I Leave …… You Laugh ……. I Hope


Hi there ladies and gentlemen and others,  the Lone Grey Squirrel will be taking a leave of absence for a few days for some spiritual meditation and good food.

Now I seem to remember some famous saying said by some famous person I think which goes something like this … “Leave them laughing!”

And so as I leave, I hope to leave you laughing.

This is actually something I posted before but I think it is worth repeating.  I challenge you not to laugh.

Funny Laughter

I thought that we could all use a laugh this Monday and so I decided to post on laughter. I admire people who know how to laugh at themselves and know how to make others laugh along. My favorite comediennes all knew not to take themselves seriously. The only thing that they took seriously was the art of making people laugh.

Some comic geniuses take it a step further and make it almost their professional duty to trip up their fellow colleagues and make them laugh. One good example and a favorite of mine was the Carol Burnett Show. As if the skits were not funny enough but the real icing on the cake were the one liner ad lib that the actors would throw out which often caused the other actors in the skit to laugh uncontrollably. Yet as good professionals, they would try to hide their laughter behind straight faces or available props, but often not very successfully. For the audience, the poor attempts to hide their laughter were some of the funniest things ever seen. Occasionally, an actor would lose it and laugh hysterically and that would just ignite the audience with wildfire laughter. When that happened, I would laugh until I cried.

There was something contagious about the laughter. “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you.“, so the saying goes. I present for your amusement, one of the best examples of an infectious laugh. It is a little long but quite worth it. The fun really gets going at the 1.30 minute mark and all decorum goes downhill from there. Enjoy.

Paranormal Proof


In a recent post  entitled “Knock,Knock“, we had a look at the Philip Experiment which was an attempt to determine scientifically the origin of some ghosts.   Spurred on by what we could learn from the experiment, I decided to investigate further into the paranormal.

After much research, I uncovered this unnerving footage which in my opinion is the most conclusive proof of the ghost activity that is happening around us.

This video was filmed in a forest in Eastern Europe using a high speed camera.  The ghost only became visible to the human eye when the film was slowed down considerably.  Watch carefully as the image appears only briefly.   Be warned.  You may be shocked.

The bodies being received at the KL International Airport (source: AFP)

Welcome Home…….


Today Malaysia mourns and remembers.  37 days after the loss of flight MH17 and 298 souls, the first of the remains of the Malaysian victims has returned home.  Today we welcome home to rest 20 of the 48 Malaysians who were on board MH17.  Today at 10.55 am local time, the nation came to a standstill and observed a moment of silence.  As the flags flew at half mast and the traffic on the roads came to a halt and businesses and offices all found a way to show their respect, 17 coffins and 3 urns were given a military escort from the plane that had carried them one last time from Amsterdam to start their journey home to their loved ones.

Prayers were held at the mosques and at temples and churches.  Many Christians are observing a half day fast.  Memorial walls have been set up all over for passerbys to leave messages of condolences.

Welcome home …….. and rest in peace. 

The bodies being received at the KL International Airport (source: AFP)
The bodies being received at the KL International Airport (source: AFP)
Malaysian Airlines Stewardesses Grieving (Source :BBC)
Malaysian Airlines Stewardesses Grieving (Source :BBC)

 

Vehicles come to a stop on Penang Bridge
Vehicles come to a stop on Penang Bridge

 

Remembering the Crew and Passengers
Remembering the Crew and Passengers

 

 

The Malaysian Passengers  (source : TheStar online)

Paul Rajasingam Sivagnanam (M)

Mabel Anthonysamy (F)

Matthew Ezekiel Sivagnanam (M)

Paul Rajasingam Sivagnanam, a top IT executive with Shell Malaysia, was travelling with his wife Mabel and son Matthew Ezekiel, 10.

 

Tambi Jiee (M)

Ariza Ghazalee (F)

Mohd Afif Tambi (M)

Mohd Afruz Tambi (M)

Mohd Afzal Tambi (M)

Marsha Azmeena Tambi (F)

Tambi Jiee, 49, from Sarawak, was with his wife Ariza Ghazalee, 47, and four children – Mohd Afif, 19, Mohd Afzal, 17, Marsha Azmeena, 15, and Mohd Afruz, 13, on the way back from Kazakhstan transiting via Amsterdam. The Kuching family was returning home for good from Kazakhstan, where Tambi had been working for about three years as a Shell employee.

