Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Miscellany - Odds, Ends and Personals

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'If you undo the institution of marriage by redefining it for the latest movement or the latest fad, you will open the Pandora's box.”

- Liberal Senate leader Eric Abetz, 
commenting on gay marriage last week

Senator Abetz’s comment had me wondering about Pandora. We generally know that Pandora had something to do with gods and goddesses, that he opened a box and released the troubles of the world. I’m not sure that one can equate that to gay marriage.

In Greek mythology Pandora was the first human woman created by the gods, in some versions as punishment for Prometheus stealing fire and giving it to humans. She was given great beauty by the gods but was also seductive and evil. According to the myth, a curious Pandora opened a jar (in modern accounts mistranslated as "Pandora's box") releasing all the evils of humanity leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. It is not sure whether Hope remaining in the jar was good (ie to counter the ills released) or bad (ie that Hope was denied humans).

The story of Pandora and the Biblical story of Eve have striking similarities, leading to conjecture as a to a common ancestry or influence. It has also been suggested that the telling of the tales may have deliberately may them closer in content and symbolism.

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Sent to me by Thomas:

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Not sent by Thomas:

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It's that time of the year again, watching the Tour de France every night for 3 weeks.  The second stage, from Utrecht to Zeland in Holland has just finished.

Utrecht was where my father was born, Zeland is what gave New Zealand its name.  Dutch cartographers named the country Nova Zeelandia in 1645, Captain Cook later anglicised it.

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Saw a story on weekend television about a young woman born without arms who has managed to achieve amazing feats despite her disability.  Her name is Jessica Cox and she is now 32.

Jessica stopped using prostehetic arms when she was 14.  She now drives a car, holds a pilot's licence, has two taekwondo black belts and plays the piano. Jessica also types 25 words per minute and is a licensed scuba diver.

She is also incredibly cheerful, optimistic and inspirational.

Her book - "Disarm Your Limits" - is out now.

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