Canadian Anglicans approach extinction. Is that a promise?

Is there anybody out there?

The Anglican Church in Canada – once as powerful in the nation’s secular life as it was in its soul – may be only a generation away from extinction, says a just-published assessment of the church’s future.

The report…calls Canada a post-Christian society in which Anglicanism is declining faster than any other denomination. It says the church has been “moved to the far margins of public life…”

The report repeats, without qualification or question, the results of a controversial study presented to Anglican bishops five years ago that said that at the present rate of decline – a loss of 13,000 members per year – only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061…

Regular attendance is declining at all Canadian Christian churches, except for the Roman Catholic Church, whose small increase is attributed to immigration…

“The status quo is not an option,” the report says. With a preponderance of Anglicans being 60 or older, the church is “one generation away from extinction,” it says.

Do you think we could borrow some of whatever you’re doing up there – and spread it around the lower 48? It would a positive step forward to see the United States become a “post-Christian” society.

Low IQ among strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease — Second only to cigarette smoking

While lower intelligence scores — as reflected by low results on written or oral tests of IQ — have been associated with a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, no study has so far compared the relative strength of this association with other established risk factors such as obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

Now, a large study funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council, which set out to gauge the relative importance of IQ alongside other risk factors, has found that lower intelligence scores were associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and total mortality at a greater level of magnitude than found with any other risk factor except smoking…

When the data were applied to a statistical model to quantify the associations of nine risk factors with cardiovascular mortality, results showed that the most important was cigarette smoking, followed by low IQ. Similar results were apparent when the health outcome was total mortality.

I wonder if inclusion of firearms worship could determine the eventual date of the Darwinian disappearance of the Republican Party?

How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?

I think constricting anus 100 times and denting navel 100 times in succession everyday is effective to good-bye depression and take back youth. You can do so at a boring meeting or in a subway. I have known 70-year-old man who has practiced it for 20 years. As a result, he has good complexion and has grown 20 years younger. His eyes sparkle. He is full of vigor, happiness and joy. He has neither complained nor born a grudge under any circumstance. Furthermore, he can make love three times in succession without drawing out.

In addition, he also can have burned a strong beautiful fire within his abdomen. It can burn out the dirty stickiness of his body, release his immaterial fiber or third attention which has been confined to his stickiness. Then, he can shoot out his immaterial fiber or third attention to an object, concentrate on it and attain happy lucky feeling through the success of concentration.

If you don’t know concentration which gives you peculiar pleasure, your life looks like a hell.

The above is the author’s description of his book – posted at

And, uh, if you have the time, read some of the customers’ reviews.

Thanks, Cinaedh [I think]

Do you know the risks of eating farm-raised reptiles?

Reptiles are bred in captivity primarily for their skins, but some restaurants and population groups also want them for their meat. A study shows that eating these animals can have side effects that call into question the wisdom of eating this ‘delicacy.’

Parasites, bacteria and viruses, and to a lesser extent contamination from heavy metals and residues of veterinary drugs– eating reptile meat can cause several problems to health. This is the conclusion of a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, which shows that people can catch certain diseases (trichinosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis) by eating the meat of reptiles such as crocodiles, turtles, lizards or snakes.

“The clearest microbiological risk comes from the possible presence of pathogenic bacteria, especially Salmonella, and also Shigella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterolitica, Campylobacter, Clostridium and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause illnesses of varying degrees of severity,” Simone Magnino, lead author of the study and a researcher for the World Health Organization (WHO), said…

The experts advise people to freeze the meat, just as they would with other foods from animal sources, since this deactivates parasites. Industrial processing and proper cooking (not leaving the meat raw) can also kill off pathogens.

Actually, I used to eat alligator once in a while when I lived in Louisiana. That probably met the sort of food safety standards you would expect from politicians who drink Pearl beer.

As for the rest of you, I hope you take this article to heart and restrain your reptile consumption to organic and free-range critters.

British Court forces release of documents confirming U.S. torture

Seven years captivity – released without charges
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The British government has failed in a legal challenge to keep secret U.S. intelligence material relating to allegations of “cruel and inhuman” treatment involving the CIA.

