Musings, ruminations, thoughts and discussions on life & living, music, religion, politics, love, philosophy, and all other eccentricities of this sort.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


Wednesday, 17 October 2007

“Break their bonds asunder…”

Each radical religious break from convention has come due to social, economic, political, and other factors at that time. This makes each such religion a contextually grounded, living, breathing response to the circumstances from which it emerged. Sometimes it drew upon and added to thoroughly documented traditions of the time (Judaism, for instance, with the God of Micah seen as the same as the God of Noah despite hugely differing portrayals of the Deity). At other times these religious responses arose from and then broke away completely (such as with Christianity), or emerged from totally different circumstances and drew upon elements already present (such as Islam).

Jews documented their nationalist history extensively (though most likely from their captivity in Babylon onwards, and thus drawing upon Babylonian myths and legends too) and certainly knew their religion thoroughly. They proved eloquent in these matters and consummate at exegesis, midrash and religious debate.

So when people presented Yeshua‘ (Jesus) as THE Messiah expected by the Jews they had a fight on their hands, not least of which because nothing in Judaism predicted a messiah who would die before emancipating them. Earliest Christians naturally came from Jewish stock. Accordingly they drew upon Jewish history (they had to so that others would engage them in debate). Gentile Christians, therefore, had to subsume the entire Tanakh as their Old Testament in order to establish Jesus’ place within history — only to break him away from it.

Of course, Muhammad had a much more radical, even grandiloquent, solution: simply to declare that the Jews and Christians had corrupted their holy books and had strayed from their true path. Therefore he had no need to argue with them on their own religious grounds.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within — Did You Know…?