 

Shaliza Zaina Dewa (F)

A relative of local singer Hattan, Shaliza Zaina, 45, had been based in Melbourne with her Dutch husband and three children aged eight, 12 and 15 for many years now. Returning from a holiday in the Netherlands, Shaliza and her family were planning to stop over in Kajang, Selangor, for a week to celebrate Hari Raya with her family before returning to Australia.

 

Subashini Jeyaretnam (F)

Kaela Maya Jay Goes (F)

Subashini, better known as Shuba Jaya, a performing arts actress from Kuala Lumpur, and her Dutch husband Paul Goes were returning to Kuala Lumpur after taking their 21-month-old daughter, Kaela, to visit her grandparents in the Netherlands for the first time. Kaela was notably delivered via unassisted home birth.

 

Karamjit Singh Karnail Singh (M)

Karamjit was a safety adviser with the Safety, Health and Environment Department of ExxonMobil. He had worked at the Usan oil field in Nigeria. Karamjit, 54, was on the way home to Kuala Lumpur.

 

Mohd Ali Mohd Salim (M)

Mohd Ali Mohd Salim, 30, was furthering his studies and preparing a thesis on Psychology Studies at the doctorate of philosophy (PhD) level in Amsterdam. His brother Mohd Zaki said Ali was “very excited to be back for Raya with the family.” He was scheduled to join Universiti Sains Malaysia next year after completing his doctorate.

 

Meling Mula (M)

Bintulu scaffolder Meling Mula, 48, had promised to take his wife and three children on a holiday after returning from an overseas posting. The eldest, Maryline Sindun, said he placed great importance on education.

 

Ng Qing Zhen (M)

Ng was an engineer from Shah Alam who boarded MH17 after a business trip to Amsterdam. He had changed his flight at the last minute to reach home sooner, having originally planned to fly to Singapore and transfer back to Kuala Lumpur. He was an only son, and left behind a wife and a son aged four.

 

Ng Shi Ing (F)

Benjamin Jian Han Lee (M)

Elisabeth Ng Lye Ti (F)

The academic specialising in the teaching of English as a second language went to Belgium to attend a conference on language learning, She was also looking at the possibility of pursuing a doctorate at the University of Antwerp. On July 5, she went to Europe with her year-old son Benjamin and her 33-year-old sister Elisabeth.

 

Rahimmah Noor (F)

Rahimmah, 67, stayed in Geneva for about 30 years and had planned a six-week holiday to celebrate Raya with her family here.

 

Hasni Hardi Parlan (M)

The oil and gas engineer was a gentle soul who called home daily no matter where he was stationed. The 32-year-old loved ‘ayam masak merah’ and was headed home for Raya to spend a few months with his family.

 

Datin Kaushalya Jairamdass Punjabi (F)

Better known as Datin Priya Vijendran, she was a doting grandmother who was returning home after spending nearly a month with her two grandchildren – seven-year-old Chiara and nine-year-old Leo, the children of her second son Sanjay – in Lieden, Amsterdam.

 

Siti Amirah Parawira (F)

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s step-grandmother Puan Sri Siti Amirah was among those killed. According to a family member, the 83-year-old was travelling alone back to Indonesia from Amsterdam.

 

Siew Poh Tan (F)

The 85-year-old lady was travelling with her daughter Loh Yan Hwa and her son-in-law Fan Shun Po, both of whom owned two restaurants, one of which is a Michelin-billed restaurant named Asian Glories, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Elaine Teoh (F)

Elaine Teoh was on board the doomed flight with her Dutch boyfriend Emiel Mahler. The couple, both 27, were living in Melbourne and working in the financial sector.

 

Lee Ming Foo (M)

Chee Yau Liew (M)

Yeen Kiah Lee (F)

 

The Crew  (Source: AsiaOne)

1. Capt Wan Amran Wan Hussin, 50, pilot

Capt Wan Amran from Kuala Kangsar, Perak, is remembered as a kind-hearted and charitable man who loved to joke, said niece Nur Suraya Dusuki, 29. He had been piloting Boeing aircraft for more than 20 years and had been planning to perform the Haj at the end of the year. Capt Wan Amran leaves a wife and two sons, aged nine and seven.

2. Capt Eugene Choo Jin Leong, 45, pilot

Capt Eugene Choo from Seremban was a humble family man who was always friendly, say colleagues and neighbours. The former student of SM Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, Kedah, was a passionate biker. Capt Eugene leaves a wife and two sons, aged 13 and 10.

3. Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi, 29, first officer

Ahmad Hakimi was said to be a very quiet person but he was also very kind and helpful. Although fond of cracking jokes, Hakimi was always very soft-spoken, never raising his voice even when faced with stressful situations.

4. Muhd Firdaus Abdul Rahim, 27, first officer

Muhd Firdaus achieved his childhood dream of being a pilot when he started a career with Malaysia Airlines (MAS). He leaves a wife and a son.

5. Mohd Ghafar Abu Bakar, 54, in-flight supervisor

Mohd Ghafar was a member of Masjid Bukit Indah, Ampang, where he lived. He is remembered by his friends as a principled and pious man with a good heart.

6. Dora Shahila Kassim, 47, chief stewardess

Dora Shahila, a single mother who was known to be very close to her 15-year-old daughter Diyana Yazeera, currently studying in Seremban. Diyana regularly tweets about how much she misses her “superhero” mother since the crash, and is constantly sending prayers to Dora.

7. Azrina Yakob, 41, chief stewardess

Azrina Yakob, the second of four siblings, had worked with MAS for 20 years. She is survived by her husband and two children aged six and three. Azrina’s mother Habibah Ismail said that her daughter always kept in touch with her and that she had planned to go back to her village for Hari Raya with her family.

8. Lee Hui Ping, 42, leading stewardess

A mother of three, originally from Kelantan. A warm and friendly person.

9. Mastura Mustafa, 40, leading stewardess

Mastura was a whiz in the kitchen, often whipping up local delicacies. Her 10-year-old son Muhriz Marzaidi said that his mother would usually cook his favourite food after coming back from work overseas. The last time Muhriz saw his mother was when they broke fast together with his favourite dishes before Mastura boarded Flight MH17.

10. Chong Yee Pheng, 40, flight stewardess

It was her ambition to see the world and she spent 18 years doing that. She was 22 when she joined the airline.

11. Shaikh Mohd Noor Mahmood, 44, flight steward

Shaikh Mohd Noor was a romantic, caring and jovial person, said his wife, stewardess Mardiani Mahdi. Shaikh Mohd Noor leaves three children aged 13, 12 and six with his ex-wife and a two-year-old daughter with Mardiani.

12. Sanjid Singh Sandhu, 41, flight steward

Also known as Bob, Sanjid was described as a generous, obedient and loving son by his father, Jijar Singh, 71. Sanjid was also a good-natured person, befriending people regardless of race or religion. During his wake on Aug 10, nearly a thousand mourners of diverse backgrounds attended to pay their last respects to him. He leaves a wife, MAS flight stewardess Tan Bee Geok, and their son Hans.

13. Hamfazlin Sham Mohamed Arifin, 38, flight stewardess

Hamfazlin leaves a husband and two sons, aged eight and two.

14. Nur Shazana Mohamed Salleh, 31, flight stewardess

A stewardess of nine years and an avid traveller, Nur Shazana lived her dream of seeing the world with MAS. The eldest of four was also a football fan and according to a Facebook post during the World Cup, she had enjoyed the final between Germany and Argentina. Before the MH17 crash, Nur Shazana had made plans to celebrate Hari Raya in Penang with her family.

15. Angeline Premila Rajandaran, 30, flight stewardess

The only girl among three siblings, Angeline was described as a good-natured person and was an animal lover. Her final message to her family in Klang, Selangor, was: “Look after my dog Lexi.”

philip experiment

Knock, Knock


I was deciding what to post today and lacking any particular inspiration, I just closed my eyes and moved my mouse cursor over my categories cloud list on my blog sidebar.  I decided to write on whatever category topic the cursor ended up resting on.  Guess what!?!?  It landed on “horror”.

Now this was a bit strange and eerie as my topic selection method was not too different from the Ouija board method.  Was I “guided” by unseen forces?  hahaha -hahaha (nervous laugh).

Actually, I do enjoy tales of the supernatural and the unexplained and I have posted about this before under “horror” and “folklore” categories.  However, I was surprised to find out, when I checked, that I hadn’t done a post on this theme for almost 3 years.  So it seems that such a post is due.

Now, strangely enough, I just had someone tell me about a story yesterday that I had not heard of previously and was quite interesting.  Coincidence?  Anyway, here is the story:-

In 1972, the Toronto Society for Psychical Research (TSPR) decided to carry out an experiment to research into contacting spiritual beings.  Dr. A.R.G. Owen, a member of the Department For Preventative Medicine and Biostatistics at the University of Toronto, assembled a  team of people who were considered prominent or respectable members of society and who did not have any particular previous interest or involvement in the paranormal.  In all, there were three men and five women in the group and included a housewife, a bookkeeper, a sociology student, an accountant, an industrial designer, a psychologist, and a former chairperson of MENSA.

