Thursday, May 27, 2010


I watched the movie, "Prey," this morning on HBO and can't contain this rant. I didn't know it was supposed to be a horror flick which is okay because it isn't. It is, however, the type of movie that has great scenery, excellent animal action, and an encounter with natives that had me tense up.

It's also the kind of flick that's great to hoot and holler at and for throwing popcorn at the screen.

For those who have yet to see it, "Prey" is a survival story about a woman and her two step-children, all seemingly fairly typical American tourists, who go off on a game safari in Africa for a day.

Got that? I don't want to spoil the story for you so it's important for you to get those parts. Game safari, in Africa, for a day.

Oh, heck.

***** SPOILER ALERT *****

Is that enough space?
Who in their right mind goes off into the WILDERNESS in AFRICA without WATER? Sure, they hired a guide and he should have had a large container of extra water, but he didn't and they didn't think to check. I didn't see a can for extra gas, either, and he certainly didn't have a radio or a satellite phone, nor a first aid kit not that the latter would have helped considering the way the lions were killing off the people.

The guide dropped his keys in the grass and the step-daughter used her camera's zoom to verify that the bright shiny thing is one of the keys so they know it's worth leaving the vehicle which may put them at risk of being attacked by the lions that kept them in the vehicle on the afternoon of the first day and all night.

Why didn't they use the camera to check for lions before leaving the vehicle to get the keys?

Why didn't they have binoculars with them in the first place? It wasn't a visit to a zoo where the animals are sure to be closer than they are in the great outdoors of Africa. The guide didn't have any, either.

Unbelievable. No water and no binoculars.

Yes, they had a little water with them that quickly ran out, but when the girl went to get water, she didn't take any containers with her. Surely, she wasn't planning to carry water back in her palms, was she?

I don't mind when what goes on is plausible such as when the woman panicked driving away from the attacking lion, got them lost, and damaged the vehicle by driving too fast off-road.

I didn't mind so much that they didn't have whistles or red bandannas to signal for help or didn't think to gather enough grass from around the vehicle to make a fire on the roof of the vehicle to signal the helicopter or use a mirror from the vehicle or a compact, if either the woman or teen step-daughter had one.

I didn't mind that no one thought to take inventory of what was available to them until the third day...except they waited until the THIRD day.

However, I did mind that they didn't think to even try to collect rain water during the first night so they'd have something to quench their thirst.

Come on movie people, especially the writer(s). In the WILDERNESS, in AFRICA, without enough WATER to last them through the first afternoon.

Puh-leeze, gimme a break.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Contemplating Boobquake

Over the past month, I've been contemplating the concept that women's immodest attire contributes to earthquakes and wondering how Muslim women got such power. Evidently, Western women don't have it as shown by the results of Boobquake.

The Iranian senior cleric, Kazem Sedighi, who first preached, "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," later explained in a lame attempt to wipe out any notion of observable cause and effect for this first Boobquake that earthquakes didn't hit the immorality-filled Western world because God may be waiting for us to sin more so He can send us "to the bottom of Hell."

I'm laughing because Sedighi leaped from immodest attire to promiscuity to earthquakes, but is blind to how the promiscuity of the Western culture is the same as his Shia Islam religion's allowing polygamous marriage with up to four permanent wives PLUS multiple temporary wives.

The only differences between our version of promiscuity and Iran's Shia version, called Nikah al-Mut'ah in Arabic or sigheh in Persian, are the contract and that the concubines are paid an agreed-upon price, mahr, without which payment, the contract for a temporary marriage is void (Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Articles 1075, 1076, and 1095).

At best, their promiscuity is legalized which doesn't make it less ungodly.

At worst, the temporary wives are legal prostitutes albeit for longer periods of time than the illegal prostitutes.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! At least, Western culture isn't so hypocritical as to go through the sham of instituting a legal code to support fornication.

The sad part is that the immodest attire to which Sedighi was referring is about the women who are letting some of their hair show by wearing a scarf instead of a hijab.

Yes, he calls them immodest because of their HAIR, that millions of women around the world for thousands of years have, without recrimination much less earthquakes, worn uncovered or partially covered as some Iranian women have started to do. How do extremists get so perverted?!

Ignoring Sedighi's later explanation of the reason Boobquake didn't have the expected result because I don't want to thump the Bible over his statement's gross inaccuracies, my question is, "Does the Qur'an say Muslim women must cover themselves completely when in public or is that something the extremist Islamic religious leaders made up?"