  1. Although a primary sword weapon initially, the wooden stick ends up relegated to a secondary weapon once you pick up the Spider Sword — but only if you don’t already have a secondary weapon at that stage. Although a weak weapon it had great durability. Until the Prince carries it in his left hand. Then it becomes as fragile as any of his secondary weapons and breaks after a few hits.
  2. The Wooden Sword Secondary suddenly takes on the same striking properties as a Mace!
  3. When you acquire the Spider Sword the cutscene shows The Prince menacingly wielding the new sword, and his original wooden stick as a secondary weapon — even if you’ve picked up a mace from one of the Raiders you defeated on your way in! Of course, when the fight starts you have the mace (if you picked it up) and a quick Orontes’ Grudge ([] /\) will knock everyone around you down.
  4. Even taking the crazy combos and mental fighting style of Dante from DMC3, the Prince fights more aggressively than any other swordmaster. And his left arm seems much stronger than his right. You can tell this by the fact that his secondary weapons break so easily. Official sources would have us believe this comes from shoddy weaponry work on the Island of Time, but notice that the Empress’s minions can attack the Prince’s block all day and never wear down their weapons. They can hit him and each other many times, yet every time the Prince picks up their weapons they have full charge. And then it breaks with only a few uses!
  5. When you come to a curtain, the game engine will treat any instance of the Prince touching the curtain bottom as the equivalent of a full slide. When you reach the central area at the start (after defeating the 1st Crowmaster completely) and the door shuts behind you you can jump straight to the bottom of the curtain. It saves time and lets you make a stylish shortcut to the floor. (This works best in T2T though).
  6. After sliding down a curtain, if you rewind time, the curtain still remains sliced.
  7. You can actually jump onto ledges (balance beams) from a fair height provided you land squarely on the flat part and don’t enter ‘falling’ animation. For example: the area above the platform you fight Shahdee #2 on just after the save fountain (where you use a rope to wallrun to a ledge) — you can leap from the top to the ledge on the other side. Similarly in the Clockwork section when returning from the highest points after the traps. You can do a massive jump to the elevator–type platform’s ledge.
  8. One more applicable to speedrunning: the spiked logs and rotating blades DO provide some form of horizontal collision boosting. In some cases that can offset time involved in waiting for a gap and standing after getting knocked down. This seems a bit random, though, so will only work in a segmented speedrun.
  9. More of a battle and speed movement tactic, this one. When you do a vertical wallrun and automatically flip off, you can perform a forward roll the instant you land. Aside from this, however, the Prince has a short recovery period. If you have your weapons drawn when you do this, though, you can perform any of the Prince’s dodges and rolls the very instant his feet touch the floor. This includes side rolls and backflips.
  10. This applies mostly to FFFS (Free Form Fighting System)–related goodies: in the midst of battle the Prince can pick up a secondary weapon without exposing himself to the vulnerable frames during his ‘kick up the sword’ animation. Simply roll over or next to the weapon (side or forward roll) or even backflip over it and press the pickup button. The Prince somehow grabs it with no animation. This includes during the backflip where he has no hands on the ground.
  11. When the Dahaka breaks through the wall and leaves you a ledge to jump to, you face some raiders and blade dancers before running up the wall and jumping from wall–to–wall. You experience a camera cutscene just before to show you where you need to go. If you stand at the very edge of the platform next to the wall you can run up it without ever triggering the cutscene.
  12. The second Shahdee battle features her doing an animation where she entices you by slapping her bum if you move far enough away from her. She cannot cancel that animation and must complete it. During this you can perform a rolling slash, which hits up to a maximum of 3 times.
  13. Battle #1 with the Empress of Time features her declaring: “I had hoped the Dahaka would kill you,” but in the good ending, when the Dahaka appears, she shouts: “What is that thing?”
  14. The teddy bear 2ndary weapon (that does insanely tiny damage) returns health to you if you hit anything breakable with it — not only enemies!
  15. If you time bringing up the pause menu right, you can bring this up between a battle cutscene (such as a decap) and when you can control the Prince again. You can then play the game for a short while with the pause menu still onscreen and active. So if you move around the various options will highlight with your movements.
  16. Probably well–known, this one, but when the Prince declares: “It’s time to find a way off this rock” after the first Empress fight, he stands at the bottom of the area where you wallrun to get into the castle at the start (by shimmying up some pillars). In fact, he tries to escape towards that way before the Dahaka grabs him.
  17. After you flee from the Dahaka after the above point, you have to activate 3 waterfalls so you can stop the Dahaka getting into your chamber, giving you the time to pull out 3 blocks of stone. Each time you have to go up some stairs, turn right and wallrun, etc. At this point the Dahaka appears — but he actually comes from the same area YOU came from!
  18. The Dahaka grabs the Prince on at least 2 occasions (once as the Prince and once as the Sandwraith) but doesn’t swallow him — he throws him away instead, even though he wants to ‘remove’ the Prince.
  19. You can’t memorise the sequence for the time portal trigger switches because they change randomly each time! Sometimes you can activate the first one if you run up it twice.
  20. If you time your jumps accurately enough while triggering those switches you can activate one and jump to press the one on the opposite pillar. I’ve done this numerous times, though not necessarily activated them successfully.
  21. When the Sandwraith first chucks the axe at the Prince, you can see the Prince actually look behind him as he dodges the axe. Yet when you as the Sandwraith throw the axe, the Prince does NOT look behind him, and therefore does not see the Blade Dancer who tried to kill him, and whom you killed to save the Prince’s life!
  22. The Sandwraith actually throws the Spentas Axe at the Prince, an unbreakable secondary weapon. If used by the Prince it unfortunately takes life from the Prince with each successful hit. You can find one in the weapons rack in the area where you face the Thrall Boss. It will instantly decap any non–Boss enemy it hits if you throw it (including the Executioners upstairs — provided they don’t roll out of the way).
