idle banter

Friday, July 29, 2005

She, Robot


BBC News reports that Japanese scientists have unveiled their most authentic-looking android yet (read the article here). Her name is Repliee Q1. She is the one without the glasses.

Apparently, she appears so realistic that her creators are convinced she could pass for a human, at least for a short time. I presume that means until someone offers to buy her a drink. Or asks her name, for that matter.

One criticism of the article though; never quote the Mr. Japanese scientist word for word.

“Repliee Q1 can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It’s very satisfying, although we obviously have a long way to go yet.”

Tee hee.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

climbing


there are various ways to climb a mountain, but today I discovered the funest!

we climbed from strandfontein, on the Cape West coast (sea level) to 1150 metres above sea level, in 4x4's. spectacular scenery, very challenging driving, all-round amazing day!

have any of you done the boegoeberg 4x4 route?

i recommend it. more photos when i get back to jhb...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Felix Felicis


The Springboks beat Australia at Ellis Park yesterday. Although our concentration slipped a bit at the tail end of the match, allowing Australia to claw back 2 tries, we dominated for the majority of the game and I believe the best team on the day won. (Read more at keo.co.za).

So what motivated this miraculous turnaround from last week's diabolical drubbing in Oz? Was it a homeground advantage? Perhaps. Was there a degree of desperation to the Boks performance, a sort of do or die attitude? Yes, there was. But that was not it. I don't think the changes Jake White made to the team made all the difference either (credit though to Steenkamp, and moving de Villiers to No. 12 was a revelation). I don't think the Aussies played particularly badly either. They defended like champions.

I believe it came down to a tasty concoction of psychological factors. Two in particular. Number one, we last fell to the Aussies at Ellis Park forty years ago. But there was something else at play - that Madiba Magic we all love so much. The sheer presence of the man instils such confidence that I'm almost convinced our guys believed there was simply no way they were going to lose. No matter what.

I have just read JK Rowling's sixth instalment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. One of the chapters, titled Felix Felicis, tells the story of a magical potion that affords the drinker 24 hours of perfectly good luck. When Harry's best mate, Ron, experiences nerves before a big Quidditch match, Harry offers to give him some of the potion. Naturally, Ron excels in the match, saving every crucial goal, only to discover that Harry had tricked him and that he had performed on his own steam all along.

My point is, it's amazing what self belief can do. Our Boks excelled, I'm convinced, because they believed there was simply NO WAY they could possibly lose. Sheesh, a packed Ellis Park, Madiba in the stands, Clair Johnson singing Nkosi' Sikelele... who could lose???

Rina Stander said if you have a stirring about something that needs to be done and you are not doing it, you are commiting a sin against humanity. This may sound pretty harsh, but step back and ask yourself; What would I achieve if I knew I couldn't fail? What fears are keeping you from living your dreams?

Take a look at a typical day in your life: are your activites motivated by fear (fear of failure, fear of being disliked, not fitting in, fear of dying, fear of having no money...) or are you motivated by your biggest dreams, passions and ambitions?

I know which I am driven by, and I need to change...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Is everything relative?

One of the great philosophical/existential questions of all time is "If a man is standing in a forest all alone and screams, with absolutely no-one around, did he really scream?

But don't get confused, this is not the same as a married man asking "If a man is all alone in a forest, is he still wrong?" back to the point ...

Relativism. It's a bitch. It's all around us. It calls everything we believe into question. How can we REALLY know that God exists? How do we REALLY know when God is speaking to us?

A bit of history - the relativism argument has not been around all that long. In what is known as the modern (1500 - 1900) and pre-modern (pre-1500) periods science and the church ruled as authorities on truth.
The pre-modern argument when the church ruled was that God was God and there was not alternative Truth. In the modern times when science ruled, scientific reason was the authority as proven through scientific enquiry.

Now, in our post-modern times, reason and our free-thinking is the authority (also known as humanism). I've struggled with relativism most of my post-teen thinking life, and have now learnt not to give it too much room, but to rather learn what faith means in the face of very good arguments against the Truth I follow (Jesus).

This is my take on things, what is yours? (Sheesh, now wasn't that a relativist question?)

You can rely on Defy


Wendy and I have finally invested in a dishwasher. It's a Defy.

