gay sex as unconstitutional. The judgment held that Section 377 infringed upon fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of India, and declared the section unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalized private consensual sexual activity between adults. 

Some religious bodies challenged this judgment of decriminalizing Section 377 in the Supreme Court of India.

On December 11, 2013, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation case, the Supreme Court of India held that Section 377 providing punishment for gay sex was constitutionally valid and overturned the judgement of the Delhi High Court, thereby shutting the small window for gay rights opened by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court held that amending or repealing section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary. 

On Saturday, November 28, 2015, speaking at the Times LitFest, late finance minister Arun Jaitley of BJP and his predecessor P Chidambaram of Congress came out in support of gay rights. 

Arun Jaitley is the first leader from the BJP to have supported decriminalization of consensual sex among gay adults. Speaking in his capacity, he said, “When millions of people world over are having alternative sexual preferences, it is too late in the day to propound a view that they should be jailed. The Delhi High Court’s view appears more acceptable.” 

Speaking just afterwards, Chidambaram, who was also speaking in his capacity, said that the Delhi High Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex was a wonderful one and the Supreme Court should have stayed with it.

On February 6, 2016, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court reviewed curative petitions submitted by the Naz Foundation and others and decided that they would be reviewed by a five-member constitutional bench.

On August 24, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution in the landmark  Puttaswamy judgement. The Court also called for equality and condemned discrimination, stated that the protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights and that the rights of the LGBT population are real and founded on constitutional doctrine. This judgement was believed to imply the unconstitutionality of section 377. 

In January 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition to revisit the 2013 Naz Foundation judgment. 

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, in the judgment given by a five judges bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, the Supreme Court of India pronounced the much-awaited verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex. It ruled unanimously in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India that Section 377 was unconstitutional “in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex.” 

However, other portions of Section 377 relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality stay in force.

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Top Ink Manufacturers for Printers


When it comes to getting top ink for printers, many of us still believe that expensive, genuine ink is the only way forward and the big name brands are more than happy to perpetuate this belief. However, there are replacement ink services that make high-quality cartridges for printer machines at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay. The problem is deciding who to go with and how to find the perfect ink supplier! Read on to discover whether genuine or replacement ink providers make the best manufacturers.

Genuine Ink – is it Worth it?

Printing giants like HP and Cannon will tell you that they offer the best printer ink above all other sellers and that if you do not use their ink then you will be putting your machine at risk. This is a pretty convincing argument, especially when they back it up by saying when you use replacement ink then you may invalidate your warranty!

However, when you dig a bit deeper, you will find that genuine ink replacement cartridges come half full and cost up to five times more than replacement cartridges. The main reason behind this exorbitant pricing con is that many printer manufacturers sell their machines at a loss to entice you into buying and then recoup this money by overcharging you for ink for the rest of your printer’s life span.

Replacement Ink – Who Do I Choose?

Unfortunately, while the replacement ink market is cheaper, it is not easy to navigate. Many so-called replacement inks are low quality and leak on installation, pushing us to believe that we would be better off with the more expensive, genuine option instead.

To make your life easier, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that your OfficeJet Pro 8610 ink (or other ink cartridges) is cheap and high-quality:

  • Buy from a company like Smart Ink that only sells ink.
  • Make sure they have an accessible customer service team that has long opening hours.
  • Look for a website that offers a live chat function so you can ask questions.
  • Find out if they offer a warranty and a generous returns policy.
  • Go for one that specialises in one or two printer brands.
  • Look for online reviews that state they offer good quality.

There are some really great companies out there that take pride in offering low-cost, high-quality ink; you have just got to be willing to look for them.

The Verdict

It is clear that there is no simple solution when you first start to look for the best ink manufacturers out there. But, with a bit of time and dedication, you can find them and save yourself decent levels of cash.

Replacement ink services get a bad reputation because of the scam sites that many of us fall for but do not let this put you off. Instead, take the time to find the right company and then try out what they have to offer. We are certain that you will be converted to replacement ink manufacturers forever!

Clash of the Literary Titans


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

William Faulkner (1897–1962) and Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), both winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, carried on a refined and complex literary rivalry.