Together they met regularly to contact the spirit of one “Philip Aylesford”.

Philip was an English aristocrat who lived sometime in the mid 1600’s.  He lived at his family home, Diddington Manor and had a wife named Dorothea who was the daughter of a neighbouring nobleman.  The marriage was not a happy one.

 

Then, one day Philip came across a gypsy encampment near the boundaries of his lands and met Margo, a dark haired gypsy beauty.  He fell in love with her and set her up to live at he gatehouse of his estate.  In this manner, they maintained their liaison in secret.

 

However eventually Dorothea, found out about Philip’s affair and publicly denounced Margo, accusing her of witchcraft and stealing her husband.  Being a nobleman and a Catholic, the scandal was a great shame and a smear on his family name.  In fear of losing his reputation and his possessions, Philip did not protest or come to Margo’s aid during her trial.  Finally, Margo was convicted of witchcraft and burned to death at the stake.

 

But guilt and remorse would plague Philip after Margo’s death and unable to sleep, he would often pace the walls of Diddington Manor at night, until one day, his broken body was found at the foot of the walls – an apparent suicide.

As you can see, Philip’s tragic story seemed to make him a perfect subject in an experiment trying to make contact with the spirit of the deceased.

Anyway, the team tried to make contact with Philip’s spirit in a laboratory setting with equipment to record sound, photos and video.  Nothing much happened initially.  They tried for several months and apart from a couple of participants saying that they felt a presence, there was no tangible evidence of anything supernatural.

The team re-evaluated and one member suggested that they try to get away from an academic environment and mimic a seance where they would sit around a table in a dimly lit room with their fingers placed lightly on the tabletop.  Objects from the 1600’s were also placed in the room.  It was thought that this might be a more conducive environment for their goals.

It did not take long for strange things to occur.  It started with a loud rapping sound which was repeated on many occasions.  This sound was recorded and analysed and it is said that nothing found in the room created a sound that matched what was heard.  They were then able to communicate with the spirit by asking the spirit to rap or knock once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no’.

In this way, they were able to confirm that the spirit was Philip and were able to receive answers to many questions that they asked Philip about his life and the period that he lived in.  Interestingly when asked if he loved his wife, Dorothea, he replied with a very loud double rap.  At other times, when Dorothea was mentioned, the team heard scratching sounds rather than raps.

philip experiment

As the sessions progressed over many months, the manifestations grew stronger.  Some members began to hear answers to questions asked being whispered in their ear.  There were also occasions when the table tilted to the side, or jumped or spun on one or two legs and even rising up and sliding across a carpeted floor.  Lights would go off but come on again when asked to do so.  Strong wind could be felt.  Once a member was trapped in a corner by the moving table.  Every attempt was made to rule out that someone in the group was perpetuating a hoax and no evidence of a hoax was found (Skeptical Squirrel: “although that doesn’t necessary mean that a hoax is completely ruled out”).

This seems to be one of the best documented cases of communication with the spirit of the dead. Are you convinced yet?

Unfortunately, there is a problem; a fly in the ointment in what became known as the Philip Experiment.

The problem was that Philip never existed.  Philip was a fictitious character that the team was asked to create.  Before doing the experiments, They came together and helped write the life-story of Philip.  They even had an artist do a portrait sketch of the imaginary Philip.  Some true facts were included but “traps” were also set so that a trickster may be caught.  For example, Diddington Manor does actually exist but the description of the manor given to the team was incorrect.

The “Philip” that communicated with them during the experiment gave answers that fit the story that they had collectively concocted, including facts and factual errors that had been included.

So what is the conclusions that we can draw from this strange set of events?  Firstly, the team was in fact trying to “create a ghost”.  They were testing the hypothesis that ‘ghosts’ could be produced somehow by the human mind, as in this case, it would seem they could even create a ghost of someone that never existed.

However, the phenomena that they witnessed both surprised and even terrified them.  It exceeded anything they imagined they could achieve and to the best of our knowledge, no scientific explanation has been forthcoming as to how they were able to create those phenomena with stories in their minds.  Some say that the Philip experiment does prove the power of our minds in creating the paranormal.  Remembering though that seances were originally conceived by people attempting to contact their dead relatives, others suggest that the phenomena may indicate malicious or at best mischievous spiritual entities that try to deceive us by giving us what we want to hear.