  23. During the battle with the Dahaka you can opt to do nothing by letting him floor you, and then lying there with your guard up. If you do this, you get treated to a Dahaka Chase Death–style cutscene with the Dahaka suddenly sucking the Prince up and removing him from the timeline.
  24. You can actually attack, but not harm, the Dahaka without the water sword. When you run through a waterfall to reach a Time Portal, the Dahaka stands for a moment, then yells to the skies in anguish before disappearing. The instant he goes into his ‘Foiled again’ animation you can run out and start attacking him. Very occasionally, usually when kicking him, you’ll get a sound of striking flesh, but you mostly hear a clang and see the recoil of the Prince attacking an unbreakable wall. You can even combat rebound off the Dahaka during this.
  25. In the Foundry, contact with the molten metal pouring down from the pipes will instantly kill the spiked hounds.
  26. Throwing any enemy into a trap (such as floor spikes or rotating blades) results in an instant kill, even if the enemy previously had full health.
  27. In some areas enemies can’t seem to follow you. At the top of the main castle steps you can cross over into the castle and stand at the border. The 4 opponents there throw 3–hit attack strings your way all day but never touch you. It looks hilarious in 1st person view, especially if you stand in the right corner because a Silhouette keeps throwing knives at them in his attempts to hit you.
  28. The water tower’s first life upgrade: after you turn the lever to open the door and access this place you come to a small bridge. You can in fact leap from this bridge straight to the platform you need to drop down to from above. I did a roll as I hit the platform and took no fall damage. What a time–saver!
  29. The Warrior Within features as a serial killing Butcher on the cover of an Arabic horror book called Euphoria of Hell.
  30. You can actually get the Life Upgrade after the Central Hall — which you should grab after getting Eye of the Storm — before getting EotS by simply rolling up the stairs repeatedly and into the small hole in the wall that opens up.
  31. The cutscenes prior to the Prince facing the Empress, the ones that take place in the Hourglass Chamber, sport some very minor and subtle differences. In his first encounter the Prince says: “Time is running low. You ready?” As he says “you ready?” he looks to his left at the Empress. After he returns to the exact same point following his Sandwraith adventures he says the complete 2 lines AND THEN looks at her. This shows us that he know her secret.
  32. Another well–known one, but you can fight all the Boss battles without using your mega Sand Powers. If you have enough skill you can get away without even using Recall! (I can do them all except the Griffin: I have to use Recall for that one, but I’ve gotten a lot better.) Yes, this also includes the second Empress battle. You need to battle her near the ledge. Once she slows down time you can hang off the ledge and she won’t attack you.
  33. If a Boss regains any health then you’ve done something wrong. You had the opportunity to kill them and messed it up in some way (I have the Thrall Boss and Dahaka in mind here, and the Griffin if you avoid it for long enough by running away from it).
  34. If you have taken the Water Sword before becoming the Sandwraith, you still see the Scorpion Sword in the video…
  35. “What do you want from me?” We hear this cry of the Prince’s twice: once as the Prince, and then as the Sandwraith. At this point the Prince suddenly has the same secondary weapon that you do. Easily noticeable if you’ve picked up the glowing Light Sword.
  36. You cannot see the Prince as the Sandwraith in the hole where the Golem in the big fireplace throws him.
  37. You CAN see some points where your actions as the Sandwraith have had an effect: most notably in the Library. When you come in, you have a great big barrier in front of the entranceway, but open access inside. You have to break down the wall, and turn one of the levers to move a bookcase aside. As the Prince you find no breakable wall there, and a bookcase partially blocking your access (a table prevents it from closing completely).
  38. I think pretty much everyone knows this one: the game developers have backmasked the Dahaka’s speech. If you wait until he finishes saying something, then Recall time, you’ll usually hear him speak properly. Sometimes he says really cool and hilarious things like: “You are quick, mortal. QUICK TO DIE!” At other times he comes out with such mundane rubbish as: “You … will be … removed!”
  39. As a neutral NPC, Kaileena has the same effect on the Prince as fire and water. After he activates one tower, he meets Kaileena in the Central Hall who gives him the Lion Sword. At this point you need the entrance to the garden area up, so activate the lever for this, or leave it alone if you’ve just come from there. Now climb onto the lowest level platform and jump onto Kaileena. You’ll notice that the Prince has the same reaction as though he’d jumped onto fire or a save fountain. You can also achieve this by vertically wallrunning up a pillar and jumping off onto her.
  40. Why on earth does the Dahaka remove the Sandwraith in the past? And why does he accept the Prince’s unwilling sacrifice later? (I personally submit that the Dahaka ‘found’ the Prince in the past in order to prevent anomalies in the timeline by having one person in two locations at the same time, wreaking havoc through time travel.)
  41. You can battle the Empress a second time even with full health upgrades if you simply forgo picking up the Water Sword. Sometimes it can prove a little tricky avoiding the trigger for it. The easiest way involves deliberately missing the life upgrade at the Prison (above the room with the Thrall/Stone Brute Boss), and picking it up later when you return through there as the Sandwraith. You trigger the “Time is running low…” conversation before you can reach the Sword, and when it finishes you find yourself upstairs, so don’t have to tiptoe your way around the Sword.
  42. People refer to the Dahaka Boss Fight as the ‘alternative ending’, but in fact the lack of life upgrades leading to a second showdown with the Empress forms the true alternative ending, especially in the light of T2T.
  43. Very few of the puzzles and platforming section require a mandatory use of EotS. Those that do include the walkway to the Garden (which needs you to use it twice), the first door–opening floor switch you encounter after getting the EotS sand power (which leads to the Southern Passage), one of the rising blocks in the mechanical tower activated by a wall switch, possibly the last life upgrade’s door activation switch, and the run to the Prison life upgrade.