I'm asking because I read somewhere that the burqa and hijab are cultural, not religious, and that the veil applied only to Muhammad's wives because they were in close view of many strangers who visited the mosque next to their home; it was to provide privacy from prying eyes as they held a degree of celebrity status being wives of Muhammad like celebrities today wear hats, scarves, and sunglasses.

Also, I don't recall Hebrew women ever having to cover their faces nor completely hide their hair in the books I've read.

While I don't know the Qur'an, it's logical that if their god is the same God of the Jews and Christians as some people believe, the Qur'an would teach the same things as the Old and New Testaments: that we are imperfect, unable to follow each and every point in God's Law, sinners who need a Savior, and that Savior comes from the house of David.

What's scary is that the U.N. has given Iran a four-year (2011-2015) seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women."

HAH! Yes, Iran. The country that set a nearly impossible standard for proof of rape and severely punishes women for not being able to meet it with the result that most rapes are not reported.

Iran, the country which legal standards include "the testimony of two women is equal to that of one man" and "a woman has the right to divorce only if her husband signs a contract granting that right" even though a husband is "not required to cite a reason for divorcing his wife" and mandates that a man inherits twice that of a woman's share (Civil Code of the IRI, Articles 1133, 892-1, 899-1, 900-2, 906, 911, 913, 920, 923-925, 931-932, 935, and 938-948).

[NOTE: For the U.N. document at the following link, see page 27, section G, paragraph 82, and section H, paragraph 83. If the link doesn't work, verify that a cookie for is allowed.]

Iran, the country that has a law allowing a father or paternal grandfather to make his 9-year-old girl marry any man he chooses upon payment of a sum of money (Civil Code of the IRI, Article 1041).

Iran, the country that prohibits executing a condemned female virgin but gets around it by having the condemned virgin, too often between the ages of only 9 to 17 years old, "married" to a prison guard on the eve of her execution for the purpose of legally raping her in the outrageous belief started by the Ayatollah Khomeini that rape prevents such a virgin from entering heaven and consigns her to hell.

Execution isn't punishment enough? They have to go to hell, too, as if anyone on earth has the power to designate who goes to hell? Doesn't the Qur'an say that only Allah knows who will go to heaven and who will go to hell?

(Spousal rape is not illegal in Iran because a wife is required by law to service her husband as he desires as long as she is able, i.e. if she's not menstruating, or he may deprive her of her bed, food, clothing, and shelter. It's how a husband can coerce his wife into submitting to rape - Civil Code of the IRI, Article 1108).

The U.N. is letting a hungry wolf guard the lambs.

What I learned from Sedighi is that he believes Islamic men are so weak, so unable to control their impulses and passions, that Islamic women have to cover themselves completely. I know it isn't true because there are many Muslim women in other countries who have adopted Western attire, the men around them are quite stable, and the earth beneath them isn't threatening to rumble with earthquakes like what is threatening Tehran.

Therefore, behind Sedighi's insult to Muslim men about their inability to control themselves is his goal to continue the subjugation, repression, and oppression of Irani women.

Think about it, if women's indecent attire causes earthquakes, it would be a simple matter for Iranian women to go outside, remove their hijabs, roll up their sleeves, raise their skirts to show their calves if they're comfortable going that far, stay clear of the falling walls, and take control after the earthquakes having proved irrefutably that they've got the power Sedighi says they have.

The problem with that idea is if earthquakes don't happen right away as I doubt they would, the participants are likely to be arrested.

Maybe what they could say is, "If you don't treat us right, we'll bring the walls down around your ears and then, you'll answer to us!"

God may do it for them, anyway, if the fault lines threatening Tehran somehow manage to kill the extremist Mullahs since the Bible has an example of an earthquake swallowing up the wicked (Numbers 16:28-33). And it didn't happen because of immodest attire, either!

(I need to report that Muslim men also have a dress code. Not as restricted as women as might be expected for that culture, men are supposed to be covered from their waists to below their knees.)

Indeed, after doing a word search, I can't say that women or men showing skin has any scriptural bearing on earthquakes.

Does that mean God doesn't disapprove of immodest attire?

Were Adam and Eve naked in the Garden of Eden?

Did Isaiah wear a thong?

To be fair to Mr. Sedighi, we need to acknowledge that Boobquake is an incomplete experiment because he said immodest attire leads to the corruption of men's chastity and adultery that then result in increased earthquakes.