Two interesting footnotes to the Philip Experiment story.  First, all phenomena came to an abrupt end after one of the team members said, “we only made you up, you know”.  Secondly, the experiment has been repeated around the world with different groups trying contact  Lilith, a French Canadian spy;  Sebastian, a medieval alchemist;  Skippy, an abused Australian 14 year old girl and even Axel, a man from the future. All of them were completely fictional, yet all produced similar unexplained communications with an entity/entities claiming to be them.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Ilse (L), Laura (R) and me (hidden in the back) testing the pristine waters of the Endau Rompin jungle (circa1992)

Jungle Janes


I was feeling a bit nostalgic and decided to blow the dust off some old photo albums that I had put away in storage.  It was then that I came across these couple of pictures from my early working years.

I was in public health at that time and was doing research on new field kits for testing microbial water quality.  Basically I was trying to develop simple, cheap and easy field kits for monitoring drinking water safety in a developing world setting.

Somehow, I managed to convince my superiors that I simply had to get baseline data from pristine jungle streams which was how I managed to wrangle myself onto a scientific expedition into what was then a relatively unexplored part of the Malaysian jungle.  Carrying and using the heavy gear in the jungle would be hard work but I liked the idea of going to places few people have ever seen; I had a kind of a David Livingstone obsession in those youthful days.

Ah, but there was a catch!  My supervisor wanted me to take her two visiting Dutch medical students along for the jungle adventure.  I groaned.

And then I met them, Ilsa and Laura.  Two gorgeous beauties (with wonderful personalities) and since we spent most of the time in and out of the rivers collecting samples, they were most often two gorgeous beauties in swimsuits.

Now I am sure you can imagine that this “Tarzan and Jane” scenario is a fantasy of most of the men in the almost totally male expedition camp.  Suddenly, everybody seemed to want to be on our research team and go out on the trails with us.  I became popular! Suddenly, rough, anti-social, jungle hardened veterans was giving me the time of day, so as to get closer to the girls.  Safe to say, there was a lot of chest beating going on around camp!

Tarzan stand-in double demonstrating the chest beating trademark move
Tarzan stand-in double demonstrating the chest beating trademark move

 

Ilse (L), Laura (R) and me (hidden in the back) testing the pristine waters of the Endau Rompin jungle (circa1992)
Ilse (L), Laura (R) and me (hidden in the back) testing the pristine waters of the Endau Rompin jungle (circa1989)

 

Two Beauties and the Beasts
Two Beauties and the Beasts in the wilds of Malaysia

 

These days, Marja is my Dutch sweetie but as you can see I had the privilege of knowing these two Dutch Jungle Janes’ somewhat earlier.  The other great thing was how all these guys left me offerings of food and drink in return for the opportunity to be introduced to the girls.

Dear, Ilsa and Laura, thanks for the good memories.  I hope that you are both well and happy and the intervening years have been kind.  And if you happen to read this post (stranger things have happened on the internet), do make contact and leave a comment.

The Literary Bum


Long term groupies of the Realm (all two of you), will know that I quit my longtime job about two years ago to make time for unemployment, starvation and the pursuit of other ambitions.  One of my ambitions was to live the life of a beach bum.

I am happy to report that I am halfway there …………. I am now definitely a bum.  Unfortunately, apart from a short week in Bali, this bum is beachless.  Hmmm, have to work on getting that beach!

Another of my “other ambitions” was to take up writing and to become a rich and famous novelist.  Now I admit that I was motivated to do so after seeing how some rather poor quality story telling and writing had become best sellers, been made into movies and was raking in the big bucks. ( I don’t want to mention any names but one of them involves pale guys that sparkle in the sun and often topless but buff Native Americans who smell like wet dog after running in the rain – you know who I mean).

I thought to myself, ” I can write as bad as that too ……..let the fame and fortune start rolling in!”  But lo, fame and fortune has not rolled in.  Instead, I find myself doing countless re-writes because I am having trouble getting the first line right.

I think my problem is that perhaps the literary geniuses that have been a big influence to my art may not have been the best choices.  Although I can say that I am greatly influenced by the works of Maxim Gorky, most of my writing lean more heavily on the works of Snoopy and his “it was a dark and stormy night…..” approach.

darkstormy6

Here are some more opening lines which I may have wrongly used as my inspirations (most of them are winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest)  What do you think?