I am particularly excited about this new development. Reason is, I loathe washing dishes. I will happily assist with domestic responsiblities around the house, cook every night, hang washing, mow the lawn, take out the trash, you name it. Even change the dodgiest of Ethan's nappies. But I hate washing dishes. I don't know what it is - but I am quite comfortable letting dishes pile up in the scullery.

However, Wendy is quite different. She can't sit still until the dishes are all on the drying rack. If we have people over and they leave late, we clean the dishes before climbing into bed. She can't understand how I can live with a mountainous fungi-enticing collection of crusty dishes in the sink, and I can't fathom why she can't wait 'til the end of Everybody Loves Raymond before taking up the dastardly task. To her credit, there's nothing worse than waking up to dirty dishes in the morning, so I guess I always appreciate her insistence, 'cos it means we start each day with a (literally) clean slate.

Problem is, this dish thing has caused some arguments. In fact, dishes have probably contributed to more unpleasant fights than any other subject in our marriage. Thing is, Wendy asks me to compromise and perform a simple domestic task and I refuse simply because I don't feel like it.

Well, not anymore. Defy to the rescue. I look forward to endless evenings of dishless pleasure.

Now all we have to decide is who will pack and unpack it...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Darkness

Jo'burg has experienced a number of lngthy power failures over the last few weeks, culminating in a really big one hitting the Northern suburbs early this afternoon.

It's funny how we react to power failures, especially when they occur during your favourite sitcom.

Does any of this sound familiar? The man scurries off to do his manly duty and recover the candles. The woman takes responsibility for protecting the child and puppies from the opressive blanket of darkness. Man returns, swearing profusely because "the damn council" is stuffing up his evening viewing again, candles and matchbox in tow. Man opens matchbox, swears again because box is full of already burnt matches, scratches through draw to find lighter, finds lighter, lighter flint is bust because no-one in the family smokes and it's never been used. Man swears once more.

Kid is crying, wife is irritated, pups are whining. Family eventually resigns itself to an early night.

Why is it that silence and darkness are so intimidating? Have we become unable to relax without the TV, phone, computer, internet, microwave, kettle... We are so dependent on noise that we rely on it for solace.

Odd world this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Times, they are a changing

Rhema Choles here,

The Northfield Elders and ministers are retreating this weekend @ Good Shepherd Retreat Centre @ Harties to consider, pray, listen and discern on some important decisions.

I would like to encourage those who read idle banter to pray for them.

One decision they are considering affects the services @ Northfield. They elders have taken note of how late the 19h30 Show finishes as well as some logistical issues between 19h30 and 17h30. so the idea is to move 17h30into the new chapel (with it's 140 capacity, this should be no problem) and then move 19h30 to a 18h30 service.

I'm really game for this as it makes having coffee and soup @ The Crossing much more relaxing without having to worry about getting my beauty sleep.

What say you?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Campus radio rocks

Are you like me? Does 94.7 get on your nerves because they overplay commercial hits? Does 5FM tick you off with their dodgy hip hop / dance slant? Does Jacaranda frustrate you because it has brief moments of glory surrounded by a mass of slush? Have you listened to all your CD's a hundred times each on the way to work and back...

IS THERE ANYTHING DECENT ON THE RADIO!???

Well, if you are like me, you'll be pleased to know that there is still hope for the airwaves. Tuks FM (107.2 FM), Pretoria University's campus radio station is a wonderful alternative to the big guns, who are very tightly watched in terms of playlists, and are slaves to advertisers and management.

Ok, it's not perfect, but they play what they want to , and if you enjoy good local music and great rock/alternative classics (when last did you hear Numb by U2, or Last Kiss by Pearl Jam, or Lightning Crashes by Live?), you might just find this is the radio station for you.

Plus you'll be supporting young talent.

Use it, don't use it.

The Blog Charter

With apologies to Graeme Codrington and the gang at TomorrowToday.biz, I simply had to share this with you...

"We, the People of Idle Banter, declare for all our community and the world to know:

that this blog belongs to all who contribute to it, and that no authority can justly claim control or influence unless it is based on the will of all the people/bloggers;

that our blog will never be prosperous or free until all our bloggers blog in bloggerhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;

that only a democratic blog, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief;

And therefore, we, the people of this blog, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Charter;

And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the blogger’s blog is blogged."