    Those that do NOT require use of EotS, despite what folks may think, include every spike/blade–based platforming section (yes, including the one in the Mystic Caves where you have lots of saws moving side–to–side very quickly on the ground), the corridor leading to and from the Mechanical Tower in the Central Hall (which you activate by wallrunning vertically and hanging from a platform), the wall platform activated in the save room where the Brute throws explosive dogs at you, and the section in the mystic caves where you activate a floor switch and then have to jump from stalactite to stalactite to reach the door you open.
  44. As with most games of this type (such as DMC or GoW), the Prince has abilities in cutscenes that do not manifest in gameplay. This occurs more in T2T, but sections in WW include the ability to wallrun higher than ingame (see the cutscene where he tries to flee from the Dahaka after saying “It’s time to find a way off this rock” — you come to that area at the start of the Island section and cannot vertically wallrun to that particular ledge he does!), the front flipping jump before the final Boss battle, and the ability to survive huge falls (such as when the Dahaka throws the Sandwraith away — plummeting into water from that height kills the Prince ingame).
  45. When going in to the final battle, before entering the cutscene go into first–person view so that you see the whole platform. No Kaileena there!
  46. When coming out the mech tower as Sandwraith, you’ll have to go through the room where you fought the first Golem, and you will see another Golem now. If you ignore it and just continue on to the platform with 3 Keepers, you can look down from a window up there. You can’t see any monsters.
  47. When you first try to pick up the Scorpion Sword for the first time, the Dahaka chases the Prince after knocking the sword into the pit, and the Prince escapes to a Portal Room. If you leave that room afterwards, and go to the room with the pit, you’ll see the Scorpion Sword still there on its stand even though it fell into the pit! You can run at it but the Prince will ignore it and never pick it up.
  48. The game engine treats all voices in cutscenes (those that actually feature the Prince moving around or standing around, so this does not include him remembering things like when he killed the Empress, or recalling the Sandwraith getting removed by the Dahaka) as ‘music’. This includes speeches by the Prince, flapping wings and cries of the Griffin, etc.
  49. Dante from DMC3 has instant access to his chosen weapons — on–the–fly switching. The Prince must go through the animation of unsheathing his weapons, but he has a form of Instant Holstering. If you wallrun or jump with your weapons out and ready, the Prince will suddenly have his weapons holstered the instant he catches onto a ledge without having to go through the motions of putting them away. Handy…