Therefore, without a way to evaluate the effect of immodest attire on sexual misconduct and the effect of sexual misconduct on earthquakes, we'll never know which stance is correct, Sedighi's or the participants of Boobquake, if either.

Unfortunately for Mr. Sedighi, his perception of sexual misconduct is idiotic because it means only that the couples didn't bother with the sham of a temporary marriage that is so shallow it need consist merely of the couple agreeing on the length of time they will be together which may be extended or shortened as circumstances or desire dictates, their saying to each other "I marry you," and the payment of the mahr.

In conclusion, please pray for the people of Iran. The women, especially, need our support. Perhaps you'll feel led to additional means of support such as contacting the U.N. to protest Iran having a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women and demand that Iran be removed.

Isaiah 20:

1. In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;
2. At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
4. So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lesson 7


I finally made it past Lesson 7 which has eight measures of the "Ode to Joy," the theme of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, that was hanging me up.

Indeed, playing it on the tin whistle is soooo much easier than on a recorder!

Now, I'm on Lesson 10, the last lesson of the book that came with my recorder, having skipped Lesson 8 because I have no idea how the songs are supposed to sound, and am looking forward to my next tutorial that I'm expecting to be delivered tomorrow.

Using a tutorial with a CD is important for me since I don't read music well enough to play by the timing indicated on the sheet music. I play along with the song running through my head, and if I don't know a song, I can't play it.

For Lesson 7, because there's more music running through my mind than there are notes on the page, I searched this afternoon and found the rest of the sheet music. By the looks of it, I'm not intimidated although I still have to learn how to play it. That's okay for now because while I can play the eight measures smoothly, I'm still learning since I'm not yet able to keep up with the music in my mind. I'm sure I'll get better with practice and when I can do it all, I'll be able to play along with my CD of Symphony No. 9.

Just imagine - me, playing Beethoven on my tin whistle backed by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Score! (Meg)

I decided to learn how to play a tin whistle as being more practical than learning to play an ocarina because I can change to different whistles, if I want, without having to learn new fingerings.

Selecting the Clarke Sweetone because it sounds close to the Clarke Original tin whistle, which breathy sound I like, but is reputed to be easier to play with a comfortable plastic mouthpiece designed by Michael Copeland instead of the metal mouthpiece with wooden block on the Original, I then modified my choice to the lower-priced Meg, also by Clarke, because of a review that included an mp3 comparison between the Sweetone and the Meg that's supposed to sound nearly like the Sweetone except I couldn't tell any difference.

I looked at a few websites to check the range of prices.

Calling a couple of music stores in my local area, thinking to get my whistle right away plus save on shipping, I found one store with the Clarke Original in D for over $15 more than the highest-priced Sweetone and another that had the Clarke Original in the key of C for a similar price. Neither have the Sweetone and only one store would be able to order it - for more than the lowest price online including shipping. Neither have the Meg nor would be able to order it.

That's definitely not cost-effective for me, a rank beginner who doesn't yet know how far she'll go with this endeavor.

Considering that some websites sell the Meg for the same price as the Sweetone (talk about profit margin!), and finding prices too good not to share at The Whistle Shop, I had some Megs sent to a musical friend with children in another town. Thom Larson's excellent service is so fast with Priority Mail (2-3 days) that is also the least expensive method to ship, that they've already received their Megs and started playing.

I received mine as well and started playing by using the book that came with my recorder. Fingerings for the beginning notes (B A G F# E D) on the whistle are the same as for my recorder and a fingering chart with a song sheet was included, so I'll be occupied for a while learning the fingerings for the notes that are different on the whistle. One thing for certain is that a whistle sounds a WHOLE lot better than a recorder. Let's see if I can finally get past Lesson 7!

You'll have noticed by now that I haven't quoted exact prices and if you've read my other "Score!" posts, you know this is where I normally state the price of the item I scored. However, because my above-mentioned friend is a faithful reader of my blog, I'm not doing it this time because that would be like leaving a price tag on a gift.

So, sorry to inconvenience you, but you'll have to look it up yourself, if you really want to know the price. Besides, if you intend to buy a tin whistle, or anything else for that matter, you should check out websites yourself to comparison shop with the stores in your town to see if you can come up with something better.

More importantly, your satisfaction with any whistle you may choose will depend a lot on whether or not you like how it sounds which is entirely subjective.

In conclusion, I'll merely state that I'm extremely pleased with my find and shout...