This fantastic adaptation of our own Freedom Charter was invented in response to a fascinating discussion around blogging on the TomorrowToday.biz website.

To see the original discussions, check out Conversation vs. Information and Our Need to Contain, Control and Understand.

Bribery and Corruption

I work in sales. Actually, I guess most of us work in sales, to some degree or another. Even when we’re not aware of it, we’re selling ourselves to our companies, our colleagues and of course, our customers.

In today’s world it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate oneself from the competition (whoever that may be). It is rare to find organisations in any industry with any semblance of a monopoly, and generally we sell the same products, at similar prices, to the same customers, in similar ways.


So how do you differentiate yourself? It’s no longer an issue of what you sell or how you sell it, but rather WHO YOU ARE. And to sell yourself, you need to build relationships.

One of the ways we build relationships in our company is to take significant customers to big rugby matches. This makes the customer feel valued and gives us an opportunity to build on relationships and hopefully enjoy some spin offs. Another way is treating a customer to lunch, or a round of golf. At the end of the year we send out parcels with gifts and gadgets printed with our logo. All in the name of bolstering relationships.

My question for you is, where does one draw the line between building relationships and bribing people? Is it ok to invite a customer who doesn’t currently do any business with you to lunch? Is that not perceived as corrupt? Isn’t it manipulation?

Your thoughts…

My X-Files moment

I am trying to sell my Audi. After having limited success via the Autotrader I decided to drive up and down North Rand Rd last Sunday in an attempt to find someone, anyone who would be willing to take the car off my hands at a reasonable price.

The first surprise is that very few pre-owned car dealerships are open on Sundays (considering how busy that road is). I tried 5 places before being successful. The first place I found open was The Car King – a nice joint owned by three young guys, who have clearly done well for themselves through some hard graft.

I spoke to one of them who said he didn’t buy second hand cars for cash but would be happy to put the car on the floor on a consignment basis, paying me my required amount and taking any excess profit for the dealership. Sounded like a good deal, so I took the consignment agreement home to read over it and get back to them.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I’m on the road back from Bloemfontein when I call the manager to arrange to have Wendy drop the car off that evening. He says ok, I say thanks, and put the phone down.

Not an hour later the phone rings, I pick up, and:

“Hi Mike?”

“Yes…”

“This is Melanie. Is the Audi A4 still available?”

“Yes it is”, I reply thinking that I’m happy to sell it either which way…

“Well I’m phoning from a car dealership. We saw your ad in the Autotrader and would like to put the car on our floor”, Melanie explains, “you are guaranteed your required amount, we only expect the difference.”

“Where are you based?” I ask, thinking I should keep my options open.

“North Rand Rd, Boksburg”, she replies. “We’re called The Car King”.

No ways. “But I just spoke to Johan”, I explain. “I’m dropping off the car tonight, did he speak to you?”

“Nope”, she says. “I’m just paging through the Autotrader looking for good deals. You were the next on the list…”.

Ok, so you might not think it’s all that weird. But really, of all the second hand dealerships IN THE COUNTRY, what are the chances of the one I happen to pick, phoning me to ask for it, by coincidence!? And on the same day, not even an hour later than my original call!?

Our hypocricy exposed again

Last week the world gasped as bombs ripped through one of the trendiest cities in the world. 52 people died, sadly. A horrible act of error.
This week two tribes in Kenya massacred each other, 76 dead in two days of mayhem. This happened on Monday, today I searched all the main online news services and couldn't find even a mention of the bloddshed. The headlines are still full of the London bombings.

Ten years ago, 2000 muslims were killed in Bosnia, systematically murdered by the cruel Milosovic regime. The world reacted, sent their bombers, their carriers, the diplomats, their special forces, their propoganda machines, their missiles... and saved the muslims, arrested the culprits.
At the same time, 950 000 africans were butchered in Rwanda's conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis. The world acted a year after the fact.

Interesting how we value human life... Don't we do that in our own lives? Don't we consider crime in the suburbs as more newsworthy than crime in the townships? A poor black woman being raped less serious than a wealthy white woman raped?

How did this happen?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Calling all the ladies...