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Sunset on Babylon

The glorious shot of Babylon from the opening cinematic in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Done by Raphael Lacoste and in hi–res, I now have this beautiful picture as my desktop wallpaper!

American Prophets and the Efficacy of Prayer

It turns out that despite widespread atheism and agnosticism, people still do believe in the powers of petitioning God with prayer, and that God would act on the behalf of people in a war. Behold:
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Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject:
One last word about religion, I believe, no, i KNOW god and heaven and hell exists, its in the Bible, plus my country, United States, was mostly formed on account of prayer and half of the wars we won were because people prayed. For example, in the battle right before Gettysburg, Civil War, we were losing, then we ran out of ammo, Lincoln had everyone kneel in prayer to God that we might win and then a man riding a White Horse in a Revolutionary War attire jumps out of nowhere and starts riding ahead of all the battle lines, taking the fire from the southern america army because he could not be hit in battle. (That man fits the description of George Washington, our first president, and a very holy man, the Civil War was far ahead of his time so how could he be there?)

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Thursday, 7 June 2007

‘Muhammad’ second most popular boy’s name in the UK

£25K? I wish my parents had named me Muhammad…
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According to data from CACI Information Solutions
a man named Muhammad is most likely to be aged between 25 and 34 and to have an
average salary of £25,000.
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Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within’s Free Form Fighting System

Apparently, this chap considers WW’s FFFS ‘really lame’. A far cry from the wonderful and extensive discussions quite a few of us have had on the hidden depths of this game’s combat engine on Gamefaqs.

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May 31, 2007 9:43 am GMT
Well, i have played all 3 PoPs and can say that i preferred the two thrones the most, as it had devious new additions to the platforming. Sands of Time was great too, and takes second place. i was disappointed in warrior within, because of the lack of innovation and really lame combat( comparing to dmc3/onimusha). i also didnt like the music in warrior within, but the environemnts were OK. the other 2 PoPs were much much better.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Lycanthropic Occupation

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"Punching werewolves in the throat!"
I haven’t found that phrase through Googlesearch anywhere, and I wanted it to appear online. So I had to resort to desperate measures.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Power Crouch Stab

And to think how long it took me when I first encountered this Boss…
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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Power Crouch Stab demonstration - TSA
This is a demonstration of the "Power Crouch Stab" technique in
Zelda 64.
Mike "TSA" Damiani demonstrates this by defeating the game's first boss,
Parasitic Armored Arachnid Gohma, with a jumping Deku Stick attack and two Power
Crouch Stabs, taking about five seconds in total to defeat her. 

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Jihad and Religious Tolerance

I have discovered a wonderful site, a website called Religious Tolerance, and I happed upon it by accident while looking for interpretations of and commentary on the book of Vayyiqra (Leviticus). It had an extremely thorough exposition of the section regarding homosexuality.

Then I saw its studies on Islam, and this remarkably open–minded explanation of Jihad. I have bookmarked the site now.

The conventional interpretation of "Jihad":

Personal Jihad:
Verbal Jihad:
Physical Jihad:

Other interpretations of "Jihad":

It would be quite possible to assemble
passages from the Bible
which are profoundly immoral by today's religious and
secular standards
. If all one read of the Bible was a collection of such
passages, one might conclude that the Bible is an evil document that promotes
violence, unethical behavior.
Similarly, it is possible to scan the
Bible for passages
which promote a loving, moral and ethical life.
Which group of passages represent the real Bible? They both do!

The Qur'an is similar.

Some emphasize the earlier passages in the Qur'an which emphasize cooperation with the Jews and Christians -- the "People of the Book." They tend to interpret "Jihad" in terms of personal struggle towards purity.
Others emphasize later passages of the Qur'an which were received during a time of conflict. They tend to interpret "Jihad" as holy war.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Unicorn Rap

What the f…ook?

“I’ll squish your face like a zit
And leave you oozing down the mirror!”
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Unicorn Rap

Ignorance & Tolerance — Islam

Further to my previous post on the EvC Forum thread, some more quotes on Islam:
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title="Click for list of messages by jar (aka Orang, TrueChristian)">href=""


Religion, IMHO, whether Christianity or Islam or Judaism or Hinduism or whatever flavor, is most often simply a tool. Almost always the question boils down to "Who controls certain resources and power."