At times, they shared professional respect; at other times, each thought himself the superior craftsman and spoke disparagingly of the other. Faulkner thought Hemingway’s stripped-back prose was too simple and unadventurous.

William Faulkner once said: “You (Ernest Hemingway) had no courage, never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Hemingway replied: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.

Did you read his last book?” he continued. “It’s all sauce-writing now, but he was good once. Before the sauce, or when he knew to handle it.”

The sister-in-law!


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

The drunkard’s wife was ever trying to find devious ways to cure him of his evil habit.

One day, as usual, the husband came home drunk and fell on the floor. The wife after transforming herself into a ghost by dusting her face with ash and powdered charcoal went into the hall and shook her husband who was in a drunken stupor.

“Whoosh that?” grumbled the drunkard.

“I am the devil,” the wife answered in a resonating funereal tone.

The husband blinked at her and said, “How are you, dear sister-in-law? You are more beautiful than my wife!”

Is ‘Hello’ the Surname of Alexander Graham Bell’s Girlfriend?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

Scottish-born US inventor Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847, – August 2, 1922) is credited with inventing and patenting the first telephone on March 7, 1876.

An apocryphal version claims that his first two instruments were at his and at his girlfriend, Margaret Hello’s place and the first call he made to commercially test the phones was to his girlfriend!

I came across a post on Facebook corroborating this claim with an old black and white photo of Graham Bell with a lady, that purports to explain the origin of the word “Hello.”

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This story about the surname of Alexander Graham Bell’s girlfriend Margaret Hello is false and nothing more. The lady in this photo purported to be ‘Margaret Hello’ was, in fact, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard who in 1876 was engaged to him; a woman whom he married the following year and who remained his wife until he died in 1922.

The first successful telephone call from Graham Bell was to his assistant who was in the adjoining room.

According to Wired.com, Graham Bell’s journal, which is now at the Library of Congress, contains the following entry for March 10, 1876:

I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: “Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you.” To my delight, he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said. I asked him to repeat the words. He answered, “You said ‘Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.'” We then changed places and I listened at S [the speaker] while Mr. Watson read a few passages from a book into the mouth piece M. It was certainly the case that articulate sounds proceeded from S. The effect was loud but indistinct and muffled. Watson heard the words clearly and distinctly, and thus, the first working model of a telephone was born.


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A Thamizhan at the Interview!


Myself
By T. V. Antony Raj

When Bill Gates came over to Chennai, India, he was flabbergasted at the sheer number of talented young men in India. So, wanting to recruit a new CEO from India for Microsoft in Eastern Europe, he advertised in the media.

Five hundred candidates from all over India came for the walk-in interview at a prestigious hotel. The assembly room spilt over with the aspirants.

Vivekanandan alias Vivek from Kovilpatti was one of those who had come to try his luck.Bill Gates: “I thank you all for coming over. We will make this selecting spree short and sweet. So, those who do not know JAVA may leave.

“Two hundred people left the room.Vivek thought, “I do not know who JAVA is, but I have nothing to lose if I stay!”

Bill Gates: “Candidates who never had the experience of managing more than 100 people may leave.”Another 200 people left the room.

Vivek thought, “I have never managed anybody but myself, but I have nothing to lose if I stay. Risking is like eating a rusk!”. So he stays.

Bill Gates: “Candidates who do not have management diplomas may leave.”Fifty people leave the room.

Vivek says to himself, “I do not have any diplomas, but what have I to lose? I have taken many risks before. This is just jujubes.”

Bill Gates then asked those who were not proficient in Serbo-Croat to leave.Forty-eight people left the room.

Vivek thought, “I do not know what Serbo-Croat is. It must be a new kind of aircraft! I’ll stay.”

So, Vivek stays and finds himself with one other candidate.

Bill Gates said, “Now that everyone has gone I find that you two are the only candidates who speak Serbo-Croat. I myself don’t know that language but I would like to hear you both speak in that language, so, introduce yourselves to each other. “


In a calm and assured manner, Vivek turns to the other candidate and says, “enna paeru, endha ooru,? (What name, which town?)”

The other candidate answers, nonchalantly, “Kumaravadivel Natarajan alias Vadivelu, Madurai.”

of what comes to my mind.

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