  • Adventure:-When the dead moose floated into view the famished crew cheered – this had to mean land! – but Captain Walgrove, flinty-eyed and clear headed thanks to the starvation cleanse in progress, gave fateful orders to remain on the original course and await the appearance of a second and confirming moose. — Elizabeth (Betsy) Dorfman, Bainbridge Island, WA

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course. — Ron D Smith, Louisville, KY

“Die, commie pigs!” grunted Sergeant “Rocky” Steele through his cigar stub as he machine-gunned the North korean farm animals. – Dave Ranson, Calgary, Alberta

  • Romance:-

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil. – Molly Ringle

As an ornithologist, George was fascinated by the fact that urine and feces mix in birds’ rectums to form a unified, homogeneous slurry that is expelled through defecation, although eying Greta’s face, and sensing the reaction of the congregation, he immediately realized he should have used a different analogy to describe their relationship in his wedding vows. – David Pepper

Sex with Rachel after she turned fifty was like driving the last-place team on the last day of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, the point no longer the ride but the finish, the difficulty not the speed but keeping all the parts moving in the right direction, not to mention all that irritating barking. – Dan Winters

The Cunard “Carinthia” glided through the starry waters of the Bering Sea, 843 passengers aboard, including Harriet Dobbs, resignedly single for over a decade, while a nautical mile due west slunk the K-18 submarine, under the command of lonely Ukrainian Captain First Rank Nikolai Shevchenko: ships that passed in the night (although the second technically a boat). — Dr. Sarah Cockram, Edinburgh, U.K.

  • Crime:-

As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this … and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words. — Rodney Reed, Ooltewah, TN

Chief Inspector Blancharde knew that this murder would be easy to solve – despite the fact that the clever killer had apparently dismembered his victim, run the corpse through a chipper-shredder with some Columbian beans to throw off the police dogs, and had run the mix through the industrial-sized coffee maker in the diner owned by Joseph Tilby (the apparent murder victim) – if only he could figure out who would want a hot cup of Joe. — Matthew Chambers, Hambleton, WV

maybenot

Inspired by the great Spike Milligan, I offer two more possible first lines;

  • Our hero was sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons when suddenly………..nothing happened.  But it happened quite suddenly.
  • When I interrogated the murder suspect, Joe Smith, the suspect told me that no one had called him “Joe” in years but instead they all used his nickname ……”Nick”.
800px-Cemetery_of_World_War_I_in_Auce,_Latvia

Another Century And We Are Still At It


Two ants were sitting on an a mound up on a hill overlooking a battlefield.  From there, they could see men from two armies fighting viciously with guns, tanks and shells.  All over there were dead and dying from both sides.

The first ant said, “This is great!  Let the humans fight their crazy wars and when they have finished killing each other to the last man, then ANTS will rule the world! Bwahahaha!”

“Bwahahaha!” echoed the second ant. “Hooray! Ants will rule the world!”

After a short pause to think, the second ant asked the first ant, “Black ants or Red ants?”

 

And so, this is war.  Don’t know how or when humankind started sacrificing on the altar of war but it doesn’t seem we will stop.

This week in Europe, various ceremonies are being held to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War I.   Some 16 million people perished in 5 long years of fighting.  it was the war that marked the start of the industrialization of killing.  It had been called the “war to end all wars”.  Yet just two decades later, the world plunged into World War II and more than 60 million killed.  We were just getting more effective in killing.

800px-Cemetery_of_World_War_I_in_Auce,_Latvia(Photo by Simka)

And so, far from moving towards enlightenment, understanding, fraternity and peace, conflicts continue to plague us since.

Some (from atheist and humanist circles) claim that religion is the main cause of war and certainly there have been many wars fought that use religion to draw the battle lines.   But I believe that mostly that hides other motivations – usually, political, ideological and/or economic ………. and in some cases, just base pack mentality of “us” and “them”.

Just consider some of these non-religious dictators and the damage they inflicted on mankind (estimated killed);

 

I really believe that the root of it all is the desire “to want what others have and to deny others from getting what we have”.

Did you know that back in the 1930’s USA prepared a series of contingency war plans and the first one they came up with was codenamed, “War Plan Red” – the invasion of Canada?!?!?!

It was part of a plan to address the problem of the British Empire being an economic and global rival to America’s aspirations.

Sigh……………..

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “

Let us pray for the peacemakers where ever they are and in whichever conflict they are trying to bring to an end.  Let’s not let the ants take over and rule the world.

 

Viewing the World Through the Observation of Squirrels

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