IMHO the greatest danger is Ignorance, just plain Ignorance. Historically, Islam has been as accepting of other cultures, perhaps even more than Christianity, than any other Theocratic Political movement.

When Christian Spain expelled the Jews, it was a Muslim Caliph that welcomed them and even sent ships to transport them away from Spain. It was the Islamic world that maintained knowledge and education during the period of the Christian Dark Ages.

Even under the Islamic Caliphate in Spain, Christian Monasteries continued to thrive, and it was in a large part, those monks and nuns that returned to more northern Europe from those monasteries bring back tales of indoor plumbing and clean streets and hospitals and schools that lead to the great awakening that followed the Dark Ages.

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Thursday, 3 May 2007

Setting The Record Straight

Over at Creation Versus Evolution forum. An indepth discussion of the barbarity of early(–ish) Christianity, something a lot of people skimp over in their haste to denounce Islam.
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setting the record straight

Historically, Islam has been a religion of tolerance, while Christianity has been just the opposite, a religion of Intolerence.

As a Christian, I believe that we need to realize this failing in our Faith, and
to work towards making Christianity more tolerant. Christianity has a long
history of simply destroying other cultures and religions and in legally
mandating either conversion, expulsion or death.

Some examples:

  • when the conquistadors arrived in South America they burned all of the religious tracts they found and outlawed the practice of any religion except Christianity.
  • Jews were expelled from England in 1290 under the Edict of Expulsion. They were barred from the Isles until the mid 1600s.
  • the Crusades which were attempts to redirect internal violence towards a non-aggressive outside neighbor.
  • Faith's own post
    describes the heart of Islam to be barbarity, even though the historical facts
    do not support her assertion.

    Ground Jump Boost (OOT Speedrunning Techniques continued)

    How to perform a bomb–based ground boost. Explanation provided by Erik.
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    Ground Jump Boost

    I did a ground jump, then let go of a bombchu in the air to give me a boost.
    When you have your sword out, stand infront of the bomb, then hold L+R, and press A to grab the bomb. Your guy will put his sword away instead of grabbing the omb and you won't be able to move. Wait for the bomb to blow up, let go of L+R, then do a backflip.

    Ocarina of Time Speedrunning Techniques

    SDA’s Fluffy_Kitten shows how to bomb jump (impact boost) the moat in Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time.
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    Hyrule Moat Skip With a Bomb

    It is very easy. Trick is to stand where I am, wait for it to start beeping fast, run off the ledge, then shield drop it in the air, then press B to jumpslash.

    Wednesday, 2 May 2007

    Opposing Force Speedrun

    Ahhh… I found it online! I have a high quality download of this from the Speed Demos Archive website, but this site has an embedded video of Spider–Waffle’s amazing speedrun of the expansion pack game to Half–Life. I prefer this one even to his awe–inspiring speedrun of Half–Life itself (posted elsewhere on this site)!

    The page includes Blake’s commentary on his run. Go to it and watch. Download it from SDA and support the website!
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    Half-Life: Opposing Force (PC) - 0:23:09 - Blake Piepho (2005)

    Speed run of the Half-Life expansion Opposing Force on hard mode in 93 segments,
    completed on February 12 2005.
    Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho

    Proud, British and … errr … Muslim?

    Interesting. A recent Gallup poll has shown that muslims in London feel far more integrated than a lot of the ‘native’ population! Done, unfortunately, on a rather small cross–section of the population, nonetheless it shows great hope — and definitely smashes a lot of the talk on muslims unwilling to integrate with Britain…

    Muslims Proud to be British

    London Muslims are more proud of being British than their non-Muslim
    counterparts, a poll revealed this week.

    The independent survey by the Gallup Organisation found that the Muslim attitude towards the Government and Britain’s institutions is far more positive than other Britons.

    Gallup interviewed 500 Muslims and 1,200 members of the wider population.

    81% of London Muslims condemn violence even if used in a noble cause.

    74% are loyal to Britain.

    69% identify very or extremely strongly with their religion.

    82% respect other religions.

