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Archive for April, 2013

Will the Church endorse condom use?

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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

We believe in God
We believe that sex is sacred
We believe in caring for each other
We believe in using condoms

Devoted Catholics may call this campaign message immoral and going against the Church and the teachings of the Bible, but to a group like Catholics for Choice they believe its time the Church endorses condom use. A very controversial subject to talk about and indeed an issue, which can make one, lose strength to lead such a huge following. The fact that sex is sacred has not done enough to spare the youth from indulging and this has resulted in high pregnancy rates and a surge in sexually transmitted infections. In trying to deal with all these sex challenges Catholics for Choice thinks good Catholics should condomize to show a sign of caring for one another. The campaign is aimed at the Vatican to change its policy on condom use and it is targeting countries at risk of high sexual infections like Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Fall, get up

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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 by Bev Clark

Fall, get up

Calling Out to Carol

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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 by Bev Clark

New favourite song.

Why not.

Chat apps provide an alternative to the exorbitant cellphone tariffs in Zimbabwe

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Monday, April 29th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

To have a smart phone is no longer a luxury for the elite only but a solution to the exorbitant charges of sending a short text message (SMS) using the services of the cellphone network service providers in Zimbabwe. It costs 9 US cents to sent a local SMS and 23 cents for an out of Zimbabwe SMS chat. Running on economics partly sustained by remittances from abroad most Zimbabweans had to rely on SMS to avoid the high long distance call tariffs when chatting with loved ones abroad. The introduction of chat applications like Whatsapp on mobile phones is now forcing people to switch phones to the latest smart phones compatible with chat apps. My last visit to a local cellphone dealer shop in town gave me an impression that when buying a phone it’s no longer about the looks but the service and functions the phone can give to a customer. I was told the first thing a customer now asks before making a purchase is whether the phone is compatible with Whatsapp. Apps like these have made it easy to chat with people outside Zimbabwe, send pictures, audio and video files for as little as less than US0.10. The young with technology at heart in schools or out of employment have been the major consumers of these social apps because of the cheap charges. The benefits of the chat apps could be small to network service providers in terms of data usage but to an ordinary person with less than 23 cents in his/her phone itching to make contact with someone it’s a huge success. The latest to adapt to the new communications trends are the upcoming entrepreneurs who are still battling the liquidity crunch in the country are also enjoying the benefits of reaching out to potential clients at low costs.

The Literary Figures With the Weirdest Obsessions

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Friday, April 26th, 2013 by Bev Clark

From Atlantic and Flavorpill …

Creative thinkers often have some unconventional impulses: Immanuel Kant liked being wrapped up like a mummy, and Charles Dickens lived with a bunch of animals.

D.H. Lawrence
D.H. Lawrence found it stimulating to climb mulberry trees in the nude. It is not clear why he found the mulberry more alluring than, say, the maple. Presumably during his extended stays in Mexico Lawrence climbed saguaro instead.

Anton Chekhov
Chasing butterflies like Nabokov, raising peacocks like Flannery O’Connor, keeping bees like Ted Hughes—yawn. A real Bohemian needs a mongoose. Chekhov called his Svoloch and described it in a letter as “a mixture of rat and crocodile, tiger and monkey.” He kept it for about a year and a half, but, citing a need to travel, he then donated it to the Moscow zoo, which he had fiercely criticized as an “animals’ graveyard.” The mongoose lived in captivity for two more years. The average lifespan of a captive mongoose today is about 20 years.

Friedrich von Schiller
Friedrich von Schiller kept fruit flies. Rather, he put rotten apples under his desk to inspire him with memories of the orchards of his youth. When he faltered for the right word, he took a quick sniff, and it materialized. His younger friend Goethe was amused by this practice—and later kept on his desk a skull he believed to be Schiller’s.

Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore was presumably not obsessed with automobiles, but she was asked by Ford to come up with inspirational names for new ones, on the logic that nobody knows words like a poet. Sadly the company did not take her up on “Mongoose Civique” (would it run for 20 years?), “Resilient Bullet,” “Ford Silver Sword,” “Varsity Stroke,” “Pastelogram,” “Andante con Moto,” or “Utopian Turtletop.” They went with Edsel instead.

Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Gogol was passionate about opera, which is not an unusual obsession. However, Shostakovich made an opera out of Gogol’s story, “The Nose,” which was first performed in 1930, around 80 years after Gogol’s death. In 1931 Gogol was disinterred by Soviet authorities for removal to a different cemetery, and he was found lying face down in his coffin. Presumably he heard the music and did the conventional thing. Or else he had been buried alive.

Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant required an assistant to get out of bed each morning because he couldn’t sleep unless completely mummified in blankets. This operation commenced precisely at 5 a.m. every morning—though eventually, the assistant was dismissed for having acquired a habit of excessive drinking.

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens had two ravens, two St. Bernards, two Newfoundlands, a spaniel, a mastiff, a Pomeranian, a cat, a canary, and a pony. Their names, respectively, were Grip I, Grip II, Sultan, Linda, Don, Bumble, Timber, Turk, Mrs. Bouncer, Williamina, Dick, and Newman Noggs. Dickens had Grip I mounted after it died from eating lead paint. It is now in the Philadelphia Free Library, and is thought—via Barnaby Rudge—to have inspired one of Dickens’s American contemporaries to pen a well-known poem.

Katherine Anne Porter
Katherine Anne Porter kept a brightly painted Mexican pine coffin in her apartment during her later years (she reached the age of 90). She enjoyed startling visitors by standing in it and commenting on the fit. This was part of her longstanding interest in death—she was administered last rites twice in her 20s. Interestingly, she was not ultimately buried in that coffin, which is now on display in the Katherine Anne Porter Room at the University of Maryland Library.

Jeremy Bentham
Philosopher Jeremy Bentham decreed that his remains, after meticulous dissection, should be stuffed into one of his good black suits and seated in his usual chair and displayed publicly at University College London with his old cane in hand. He’s still there, although his head has been replaced with a wax replica, because the original defied various attempts to preserve it.

What makes us happy

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Friday, April 26th, 2013 by Bev Clark

Happiness is love. Full stop.

Read about what makes us happy according to the Grant Study. Via Atlantic