Saturday, June 27, 2009
Although this blog is not meant for sport, as a South African anything phenomenal accomplished by South Africans will be posted as firstly I am South African.
For those who are not quite up to date with the international sporting world, the British and Irish Lions tour South Africa every twelve years and they consist out of the Rugby Unions of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. As rugby goes this is the ultimate together with the World Cup and today in the final minute of the second test Morne Steyn put over a fifty three metre penalty kick from the touch line to seal the series for us 2-0 with one test left to play.
Well done, boys, you have made every South African immensely proud.
Monday, June 22, 2009
By Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, Col. Brian Rees, and Dr. David LefflerIn congressional testimony, Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal vowed that he would use a "holistic" strategy and take extreme measures to avoid Afghan civilian casualties. Its "measure of effectiveness will not be the number of enemy killed, it will be the number of Afghans shielded from violence," he said.
By starting to think holistically and measuring the effectiveness of avoiding casualties, McChrystal is on the right track. However, his new strategy may not be sufficient to bring an end to the protracted violence. War is based in social stress that is not likely to be ended by changing the rules of engagement, limiting airstrikes or using small ground units in search and detention operations.
Although a military solution to the Afghanistan war is improbable, it is possible to deploy a scientifically verified technology of defense to reduce societal stress and end the war. Extensive research has confirmed its effectiveness, and militaries have already applied it in order to defuse and eliminate conflict and prevent disruption and attack from within the country or outside the country.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress not only in the individual but also throughout society. The Vedic tradition of knowledge, from ancient India, includes highly developed, non-religious meditation practices-in particular the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced techniques-that have become the focus of intense scientific research over the past 50 years. These practices, taken together, are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) in military circles. They have been used by members of many faiths to eliminate conflict in the recent past. If the military were to apply this human resource-based technology, which is non-lethal and non-destructive, it could reduce the collective societal stress fueling the tensions in Afghanistan.
A Prevention Wing of the Military would be the ideal way to achieve this goal. It would comprise about 2 to 3 percent of the military of Afghanistan. The personnel involved would practice these technologies in large groups, morning and evening. Studies show that when the size of the IDT group reaches a particular threshold, war and terrorism abate, crime goes down in the affected population, and quality-of-life indices go up.
Scientists have named this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who first predicted it. In 1993, a two-month Maharishi Effect intervention was studied in Washington, DC. Predictions of specific drops in crime and other indices were lodged in advance with government leaders and newspapers. The research protocol was approved by an independent Project Review Board. The findings, published in Social Indicators Research, showed that crime fell 23 percent below the predicted level when the IDT group reached its maximum. Temperature, weekend effects, and previous trends in the data failed to account for changes.
Over 50 studies have evaluated and confirmed the reduction of crime, violence, terrorism, and even open warfare through the establishment of IDT groups. The causal mechanism has been postulated to be a field effect of consciousness-a spillover effect on the level of the unified field from the peace-creating group into the larger population. A study published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality offers an explanation of a proposed causality of IDT in biological terms. Research on the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin has shown that it produces feelings of contentment, happiness and even euphoria. Low levels of serotonin correlate with violence, aggression, and poor emotional moods. The peer-reviewed study showed that higher numbers of IDT experts practicing in groups correlated with an increase in serotonin production among other community members. These results were statistically significant and followed the attendance figures in the IDT group. This finding offers a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism to explain reduced aggression and hostility in society at large.
The Maharishi Effect has also been documented on a global scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. When large assemblies of IDT experts exceeded the Maharishi Effect threshold for the world (about 7,000 at that time) during the years 1983-1985, terrorism globally decreased 72%, international conflict decreased 32%, and violence was reduced in other nations without intrusion by other governments. This study used data provided by the Rand Corporation.
The evidence indicates that the military may be able to accomplish its mission simply by establishing a coherence-creating unit of IDT experts. As part of its responsibility to protect, the military is obligated to thoroughly examine methods for preventing war and terrorism. IDT is such a method. All that is necessary is to provide the proper training for a group of military personnel- or indeed, any large group within the country. Lt. Gen. McChrystal has the opportunity today to implement a cost-effective, scientifically validated and truly holistic strategy to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Events on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan may increase the difficulty of exploiting this opportunity in the future.
On Saturday about 14km south of Bloemfontein a large group of enthusiasts and those who just wanted to see what was going on gathered to watch a re-enactment of a small battle as part of Operation Barbarossa.
Operation Barbarossa was launched on 22 June 1941 by Nazi Germany when the Wehrmacht invaded Russia.
During the Operation Barbarossa re-enactment on Saturday 20 June 2009 near Bloemfontein a German armoured car comes up against a Russian T-34 Tank. In reality the armoured car would have stood very little chance, but on the day of the re-enactment it destroyed the tank with a lucky shot.
A soldier of the 101st Airbourne Division with Thompson Sub Machine Gun in hand walking towards the display area of the Barbarossa Re-enactment. The USA took no part in the actual operation.
For more photos of the day go here.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
On friday morning as I left Oudtshoorn I stopped to get this shot of the Outeniqua Mountains Foothills just outside of the town. I was on my way home after completing the contact week of the Battalion Commanders' Course.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
As long as I can remember and as far back as I can remember this type of picture signifies the passion of soccer in this country. It is played whenever possible wherever there is a soccer ground or flat piece of earth nearby. It is therefore with a lot of excitement that this country looks forward to hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Come along to one of the better countries in the world with regards to hospitality and unexpected friendliness and enjoy yourself not only watching the world cup, but also doing one of the many other activities which makes South Africa a tourist mecca.
From today it is exactly one year before the world's premier sporting event, the Soccer World Cup takes place in South Africa. In preparation of this huge event I thought I should do my bit by posting some questions and answers from a South African Travel Website.
Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from to - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres take lots of water...
Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes..
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa? ( USA )
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not...oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, straight after the Koala Bear races. Come naked.
Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )
A: No, WE don 't stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather.
Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.
Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.
Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.
Thanks to Catherine for sending me the content.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
This is a billboard in Texas in the USA. It implies that Atheists are as good as murderers.
I wonder if this is just ignorance or if it is a deliberate attack on Atheism while knowing that they are in fact morally the same as everybody else. What is so scary is that there had to be a coordinated consensus and cooperation among many people to produce this. There had to be an organisation with these views, there had to be an advertising company who had no problem producing this and other people around the sides providing their energies.
What I also cannot quite understand is that people would go through all the effort to produce this instead of picking up a book to read about Atheism and ridding themselves of the fear which eventually leads to these kinds of displays of hatred. I always thought it was about love, but I do not see it here. All I see is paralysing fear. Get out of fear by replacing it with knowledge.
Are there billboards like these by Atheists who propagate hatred towards religion as well?