    The poll showed that loyalty to Britain was greater than the general public: 74 per cent as opposed to 45 per cent.

    Sunday, 29 April 2007

    Superslide Trick in Ocarina of Time

    A super duper speedrunning trick which you can pull off in The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. The Tools–Assisted Speedrun (TAS) videos website provides this explanation of it:

    Enemy + Interactive Object

    Link must first find an enemy that will attack him. We will use the Peahats of Hyrule Field as an example. Surrounding these Peahats are bushes which Link can lift out of the ground. While holding Z and R, make Link roll into the bush while the Peahat is attacking him. Press A to grab the bush as the Peahat’s attack connects with Link just before he stands up. If done properly, Link will block the attack just as he is about to finish the roll (and while he’s still invincible) and that will retain the “picking up” action, and so the speed at which he is knocked back by the attack will remain constant as long as he has his shield raised.

    Superslide off a Peahat

    Fastest way to get to Gerudo Valley.

    Dominant Left Side

    This discussion I found on Iain Abernethy’s excellent martial arts forum brought up a seminar by ‘jujutsu man Harold Howard’ detailing that humans present the left side of their bodies as the dominant one due to the right side of the brain controlling aggressiveness.

    The chap who posted this up has hyperlinked further information so I’ll check up on that. It certainly gives fresh meaning the Boxing’s ‘Orthodox’ stance!
    I once attended a seminar where the instructor
    went into a lot of detail about human dominance, aggression, and eye contact.
    the ideas presented were based on the notion that the left brain is recognized
    as passive, the right brain as controlling aggression. Since the left brain
    (passive) controls the RIGHT side of body, the RIGHT side of the body is
    'passive' to a degree, and vice verse for the right brain/LEFT side. So in a
    nutshell, humans are wired to instinctually present the 'dominant' (left) side
    of our bodies forward and make an effort to destroy the aggressive left side of
    the defenders face to overcome him.
    Since humans often make eye contact through one eye, strong left eye contact
    can be perceived to be a threatening danger signal.
    Funny thing is, I have experimented with this a little and found it to be true
    in most cases where someone is giving you their best "tough guy" look
    Fascinating stuff, thanks Mike!


    Saturday, 28 April 2007

    US & Israel vs Iran = FIGHT!

    I saw this following poll on the excellent blog Palestinian Pundit, on whether people believe the U.S. and Israel will attack Iran in the current year (2007). The overwhelming majority (59%) have said yes, though thus far only 371 people have voted.

    I voted yes, though I think it may even drag out into next year. But I believe an attack on Iran inevitable.
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    Yes 59%220
    No 28%105
    Not sure 12%46
    371 votes total free polls

    Friday, 27 April 2007


    Up yours, grand–dad!
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    ..\................. /........\................../

    Thursday, 26 April 2007

    Half–Hour Half–Life

    Definitely one of the coolest, awe–inspiring and riveting videos on the web at the moment. Spider–Waffle completes the original Half–Life game in under ½–an–hour using a cunning variety of techniques, scripts, shortcuts and sequence breaking techniques.
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    Wednesday, 25 April 2007

    Calzaghe’s Boxing Career … Over.

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    Calzaghe told career is over by doctor
    Super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe was given the fright of his life by a
    doctor following his easy third round victory over Peter Manfredo in Cardiff
    earlier this month.

    Boxing’s longest reigning world champion, 35, once
    again hurt one of his fists during a WBO title defense and sought medical

    But the first doctor Calzaghe consulted informed the unbeaten
    Welshman that the damage to his scaphoid bone (in the base of the thumb) was so
    severe that he would be forced into retirement.
    The article goes on to state that he went for a second opinion (always a wise thing to do in cases such as these), and received news that his fractured scaphoid bone will heal in time for him to fight in September of this year.

    It makes me wonder which Dr has the edge in accuracy there…

    “Make Spacious His Grave…

    …and illuminate it for him.”

    extract from a supplication to Allah for the deceased (technically only recited when closing his/her eyes).