We could really use some female input on the blog. It is far too male-dominated, IMHO, right now...

I have specifically chosen a dodgy picture so as not to discriminate (referring to Herc's previous post on beauty).


However, beautiful girls are most welcome.

Who decides?


Am I beautiful?

Who decides whether this dude is beautiful or not? Why are certain qualities more attractive than others?

If I were to be left alone on a deserted island from the day of birth for a period of 30 years and this is the 1st human I see, would I be attracted to him. What would have defined 1) my sexual orientation and 2) preferences (tastes)?

The whole 'Shallow Hal' experience awakened some of this in me. If you haven't seen the movie, do yourself a favour. There are some real profound thoughts evoked while watching Hal make a fool of himself.

Springboks suffer under weight of quotas


Our national teams should not be disadvantaged through the horrible process of 'quotas'. This is such an insult to emerging black players. It also puts pressure on our selectors and coaches which disadvantages us against opposition who are free to pick their best.

Can someone explain the principle to me. I don't mean the old argument of 'it is to engineer a form of justice, because of the past, yada yada'. I mean, why are we doing things this way? Why do we not rather invest our resources in schools, facilities, creating equal opportunities etc. The quotas give us a false sense of achievement in both the sporting and upliftment disciplines.

It is surprising to me how many of our young black rugby players come from private schools and not from townships. Are we really achieving our social justice if millions are still forgotten in the townships? Previously disadvantaged are not found at KES or Boys High.

Are there ANY absolutes?

I found this picture of Dube on the web.

PS. thats for telling me that I slip out of arguments by crying 'peripheral'.

Any way, I need to ask y'all sumfing... Are there any fundamental truths that we hold which are not subject to post-modern relativism? Can you guys please let me know if there is anything that you absolutely believe in and will not have an open mind on? As Christians, what is not 'up for discussion'?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Idols


I found this pic on the net. It was taken at an Idols III audition. On the site that I found it, someone made the following comment about the pic:

"i think that you certainly need to have God with you, to go through an experience like idols! i just hope it is God that he's talking to! if it is, it's a great example for every christian out there!"

Any thoughts?

Friday, July 08, 2005

from start to finish

i drove past a church the other day that advertised this slogan: "It doesn't matter how you begin... just how you end!"

i pondered for some time on the statement... do they mean that your past shouldn't keep you imprisoned? that Jesus offers freedom from fear and guilt? that Jesus can help you find a good ending to your story?

but i also wondered if they might not be referring to heaven. kind of "doesn't matter what your life's like now, but a good eternal ending is essential..."

forgive me for reading too much into the slogan (perhaps i should have been paying more attention to the traffic), but it does highlight a question that i have wrestled with: how important is the "next life" in shaping our present one? are we following Jesus to ensure a comfy spot in eternity or do we source our motivation for the faith-life in other ways/places?

is it all about good eternal endings? or does "beginning well" count?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

How can we help you?

I had an interesting... Ok - the conversation was boring. But I had one with a colleague this afternoon (what Dirk - you actually get from the blog long enough to chat? What!? Blogging is not chatting? Yes, I have an abbliction). Anyway, she was telling me about where she goes to church etc. and then she told me how she helped a lady at work with R200 petrol money. Someone she didn't even know. Now, Jenny is no spiritual giant; she's not the salt of the earth either, but I was touched. I was more humbled, challenged and inspired by her one act of generosity than all of this week's blogging. I thought of our conversations about aids and sex and Federism and what not. How are all these conversations helping us to actually go out and do the right thing? Are there people on this list that yearn for doing more for God? Giving more of themselves to glorify our Glorious Saviour. Maybe you want to, but you are scared or feel too timid or whatever. What has God laid in your heart and how can we help you?

I'm not sure that God will remember one of these postings when we get to him, but I have a hunch that Jenny bought some real kingdom real estate with her R200.

PS - Abbliction = blog addiction.

London Burning

London is burning. How are you feeling? Can you still remember 911? Are you feeling the same way?

Somehow, today's events feel just a little more personal. I have many loved ones who live and work in and around London city centre. Heck, my cousin works for the Directorate of Traffic Management! She had a nightmare of a day.

What do you think Tony Blair's response will be to the day's events?



The Da Vinci Code


Ok, so who has read it and what did you think?

