ME and Ophelia

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Bookmakers say Nigerian, Italian favoured to be pope

News online April 9 says: "Irish bookmakers are making a Nigerian and an Italian co-favorites, at 11-4 odds, to replace John Paul II as the next pope. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, 72, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and 71-year-old Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, are the leading contenders, according to Irish bookmakers Paddy Power. The bookmakers have been taking bets on the next pope for the past five years."

A Nigerian pope would be perfect to follow in the footsteps of the late great John Paul II. There have been three African popes before, but that was a very long time ago.

Today is sunny, bright and beautiful here by the seaside. But too cold for Ophelia to go out. Watched the Pope's funeral on TV yesterday. Bill writes a great post on his thoughts. The 200 world leaders gathered together at the funeral looked like an insignificant motley crew cut down to size by the grace of the Vatican. I too hoped they would think the thoughts that Bill writes of.

Freiheit und Wissen has a Caption Contest on this photo taken at the funeral. Notice Kofi Annan laughing. Over the past few months, Dr Rice was instrumental with British FM Jack Straw in getting the US and France out of a sticky corner on France's draft UN resolution to refer Sudan to the International Criminal Court. Britain saved the day by taking over the resolution. Conveniently, President Bush has his eyes closed at Chirac's greeting. Sudan was referred to the World's court. Chirac should have kissed the hands of Jack Straw and Tony Blair :)


Today, we have The Wedding to watch on TV. Good luck to them I say. The world can't have enough love. But Diana will be rolling in her grave. You have to wonder, when the happy couple are snuggled together like an old pair of slippers ... in their ancient castle ... in the pitch dark ... wind whistling....if they think they can hear her haunting them. OooooHeh.
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The Royal Wedding

UPDATE: They both looked great. The two services, music and super tasteful floral arrangements (mainly romantic looking trees and greenery made to look like trees) were exquisite. Family and guests were upbeat and happy, including the Queen who looked super elegant and cuddly. The bride and groom's outfits (and William and Harry's) for the Registry and Windsor Castle Church blessing were simply perfect.

Outside Windsor Registry Office there had been more than a few unkind boos. The band played louder to drown it out. Guest Royals were trucked by two white mini-coaches which worked out well. Camilla's ring is the hugest rock of a diamond one has seen in a long time. Did not see her throwing her posy to anyone. After the church blessing they stood momentarily on the steps for a historic photo to be taken with the Queen and walked up to the waiting crowds at Windsor where they received a warm reception.

All in all a great day they can be proud of. No doubt they will all have a great fun party tonight with champagne flowing. Charles and Camilla sent a signed greetings card and bottle of champers to the couple who were set to marry at the Registry (in a different room though) not long after the Royals.

Apart from Camilla's and the Queen's, the best outfit was worn by one of my favourite actresses, Joanna Lumley. There were some great hats. Tara P-T looked stunning like she had stepped off a catwalk. Camilla's ex and two children were there. Fergie wasn't there but her ex and their two girls were. Princess Anne was there with her two children but I couldn't see her husband, looks like she arrived alone. TV news camera crew outside Windsor church did not do a great job. It was disappointing to watch inside interviewers analysing things while we saw only a small fraction of the 750 guests.

The new in-laws look a lot more easy going and fun than the Spencers. One person in the crowd held up a banner wishing "Chaz + Millie" all the best. The bride and groom are not attending the party. They are flying to Aberdeen for a two week honeymoon at a house bequethed to Charles by his grandmother.

[Photo via Mark Holland at Blognor Regis]
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Courtesy New York Times April 9, 2005

"We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father." - CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER

My understanding is that Cardinal Ratzinger was Pope John Paul II's right hand man, his confidante and aide for written papers. He was the closest person to the Pope for some 20 years, right up until the Pope's death. According to Wikepedia:

The Pope's last message to pilgrims was read out: "Love converts hearts and gives peace," it said. His final hours were marked by an overwhelming number of younger people who kept vigil outside his Vatican apartments. In his last message, specifically to the youth of the world, he said: "I came to you, now it's you who have come to me. I thank you." According to Father Jarek Cielecki, the Pope's last word before death was "Amen"; then he closed his eyes.

Further reading at The Pope Blog: Conclave Edition.
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No Water, No Life

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, posted the following at about an amazing Japanese website:

I've come across this amazing website that is almost entirely worldess: it just leads you through a pristine wilderness and shows you, through deft animation, just how pervasive and beautiful and basic water is. Oddly, the site is from a Japanese tobacco and beverage company, but I'm willing to forgive. The site, I think, makes some of the points I made in my book "Troubled Water," only with a kind of visual poetry. Try it out. Click around, click the rectangles, and click inside the scenes. You'll find some meditative beauty there: No Water, No Life presented by JT Beverage World.
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Techie Musings blog

Techie Musings post on how to attract traffic to your website.
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Saddam 'upset' at Kurd's election

Saddam Hussein watched the televised election of Iraq's new president from his jail cell yesterday and was "clearly upset", a senior official said. Full Story at Guardian April 7, 2005.
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Koran scholar: US will cease to exist in 2007

March 29, 2005 Jerusalem Post report excerpt:

"A thorough analysis of the Koran reveals that the US will cease to exist in the year 2007, according to research published by Palestinian scholar Ziad Silwadi.

The study, which has caught the attention of millions of Muslims worldwide, is based on in-depth interpretations of various verses in the Koran. It predicts that the US will be hit by a tsunami larger than that which recently struck southeast Asia."

[via Blogdial]
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Are You Qualified to Stand for Peace?

The following was posted on March 18, 2003, by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

This test is for your consideration. If you can pass it you are eligible to join the peace movement. This test consists of one multiple-choice question (so you better get it right!) Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:

China 1945-46

Korea 1950-53

China 1950-53

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-60

Guatemala 1960

Congo 1964

Peru 1965

Laos 1964-73

Vietnam 1961-73

Cambodia 1969-70

Guatemala 1967-69

Grenada 1983

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1980s

Nicaragua 1980s

Panama 1989

Iraq 1991-99

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia 1999

In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result?

Choose one of the following:

(a) 0

(b) zero

(c) none

(d) not a one

(e) a whole number between -1 and +1

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 4/09/2005
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