Arguably the most important news of the new Millennium–by some standards, by far the most important news since the onset of the Industrial Revolution–seems to be landing with much less of a splash than I expected. Reason enough in itself for world-wide celebration, immense fireworks (well, maybe not those), gallons of champagne, and an unprecedented baby…

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Much too much has been said recenty about the need, or even the obligation, on the part of Muslims to condemn and distance them­selves from the Charlie Hebdo murders. The most seductive reasoning I’ve heard for this is admirably pragmatic: however regrettable, it is a given that the actions of a few (be they racist…

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Let’s get one thing straight beforehand, people. There is no controversy here. Both parties in the gun control discussion agree completely on this. People kill people. Yes, they do. Yessir. Right you are. But let’s get another thing straight as well, while we’re at it: A truism does not a meaningful argument make! In fact,…

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I’m not the one taking sides here. Our justice system is. Some time back, all the Western world rallied to the support of a Danish cartoonist, who had had the gall (or balls, depending on your POV) to draw a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed with explosive headgear. The death threats to himself and his…

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At Circus Renz last week, a woman visiting the animals was robbed of her purse, containing her personal belongings as well as a bit of lunch she’d packed for the day. Interestingly, the robber was one of the elephants, who attempted to eat the sandwiches before proceeding to crush the purse under its ample feet…

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In the news today: In Rotterdam harbour, seven containers full of whale meat have been waiting for transshipment for over three weeks now. The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Mrs. Verburg, described the situation as “highly unpleasant”. (Of course, Verburg was referring to the bizarre discrepancy between the international ban on whaling and the regular transshipment…

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It’s not a new thought that we’re living in the age of science fiction. But there’s a huge gap between knowing this and reading about it in a feature article in our newspaper. The piece–fronted by an artist’s impression of a city of giant green cat scratching poles–describes the wild pipe dreams of Dutch architect…

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Such excellent news! In a previous post I lamented the deplorable lack of a national birth date of the Netherlands. Three years later, the news reports that our former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers has been asked to lead the celebrations of our country’s Bicentennial in a few years. Not only is it obvious that my…

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In a feature article on traffic safety this week, our newspaper quoted the statistic that 80% of car accidents happen in the first or the final five minutes of a trip. An odd lack of precision, that. I would think that the vast majority of car accidents happen in the final seconds of a trip.

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How annoying. A Dutch Christian organization thought it necessary to distribute about 6,000,000 copies last week of a flyer arguing the relative value of creationism vs Darwinism. What a waste of paper, ink, effort, and energy! Not that I’m against the flyer per se. After all, everyone is free to say whatever they want. What…

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