I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The day I was arrested

This post is about what happened to me one early morning of 1977.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am an apostate

Yesterday, I stumbled onto the blog danein.blog.kataweb.it/2009/07/31/scomuniche/ (warning: it is in Italian). The author, a declared atheist, said (my translation): “Is there anybody who can help me to get a serious excommunication, possibly signed by the Pope?” This motivated me to write this post, because I did get an official letter of excommunication from the Catholic Church, albeit not from the Pope himself. Perhaps, others will be inspired by my action and do the same.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Catholic Church

Reading “The Case of the Pope” by Geoffrey Robertson QC I am discovering a lot of interesting facts concerning the current pope and the way in which the Vatican operates. It was written in a somewhat boring way and contains several repetitions, but I recommend it to both catholics and non-catholics.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mussolini's Racism

While researching for the historical novel I am writing, I stumbled onto the so called “Manifesto of Race”, signed by ten Italian scientists and published in the magazine “La difesa della razza” (“The Defence of the Race”) on August 5, 1938. It provides a glimpse into the Fascist ideology concerning an area that, I believe, is poorly known. Somehow, I feel compelled to translate the document into English for those who don’t understand Italian.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is this true about Islam?

Earlier today, I viewed a YouTube video that makes statements about Islam.  I confess that I found it a bit disconcerting.  Unless somebody managed to get it removed, you will find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib9rofXQl6w&f.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photovoltaic Panels Update

At the end of the post titled “Photovoltaic Panels” of September 8th, I talked about my intention to extend my PV system. I did, and here is a new picture of my roof showing the new array.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The responsibility of the pope

I just finished watching the Australian talk show Q&A (Questions and Answers), in which a panel of five well known people (politicians, intellectuals, journalists, etc.) answers questions asked by the public. One of the panelists, Geoffrey Robertson QC, is known to have suggested that the Pope should be formally held responsible for the abuses of catholic priests against children. During the programme, he was asked to explain why the pope should be held accountable for what he clearly condemns. Obviously, being a lawyer, he answered in a very articulate manner, but one sentence stroke me as being central to his argument, and I feel compelled to report it here. He said: “If you have got the power to stop a crime, you have the duty to do it.”

This is a very compelling statement and, in my opinion, at the heart of the issue. For years the catholic church has been transferring to other dioceses priests who had been accused of abusing children. The fact that the pope recently apologised for the abuses doesn’t cut it. If he really wanted to stop them, he could, right now. He would only need to tell the bishops that any case of suspected abuse should be transferred to the local police. Easy. As long as he will fail to do so, he will make himself a potential accomplice of the crime after the fact.

Writing timelines

This post is for fiction writers, and especially for those who are not particularly IT-savvy. Obviously, most authors of fiction are familiar with word processing programs like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer, but not with spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc. It turns out that the programs designed to process tables of numbers are the perfect tool for writing and maintaining the timeline of a novel.