Wish you were here

>>  Monday, March 18, 2019

I read a tweet recently that set me thinking hard:

"If you want proof of that there isn’t a God, go visit a children’s hospital. To see innocent children going through the pain will reinforce your faith in Science and weaken it in some supreme being"

'Where is your God now?' is a difficult question to respond to when you look at the terrible suffering in the world and I've always struggled a bit with my own faith.  I've not got a blind faith and find myself questioning it constantly. But I do like to try to explain why I have an element of faith, I responded with:

"God is not about a world without evil, it is a world where we reach out and help those suffering. Go offer them your personal support. Raise money for the charities searching for cures. Offer help to families or carers. That is where the ethos of religion is."

Now in the usual way social media plays out when difficult subjects come up I was expecting this to be a bumpy ride from here but they surprised me with:

"A very good thought indeed I agree. All I’m saying is Pink Floyd is sometimes more comforting than a Prayer"

And I really couldn't argue with that, but I thought long and hard about why I think religions still have a place in the world alongside science:

"I agree with that too. I’ve been pondering this a lot tonight. When my daughter was close to death I watched the machine that knew when she needed help breathing and when to do it for her. I considered the firmware in the drip machines.  Her life was saved by medical and computer science. But I marvelled at the busy nurses that also found time to brush her hair, even though she was unconscious, because her boyfriend was going to visit.  Science and kindness.  I received so much support from our local religious community. Churches I’ve never been to sent flowers and prayers, neighbours cooked me meals.  It helped us so much to know people cared.  I think religion was born from a need to explain things people didn’t understand. Science now renders this unnecessary. But religion also fills a societal need to remind of the need to care for people and respect the community.  On a grand scale it went wrong with extremism and wars, but locally when one caring hand reaches out to another it is still serving a purpose science hasn't filled yet: reminding people to be nice. The world also needs that. Science and religion hand in hand and a good helping of Pink Floyd."

If all religion could just focus on the core values:

Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself
Help others, especially the poor and unfortunate
It's not about material wealth
Be involved in the community
Take responsibility for your actions

And not worry so much about what type of sex people are having, what they are eating or what day they eat it on, I reckon we'd be getting somewhere with the world.

Science is amazing and the people that work in its field are miracle workers of their own kind.

But what will keep me in awe of the wonders of the world are the people that stand true, that stand up for what is right and good regardless of what it means to their own lives.

Well that and laying in the dark listening to 'Wish you were here"


The story of the knife edge

>>  Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I would like to tell you a sorry tale of a hungry, lazy person and a knife or two.

I really fancied a sausage and HWMBO was out of the country so I didn't want to defrost a whole pack.  I decided to break the sausages apart by jamming a knife between them and wiggling.  The sausages dutifully split.  The knife end disappeared.  I looked a bit but couldn't see it. My general thought was 'whateveeeeer' but decided to defrost the sausage in the microwave as metal would spark and then I'd know it was ok.

Defrosted, no sparks, cooked in oven and delicious. End of tale we would hope. 

But as the evening progressed so did a stomach pain, I took anacid and pushed the blindingly obvious thought out of my mind and anyway I'd have cut my mouth chewing wouldn't I?   I did eventually fall asleep but woke about 4am in agony.

I read the internet....OMFG...swallowing tips of knives isn't that uncommon and is really dangerous as it passes through your bowel, pierces it and you get an internal infection.  I pondered death for a while and got up.

I decided before taking myself to A&E that I would try to do the whole break knife and microwave thing again just to check that I was worrying for no reason.

I jammed a similar knife into the frozen sausages and it dutifully snapped again much the same way.  I looked at the sausage saw the metal bit in it, put it in the microwave and no sparks.....NO SPARKS.

I mentally picked my coffin and took the semi defrosted sausage out of the microwave and pulled the metal tip out of it and stared woefully at it....

Hang on, what's that?  The tip of the first broken knife.   Yes!  Right at the very beginning I'd tried to split off 2 sausages and failed so just split off the end one but the knife must have broken on the first stabbing.  It had been left embedded in the sausage on the end of the frozen pack and put back in the freezer.

So not inside me just sat waiting to kill the next sausage eater!  I threw away the block of sausages in celebration and glugged on a bottle of gaviscon, safe in the knowledge I had absolutely no idea why my stomach hurt so much but I really couldn't care less right now.

So the moral of the story is don't break up frozen blocks of meat with knives and even if you are that stupid, don't eat it before you have all the pieces of your shattered knife accounted for!

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