    Uncle dead. All gone now. Mother’s last remaining brother. Only one in England — others used to live in Pakistan. Family feud. Not seen him or his family in more than 6+ years. Sudden call around midnight today. Sudden? Well, 5 missed calls on my mobile and 4 on the house phone. Uncle remained in hospital since Wednesday the 18th, ill with heart trouble. 70+ years of age. In & out. Seemed recovered on Saturday. Then… gone.

    My mother didn’t even know he’d gone to hospital. They hadn’t told her. Mind you, he’d never even told her when his daughter got married. She had to hear it from other people in our local community. When my mother saw his face (he lay on his bed in the hospital after having passed on), she burst into tears again (had cried as I took her and my Dad there by car) and screamed at him (I translate this from Urdu):

    “THIS is it? You couldn’t even bring yourself to speak to me for the rest of your life, and now you call me? For … this??”

    Today his son Naveed made the funeral arrangements, helped by a friend of his in the know. Islamically we bury the deceased within 3 days, usually within a day. No point hanging around, I suppose. When Naveed’s mate came into the room at the hospital last night and told my aunt that he’d sort the preparations and get my uncled buried the next afternoon she started, suddenly coming out of her bubble. “That soon?” she asked. Poor thing. I don’t like her, but she suffered from cancer these past few years and my uncle took complete care of her — he devoted himself entirely to her to the point he didn’t even leave the house for weeks at a time.

    Her daughter, my cousin Sarah, sat there with her trying to convince her that he would never return. “He’s gone, mum!” she kept saying. “He’s not coming back!” My aunt hadn’t cried ‘properly’, apparently, and Sarah wanted her to let it all out so the grieving and healing processes could begin.

    Naveed had to remain strong and take care of matters such as the funeral arrangements, as well as comforting the overwhelmingly large proportion of female members of his family. But a couple of times he cried out in grief and then quickly wiped his eyes.

    The worst such incident came when we had to bathe my uncle’s body this morning at the mosque, in preparation for his Islamic burial. My cousin, his 2 brothers–in–law, and I lifted the enshrouded body onto the table where we would wash him. When we uncovered him (except for the obligatory covering of men from navel to knee) my cousin Naveed took one look at his Dad’s face and burst into tears. He quickly suppressed his outburst though, and we took to washing him all over. I helped out as best as I could (I even had to clean his genitals), and we included the ritual ablutions, as though preparing him for prayer.

    His body felt so heavy, and cold (undoubtedly from his night in the mortuary). His head had gone purple from the ears down — all that blood pooling due to gravity and no heartbeat to circulate it all. Little holes in the table through which the water drained left purple marks all over his back. Marks which did not go away. The solidity of his body when I touched, cleaning him, his arms stiff and crossed over his chest (in Islam we bury people with their arms straight by their side), and remaining that way as we tried in vain to straighten them, all created a weird sort of bond between us. I can’t even get my head around it, let alone attempt to describe it.

    After we cleaned him, put him in his coffin for the open casket viewing, we left to ritually purify ourselves before prayer. In situations like these we always have what we called a ‘Janaaza’, a funeral prayer. We do this with the casket in front of us, but we remain standing during the prayer; we do not bow as we do ordinarily when praying to Allah.

    They buried him in a cemetary in Almondbury. I even helped to shovel in soil onto him. He has gone for good now. Until the Day of Judgement, so they say…

    What now?

    Tuesday, 24 April 2007

    “Seek To Write Your Way Out Of Everything”

    In one Hadith recorded in Mustadrak-e-Haakim, an explicit and clear order
    of writing is given. The words are "Tie down knowledge", the Sahaabi enquired,
    "What is tying down knowledge?" The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)
    replied, "It's writing." (Mustadrak vol. 1 pg. 106)
    From an authentic, recorded tradition of the Prophet. I love the phrase ‘tie down knowledge’ in its sense of anchoring knowledge. That really appeals to someone such as I, who can express himself more eloquently in a written format than face–to–face. Tying down knowledge.

    The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism