Our Times: August 2005

 
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60 Years Ago In Signs

Sixty years ago, with the war in the Pacific over, delegates of many nations were meetin g in San Francisco to establish the United Nations Organisation (UNO). IN the wake of war, freedom was high on the agenda. SIGNS OF THE TIMES of August 20, 1945, included part of a petition sent to the new UNO that sought to include religious liberty as on eof the freedoms that would be part of its founding priciples.

One of the cheirf contributions whch can be made in bringing war to an end is completly free religion in its profrssion, its practice, its prorogration. Freedom of worship is not enough. What is required is complete freedom of all religion in all its phases.”

SIGNS continues to defend religious libarty and personal freedom, as it has done for its 120 years of publicatio, highlighted again in Mark Kellerner’s take on a presentation on the topic made by former US First Lad, Hillary Clinton.

End-of-the-world Pope Prophecy

Internet doomsayers eyeing a 12th-century Catholic prophecy believe that judgment is nigh. The prophecy, dismissed by scholars as a hoax, is attributed to St Malachy, an Irish archbishop recognised by members of the church for his alleged ability to read the future. Believers claim that Pope Benedict XVI fits the description of the second-to-last pope listed in the prophecy before the last judgment, when the Bible says God separates the wicked from the righteous at the end of time.

Playing God

A football club boss has commissioned a version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, with himself as Christ. The owner of Steaua Bucharest will be surrounded by his manager and 11 favourite players as the 12 apostles. The same owner once promised to build a new church in Romania for every round of the UEFA Cup his side reached.

Global Warming

Scientists claim to have found conclusive evidence that humans are warming the earth. Using realistic computer models analysing data from the oceans, they’ve found evidence that the earth is absorbing more energy from the sun than it is giving back into space.

Smart Washer

A Spanish designer has come up with a washing machine called “Your Turn,” which will not let the same person use it twice in a row. It uses fingerprint recognition technology to ensure the job of loading is not dumped on just one individual.

Pollutant Affects Sex Chromosome

A team of scientists from Sweden claim that an environmental pollutant from industry and agriculture can change the ratio of sperm-carrying male and female chromosomes. Researchers found exposure to two persistent organochlorine pollutants DDE and CB-153—from eating fatty fish, such as salmon—increases the Y-chromosome-carrying sperm.

New State Icons

A rock, a tree and a snack have been declared state icons of South Australia. Every year, the state’s National Trust adds to its heritbage icon list, and the 2005 effort includes bluestone, Kangaroo Island’s mulberry tree and the snack, Menz FruChocs.

Marriage Card

Divorce, remarriage and children born out of wedlock are now so common in Britain that one greeting card retailer is tapping into the lucrative market with new card messages such as: “For Mummy and Daddy on your wedding day.”

Hugging T-Shirt

Italian designers have developed a hugging T-shirt for people in long-distance relationships. Based on information transmitted by mobile phone, the T-shirt simulates the missing partner’s breath, touch and heartbeat. The hug is transmitted via sensors installed in the upper arms, back, hips and shoulders of the T-shirt, which recreate the physical pressure of a hug by inflating and deflating.