Friday, December 30, 2011

Astronomy is about BIG things!

By Tom Kando

Nowadays, cosmology and quantum physics are moving into unfathomably mysterious directions.

The Higgs Boson, which is supposed to be the means by which things in the universe obtain mass, is said to maybe have been observed for the first time recently - at CERN’s large Hadron Collider in Geneva. And scientists there, together with the “OPERA” team in Italy, are said to have detected faster-than-light (muon) neutrinos - maybe.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Dear readers:

We wish you all a happy holiday season and a Happy New year, in many interesting languages:

Happy New Year
Bonne Année
ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
शुभ क्रिसमस (Hindi)
Felice Anno Nuovo
наступающим Новым Годом
Danistayohihv & Aliheli'sdi Itse Udetiyvasadisv (Cherokee)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Theism or Atheism: Does it Matter?

by Madeleine Kando

Christopher Hitchens died last week. His book 'God is Not Great' was a best-seller and put him on top of the list of a hand-full of famous Atheists that include three of my favorite authors: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Steven Pinker. He was passionate in his attacks on religion and his wit and gift for words made him an incredibly fascinating debater.

He did not shy away from stepping into the lions' den of the Intelligent Design community where he debated people like William Lane Craig, a particularly aggressive theologian. Because of Craig’s eloquently distorted views on issues such as morality and 'scientific' proof of the existence of God, it was not an easy task. Read more...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The European Disunion

by Madeleine Kando

"Once upon a time there was a large family with lots and lots of children. They were always fighting with each other and causing a lot of trouble. One of the children, whose name was Gertrude, was a little bigger than the others and quite aggressive by nature. She wanted all the other children’s toys, so she broke into their respective rooms, beat up the children and stole their toys.

A distant uncle by the name of Sam, didn’t like what was happening in that family and decided to put an end to it. He went over there and kicked some ass until Gertrude had to run back to her room with her tail between her legs, so to speak. Read more...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The End of Europe (again)?

By Tom Kando

The European sovereign debt crisis is becoming scary. The dominoes are falling. The contagion has spread from Greece to Italy and beyond. Even France’s credit-worthiness has begun to crumble. No one is safe any more. Even Germany does not have the limitless resources required to bail out the rest of the Continent. There is a vicious cycle of increasing borrowing costs for everyone, a decrease in the availability of credit, a slowing down of the economy and a decline in the governments’ solvency.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Best and Worst Cities in the World

By Tom Kando

The annual 2011 Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings by Mercer (London) has just come out.
The Mercer survey ranks 420 cities of the world. The report I saw lists 221 of them. These cities are ranked in terms of overall quality of life. This is based on several dozen factors, such as physical health, environmental pollution, standard of living, education, housing, crime, etc. Here are some of the results that were of greatest personal interest to me:A. Best city in the world: Vienna. Read more...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shadow Work

by Madeleine Kando

When I was little, technology was in its infancy. There was no internet, no email and people still drove to brick and mortar stores to buy things. We had ‘electric’ inventions, like sowing machines, vacuum cleaners and refrigerators, but 'electronics' was just beginning.

In the sixties and seventies it all started to change when many new marvels were about to pop out of their incubation period. I came of age to benefit from the birth control pill, the invention of the pantyhose, soft contact lenses and Teflon. My very first Macintosh computer which came on the market in the early 1980’s, was a major stepping stone towards the age of enlightenment. Read more...

Friday, December 2, 2011

What Osama Bin Laden Achieved

By Tom Kando

The Aug./Sept. issue of the Dutch magazine Maarten!, contains an article by Max Westerman which I feel compelled to share with you. It’s depressing and aggravating, but I am afraid that it rings terribly true. Sorry. Here is an excerpt:

Ten years after the 9/11 attack, Ground Zero and Memorial Plaza are developing beautifully, and becoming an inspiration. What Al Qaeda did on 9/11 should never be forgotten or trivialized.