Monday, November 8, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Monday, November 6-8, 2010

1. Interesting review of The Grand Design

The review in question was published in The Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum supplement at the weekend, and is available on-line here. The following excerpt was remarkable:
Even if M-theory is the best candidate for a Theory of Everything, it will not, as Hawking concedes, result in anything more than a collection of unproved and unprovable hypotheses.
2. Exactly (precisely?) what I was thinking!

Here's a letter which was published on page twenty-five of today's edition of the Sydney Daily Telegraph and which points out an all-too-common grammatical error which vexes me too:

For years the signs at railway stations have warned us that steps "may be" (that is are permitted to be) slippery when wet. Finally, this ungrammatical phrase is now correct. To avoid slips on the newly refurbished Macarthur station, carpets are being laid as a safety measure. Perhaps State Rail should have warned the wet areas "might be" (this expresses possibility, not permission) slippery.
M. Chaldecott Lindfield

The four effects of law are to command ('You shall ...'), to forbid ('You shall not ...'), to permit ('You may ...'), and to punish (to trangress any of the preceding three is to incur the obligation to suffer the just penalty); see St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, Ia IIæ, Q. 92, a. 2.

3. The Stockholm Bloodbath: An episode in Scandinavian history of which I had not heard

I was interested to learn the following in the "on this day" section of the history page of today's Sydney Daily Telegraph (p. 39):


The execution of more than 80 Swedish nobles and clergy, who opposed their country's invasion by Christian II of Denmark, begins in Stockholm. The dissidents are accused of heresy.

Apparently that episode is known as the Stockholm Bloodbath, about which you can read more at Wikipedia's page on it.

4. The latest development/s in Australia regarding so-called gay marriage

4.1 "Mark Arbib wants Labor to back gay marriage"

4.2 "Powerbrokers call for gay marriage debate"

(See also the responses in The Australian's editorial and letters sections.)

5. Interesting books reviewed in the weekend papers

A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life's Hardest Questions
Edited by Dallas Willard
IVP Books,321pp, $27.95

[...] Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences
By Cordelia Fine
Icon Books, 338pp, $29.99

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Four Crowned Martyrs, A.D. 2010


Cardinal Pole said...

More in connection with item 4: A Herald article, entitled "Right to toe line on gay marriage", in which we learn that

"A private member's bill by the Greens to legalise gay marriage will be introduced to Parliament next week. It will fail because Labor and Coalition policies are opposed."

and an Australian article, entitled "Labor wrong to shut down debate - Bitar", which ends confusingly:

"Sports Minister Mark Arbib has said he personally supports gay marriage, as has the co-convenor of Labor's national left faction, Senator Doug Cameron.

"On the issue of giving MPs a conscience vote on the issue, Mr Bitar said this would be considered at Labor's next national conference.

"Personally, he said he was undecided about gay marriage."

Cardinal Pole said...

See also the following article in The Australian on so-called gay marriage and the Liberal Party:

"Hockey keeps Libs out of it"

Cardinal Pole said...

It seems that Mr. van Onselen (author of "Hockey keeps Libs out of it") might be mistaken:

"Lib senator backs gay marriage"