I loved it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's all about sex!

Nothing is more central to who we are than our sexuality. We can chat for weeks about the merits and demerits of homosexuality and try to reduce it to something which is just another part of who we are, but we will be fooling ourselves because our sexuality rules us in way we can't even imagine...

I am sure that if I am presented with enough information about a person's sexuality, I'd be able to draw a picture of him / her. Our sexuality is the fingerprint of our existence, don't make less of it by posting (well meaning) sound bites which tells us that we're all the same, after all.

Let's talk about sex!

I am a Christian woman who has been dating a guy for some time (over a year). We love each other, deeply, but neither of us is perhaps ready to tie the Big Knot.

I would like to hear from other fellow bloggers what they feel about sex before marriage. Can anyone tell me where is the Bible does it make reference to sex before marriage?

And here's another question: What type of sex was God talking about? Sexual intercourse, i.e. the whole bang shoot, if you'll forgive the phrase? What about mutual masturbation, I think that's the official term, or 'fooling around' or 'heavy petting', the common euphemisms? What about oral sex? Is oral sex considered immoral in God's eyes ? I ask the latter question in the context of married life and non-married life.

My boyfriend and I have not slept together, but we do 'make love' and 'fool around'. Both of us want to wait until we're married, although neither of us are virgins. But it's getting to a point now where I am not wanting to do anything because I don't want to be faced with the frustration of not going to the next level.


Monday, July 04, 2005

ReverendFun.com


One of the things I like to hold onto as a Christian is the ability to laugh at ourselves (or maybe, just at myself!). So, if you'd like a daily dose of laugh-at-yourself humour, check out http://www.reverendfun.com.

marriage

i read an advert from the "Marriage Alliance of SA" today. they say that when two homosexual people, sharing a long-standing and faithful relationship, apply to have the law of the country changed to allow them to marry, that this undermines the age-old instituion of marriage.

does it? i am married (to a person of the opposite gender). i don't feel undermined at all!

actually, i think it's just another case of well-meaning people totally mistaking the true "enemy". i say well-meaning becuase they really believe in marriage and want to uphold it. i share their committment. i agree that marriage is under threat. but from where? is it under attack from same-sex couples who want or need some form of legal recognition of their relationships (and their consitutional rights)?

i think marriage is under threat from inexplicable levels of violence, miscommunication and a lack of respect in the home. for many, marriage no longer provides the security, intimacy and companionship that it could - but that's not becuase homosexuals are asking to be included. it's because good old heterosexuals haven't been able to get their acts together!

i wonder what same-sex couples might teach us about marriage?

stats suggest we could use all the help we can get!!!

The School of Federerism

Roger Federer completed his third consecutive Wimbledon Championship victory yesterday when he thrashed a rather shell-shocked Andy Roddick (rated the best player on grass in the world - has a serve that scorches the turf) in three straight sets. Read about it here.

A couple of things struck me while I was watching the match yesterday.

Firstly, for lack of a better phrase, Federer dances around the tennis court. His effortless timing, lightning reflexes and almost supernatural ability to predict his opponent's next move amount to one of the most gracefully powerful performances one is likely to have seen, or ever see, on a tennis court. Watching him play is like watching Ernie swing a driver, or AB hit a scything square cut.

Secondly, his temperament is unshakeable. That's not to say he doesn't get rattled, doesn't vloek every now again again when he makes an unforced error (of which he mayed only 12 the entire final... 12!!!) and doesn't get nervous. It's the way he powers through adversity, pulls from resources deep within and contantly re-imagines himself that strikes me. Roddick played excellent tennis himself yesterday, but was simply overshadowed by Federer's, well, perfection.

Thirdly, this guy is 23! Here's a scary thought - even I'm older than he is. And already he has achieved what only the greatest players in the history of the game (the likes of Borg and Sampras) have achieved. Where does he go from here? The history books? World domination?

And yet he seems so mature, so humble and so grateful. What can we learn from this young man who has the tennis world at his feet? He is complimentary of his opponents, shows excellent sportsmanship and very seldom challenges umpires or linespeople on their calls (not that I necessarily disagree with that particular practice).

Roger Federer, I am your fan.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Mbeki's Aids policy has us thinking

Heya!

