Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (August 30 - September 5, 2015)

A quotation of Scott Adams on 'creativity and art,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A cotton print sari being dried in the sun at Rangamatia Village of Gazipur District, Bangladesh: January 11, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (August 23 - 29, 2015)

A quotation of Schiller on 'truth and beauty,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (An artwork on a wall at Toronto East General Hospital, Canada: Oct. 20, 2014) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (August 16 - 22, 2015)

A quotation of Confucius on 'a job one loves,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A village marriage band playing its tunes in Savar of Dhaka District, Bangladesh: January 8, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

THE CATHOLIC REGISTER: A Publication of Toronto

It's the official weekly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. It provides news, features and articles on different aspects of Catholic life and the Church -- local and global. 

It's online edition is available at: The Catholic Register

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nunavut Gets Its First Mosque

A mosque under construction in  Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital city
 Photo courtesy: Toronto Star

Map of Nunavut, a Canadian territory
Map courtesy:

Nunavut's first mosque in its capital city of Iqaluit, spearheaded by Syed Asif Ali, a Muslim immigrant engineer from Pakistan, is proceeding to its completion, reports the Toronto Star.
It will be the first mosque in the entire territory of Nunavut which has a Muslim population of about 100. These immigrant Muslims, coming from different countries, migrated to Iqluit from various Canadian provinces for job purposes. In the meantime, some of these Muslims married local women and a number of local people also embraced Islam as their religion. 

As the church is an integral part of any Christian community, so is the mosque for the Muslims. This need for a place of worship is being realized today through donations from Muslims as well as non-Muslims. 

Nunavut is a Canadian 'territory' -- not a province -- with an area of 2,093,190 sq. kilometres, and, according tot he 2011 census, its population is 31,906 -- of whom, 83.6% is Inuit ('Eskimo'), 14.96% non-aboriginals, 0.44% Metis, and 0.34% the First Nations people.

In each July, the average temperature in Nunavut varies from 4 to 11 degree Celsius, and in January it goes down to -21 to -33 degree Celsius.

For more on the mosque and the Muslims in Iqaluit, please read the following:

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Monday, August 10, 2015

7th-Grade UK School Girl Gets Higher IQ Scores Than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking

Nicole Barr with her Mensa IQ score
Photo courtesy: The Daily Mirror

Twelve-year-old Nicole Barr of Harlow in the Essex county scored 162 points on the Mensa IQ test, topping famous scientists Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, reports the Daily Mirror. She, belonging to a humble migrant Roma or gypsy family, surpassed them by two points!

Expressing her pride, mother Dolly Buckland, 34, said of her daughter, "She's a hard, hard working child. She stays after school for homework club and never misses a day."

She further said, "From a young age she's been picking out mistakes in books and magazines. She's a happy, fun-loving girl who is always asking for extra homework. She's determined to finish school and go to college and university to be a paediatrician."

The average adult IQ score is 100, and 140 and up fall into the 'genius' category. 

For more, kindly read:

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (August 9 - 15, 2015)

A quotation of Ivan Turgenev on 'holiness,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (The altar at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Scarborough, Toronto: Dec. 7, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gretta Vosper: A Preacher of God Turns Into an Atheist, Wants to Remain a Pastor in the United Church of Canada

Pastor Gretta Vosper in front of her "The Legacy Wall" a few years ago
 Photo courtesy: Gretta Vosper website

Pastor Gretta Vosper in front of her church at West Hill of  Scarborough in Toronto
Photo courtesy: Canadian Press

What? A preacher of God who is a religious pastor is an atheist -- a non-believer of God and the Bible?

Yes. According to a Canadian Press report, Gretta Vosper, 57, is a female minister of the United Church of Canada at West Hill area of Scarborough, Toronto, and she has turned into an atheist and vows to fight the Church review whether she is fit to remain as a minister. 

Ordained in 1993, she became engaged in this particular church in 1997. Later she became an atheist -- a non-believer of God and the Bible.

Pastor Vosper says that the idea of an interventionist, supernatural being, on which so much church doctrine is based, belongs to an outdated world view. According to her, how you live is more important tha what you believe in.

"I don't believe in ... the god, called God. Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share," she says.

"Is the Bible really the word of God? Was Jesus a person?" she asks. Then she replies, "It's mythology. We build a faith tradition upon it, which shifted to find belief more important than how we lived."

The United Church authority is actively reviewing her case, but she is determined to remain as its pastor as before.

For more on the topic, please read the following:

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Pope Francis Reaches Out to Divorced and Remarried Catholics

Pope Francis meets with newlywed couples in an audience in the Vatican
Photo courtesy: CNS photo via The Catholic Herald, London

Pope Francis, in his August 5 general audience in the Vatican, continued his catechesis [teaching] on the family, touching on the situation of the civilly divorced and remarried Catholics, reports the Vatican Radio.

"In these decades, in truth, the Church has been neither insensitive nor lazy. Thanks to the in-depth analysis performed by Pastors, led and guided by my Predecessors, the awareness has truly grown that it is necessary to have a fraternal and attentive welcome, in love and in truth, of the baptized who have established a new relationship of cohabitation after the failure of the marital sacrament; in fact, these persons are by no means excommunicated — they are not excommunicated! — and they should absolutely not be treated as such: they are still a part of the Church," he said. 

For further news on  and analysis of this topic, please visit the following:

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6: Today Is the Hiroshima Day

U.S. atomic bomb explosions over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right) cities of Japan in 1945
Photos courtesy: Wikipedia
The New York Times reports of the Hiroshima bombing
Photo courtesy: PDX

Today, August 6, is the Hiroshima Day, observed throughout the world remembering the dead and suffering resulting from the U.S. atomic bomb explosions over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9 of 1945. On this day, people also promise not to revisit the nuclear bombing in future. 

To gain a deeper knowledge of these unfortunate past events, the reasons behind them, and their repercussions for the future, please continue reading the following:

(Updated on August 16, 2015)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

'Angshik Holeo Shotto' Is A Book of Reminiscence

The cover of the book, Angshik Holeo Shotto

David Swapan Rozario's book, Angshik Holeo Shotto (It's true, though partially), is a 228-page Bengali-language book, published in January this year. This book reminisces his childhood and adolescent experiences at Rangamatia Village of Gazipur

District, Bangladesh; his work life at the Bangladesh Biman Airlines offices in Dhaka and certain other countries; some observations on Catholic religious teachings, Christmas season, and some personalities; and his and his wife's travels to different cities of India, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Canada, and the USA.

The 37 topics, written in the popular style, make interesting reading. 

The book was published from Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (August 2 - 8, 2015)

A quotation of Kailash Satyarthi on 'childhood,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A child exploring his surroundings in Toronto: July 21, 2015) © Ujjal Peter D'Costa

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Demand Government Recognition of Their Rights

Indigenous peoples in Dhaka demanding official recognition of their constitutional rights
Photo courtesy: UCANews

More than 200 people, belonging to different indigenous groups, created a human chain in Dhaka on July 31 and demanded the government recognition of their constitutional rights. 

Braving rains, they also criticized the government for shying away from the annual official  observance of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on every August 9.

"Indigenous people are routinely abused for their property and land because the state does not recognize them as equal citizens. They are evicted from their land, face violence including murder and rape, but our law and justice system can't protect them," said Sanjeeb Drong, secretary of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, the largest one for ethnic minorities in the country.

Bangladesh, with an area of 147,570 square kilometres (smaller than the Canadian province of Ontario), has a population of about 160 million -- the majority being the Bangali Muslims. About three million people  belong to 45 indigenous or tribal groups.

For more news on this topic, please read the following:

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