I have noticed that many Irish Catholics bless themselves when in proximity to, or otherwise pass a church. I conjecture it is down to one of two effect, but I cannot tell which it might be through casual observation alone:
- There exists a spiritual inverse-square law. Every time you halve your distance to the church, your blessing becomes four times more effective.
- There is a religious Oberth effect. Put simply, your prayer will have a proportionally greater effect if you are in motion perpendicular to the church and at the point of the closest approach, than if you are at rest, or moving away.
I therefore propose two series of experiments:
- A test for a spiritual inverse square law. We find some devout Catholics, and have them bless themselves at regular and decreasing distances to the church. We can then measure how blessed they feel immediately thereafter, and determine if such a spiritual law exists.
- More exciting from the viewpoint of laypeople who enjoy kinetically high-energy events, we perform blessings at delineated and ever-increasing speeds perpendicular to the designated chapel, and then measure feelings of blessedness, to see if a “religious gravity assist” exists.
I will require a devout Catholic, a ruler, a car, a clipboard, and a denominationally-neutral assistant to record findings. Light refreshments will be provided at the conclusion of the experiments.
I’m using a fire, among the oldest of human technologies (say a good half million years?) while I upload files to my wife’s website using the Internet, one of our most recent (20 years).
Help me give my shy friend unwanted attention by listening to this and/or favouriting them:
If you feel that your manhood is already dead, call us
In my mind’s eye I’m reading this spam message to an acoustic backdrop courtesy of [[Godspeed You! Black Emperor]]. Maybe Providence. The preacher man says that it’s the end of time. Outside, the day’s bleak. Dirty clouds sail overhead, scurrying away inland ahead of a bitter wet wind coming in off the sea.
Here you are. Motionless. Downbeat. Gazing at the horizon. Looking into your soul. Shivering. Not from the cold. Phone in your hand. Lifeline. A noise. Something between a sob and a laugh escapes your numb lips as you raise the phone to your ear. You dally. Check the number again. Pointless. You watch gulls wheel and cry. Wonder what it’d be like to soar on that wind.
No more navel-gazing. You hit dial. Hear the tones. The click. The ring.
Well? a tinny voice asks.
My manhood is dead, you answer.
Fade to black.
Khendros: Your pirate facade presents an eerie resemblence to George Clooney
Mark: Arr, boobies!
Khendros: Ninjas rule, sir
Mark: Do you know why ninja hide in the shadows? They heard there were pirates about.
Khendros: Know why pirates always wear eye patches? Because Ninjas keep stealing their fucking eyes
Mark: You know why ninja wear black? It’s to hide the piss stains.
Khendros: Pirates wear red to hide their periods… little girly men, they are
Mark: You know why ninja wear masks? It’s so you won’t see their green faces when pirates get the booty. Again.
Khendros: They gay booty
Khendros: All them seamen out there on their boats
Mark: Two words: Jack Sparrow.
Khendros: Who never once had sex with anyone the entire movie
Khendros: …or all three, for that matter
Mark: Jack Sparrow already had sex with everyone. True fact.
Khendros: No, you’re thinking of Keith Richards
Khendros: Easy to confuse them
Mark: Well they’re both pirates
Mark: It’s understandable
And there I am in Sri lanka, formerly Ceylon, at 3 am, looking for brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn’t go on stage that night. Jeff Beck pops his head round the door and mentions there’s a little sweet shop on the edge of town. We go, and it’s closed. There’s me and Keith Moon and David Crosby breaking into this little sweet shop, right? Instead of a guard dog, they’ve got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that’s a different story altogether….I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really, but sure enough, I got the M&Ms, and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.