London’s Court of Appeal rejected a request by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to prevent senior judges from disclosing seven paragraphs of information relating to the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed…

Mohamed, an Ethiopian national and British resident, was arrested in Pakistan in April 2002.

He says he was then flown to Morocco on a CIA plane and held for 18 months, during which he says he was repeatedly tortured, including having his penis cut with a knife. Morocco has denied holding him.

He was transferred to Afghanistan in 2004 and later moved to Guantanamo Bay, U.S. authorities have said. He was never charged and returned to Britain in February 2009…

Judges later said the United States had threatened to end intelligence cooperation if the evidence of alleged torture was released.

But last October, two High Court judges ruled there was “an overwhelming public interest” in releasing the details, a decision upheld by the Appeal Court on Wednesday…The seven redacted paragraphs refer to interviews conducted by U.S. officials in which it was reported that Mohamed was shackled and subjected to sleep deprivation, threats and inducements.

“Although it is not necessary for us to categorize the treatment reported, it could be readily contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities,” the now public judgment said.

Think our freedom-loving Supreme Court would have allowed such a decision? Or Congress? Or President Obama?

Mediocre crook – terrific jailhouse lawyer

Shon R. Hopwood was not a particularly sophisticated bank robber. “We would walk into a bank with firearms, tell people to get down, take the money and run,” he said the other day, recalling five robberies in rural Nebraska in 1997 and 1998 that yielded some $200,000 and more than a decade in federal prison.

Mr. Hopwood spent much of that time in the prison law library, and it turned out he was better at understanding the law than breaking it. He transformed himself into something rare at the top levels of the American bar, and unheard of behind bars: an accomplished Supreme Court practitioner.

He prepared his first petition for certiorari — a request that the Supreme Court hear a case — for a fellow inmate on a prison typewriter in 2002. Since Mr. Hopwood was not a lawyer, the only name on the brief was that of the other prisoner, John Fellers.

The court received 7,209 petitions that year from prisoners and others too poor to pay the filing fee, and it agreed to hear just eight of them. One was Fellers v. United States.

It was probably one of the best cert. petitions I have ever read,” said Seth P. Waxman, a former United States solicitor general who has argued more than 50 cases in the Supreme Court. “It was just terrific.”

Mr. Waxman agreed to take the case on without payment. But he had one condition.

“I will represent you,” Mr. Waxman recalled telling Mr. Fellers, “if we can get this guy Shon Hopwood involved…”

The former solicitor general showed the bank robber drafts of his briefs. The two men consulted about how to frame the arguments, discussed strategy and tried to anticipate questions from the justices…

In January 2004, Mr. Waxman called Mr. Hopwood at the federal prison in Pekin, Ill. They had won a 9-to-0 victory.

RTFA. The dude is out of the slammer, now. Working for a printer of Supreme Court briefs. Getting ready to go to law school.

The bestselling author no one in Britain knows

Until the end of last week, I had no idea I was one of the bestselling authors in Europe in 2009, let alone the bestselling UK author. It came as a real, pleasant shock. After years in the career doldrums, I’m still getting used to the novelty of seeing the word “bestseller” next to my name.

I had known that my crime series about Dr David Hunter, an emotionally damaged forensic anthropologist, was doing well. The books have been translated into 27 languages, and appeared on bestseller charts in several of those countries. In the last 12 months, I’ve done interviews and readings in the Netherlands and Sweden, and been forced to turn down almost as many invitations again.

But the biggest surprise has been with Germany. Over there, the books have sold in their millions. I had no idea of the scale of things until I went over last year to give readings. These are normally sedate affairs where empty chairs outnumber the audience. So I was unprepared to find myself – Simon Beckett, a British author who doesn’t speak German – selling out several-hundred-seat venues in Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf…

German journalists often ask if I’m recognised in my home city of Sheffield. Well, no: not that I’d want to be. A few days before I heard the news about the European ranking I was at a funeral, along with people I’d not seen for a few years. “Still writing?” one of them asked. “Managing to keep your head above water?”

I said I was. Which is as it should be. I didn’t exactly become a writer to be a celebrity.

Good luck, Simon. I’ve stuffed a couple of your books into my Wish List to add to my next Amazon order. Looking forward to checking out your writing.

My regular readers know what my question will be: Owls or Blades?