Seeing as I complain so much about our post-modernism, leme be the first to throw an opinion at you all. SA's Aids problems can only get worse, the statistics are there for all to see, a frightening one which haunts me is that by end of next year we will have 4 500 000 Aids orphans. This figure would have been much greater if we'd started distributing ARV's when it was demanded back in 1998. A whole generation of South Africans are about to see life through the eyes of orphans, I wonder how that will change our mores and culture in years to come.

Initially, the opposition parties, NGO's and concerned citizens were saying that ARV's should be provided to pregnant mothers to ensure that they don't pass the disease onto their unborn children. Our government decided to not provide the ARV's, with the result that the disease was passed on to countless unborn children. So, instead of having 4 500 000 healthy orphans, we now have 4 500 000 dying orphans. This will drain our society as they need to be schooled, cared for and raised by the government.

We would never be able to raise 4 500 000 orphans given our precarious 3rd World status, 40% unemployment, etc. My (very chilling) theory for this is that the government realised that dead orphans cost much less than healthy orphans and therefore refused to provide ARV's to pregnant mothers. Am I dreaming up a conspiracy theory? I think not, the Government's response to ARV's and the disease in general, vindicate this theory.

In the realm of economics and social politics, where is Jesus? What would he do in instances where the death of some would actually save the lives of many more? If my theory is true, is it something that we can reconcile with our faith?

Cynthia the Fondler

Our company recently hired a new receptionist / data capturer. Her name is Cynthia. She is a lovely little old lady, full of the joys of life and always with a smile or witty word to brighten up your day.

That was the case at least, until Monday arrived. Now I'm a little scared of her. Let me explain why.

I woke up on Monday morning clogged up and feeling a bit grotty - I think I had a cold that gradually felt more and more like flu as the day wore on. Being the melodramatic attention seeking dolt that I am, I ran around the office making much noise about my aching sinuses and throbbing headache.

Before I could say "Med-Lemon" sweet old Cynthia had leapt from her seat and proceeded to prod and poke my head, neck and shoulders in a rather uncomfortable fashion. She must have sensed what I was thinking and said, "I am a ____ Master" (the blank space contained some word like Shiatsu, or Ssanyong, or Sushi, or Sharpei, or something like that). She went on to explain that she was massaging my "GB20" point to release tension and hopefully ease my pain.

I should never have asked what a "GB20" point was, because when she answered "your Gall Bladder point", my anxiety rocketed ten-fold. Fortunately my phone rang at that moment and I was subsequently released from the Shishining grip.

Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a little. But I tell the story to ask a question. I know very little about Aromatherapy, Reflexology, acupuncture and so on, and have never really spent time understanding Meridian points and energy levels. However, the masses swear by these medicinal treatments.

I know a wonderful lady who practices Reflexology and is an active Christian in the Methodist church - she claims her practice does not dabble in the spiritual aspects of Reflexology but instead concentrates on the very reel and scientifically verifiable correlations between certain areas of the human foot and the rest of the body (ever wondered what Reflexology can do for people with sore feet??).

So what do you guys think of alternative medicine? Big time no no or realistic alternative to traditional medicine?

Disappointed

Howdy Bloggers, I have been reading some of your entries and one thing makes me feel uncomfortable. Maybe you can help?

I have noticed that we have lost all sense of conviction. We don't seem to have strong opinions even. All the entries are so post-modern that it feels like we're living in this liquid grey area where all arguments are understood, nothing ever gets our blood boiling, we never take aomeone on, we never risk being bold enough. The entries are so friendly and we have so much respect for each other's opinions that it almost seem surreal to me.

Where are the days when we could stick our necks out and take a position and then let the world rip us to shreds? I long for those challenges, I miss the aruments I used to have with my brothers and friends, arguments which were intense, which would leave me feeling exhausted, empty, exhilirated and alive! Our society has become so sensitive, we're so scared of having opinions, of offending someone, of being seen as Politically Incorrect.

I was hoping that the culture of blogging would change all that as it is an anonomous forum where ideas don't have to be coloured in or reworded to fit the PC profile. How about turning blogging into one of those gut-wrenching places where our ideas, our darkness, our insensitivity is laid bare for all to see and trample on... Remember, honesty never smell like roses, so let's make this blog stink!