Does Man Have Free Will?        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: Does Man Have Free Will?
Subtitle: Sermons From the Road
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 7/9/2017
Bible: Romans 3; 1 Corinthians 10:13
Length: 51 min. (64kbps)

Overview: This sermon examines the question - Does man have free will- Well, that depends on how you define free will. Preached at Macedonia PBC in Dalark, AR -20170709-
          Never Man Spake Like This Man        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: Never Man Spake Like This Man
Subtitle: Sermons From the Road
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 6/11/2017
Bible: John 7; Luke 16
Length: 47 min. (64kbps)

Overview: Jesus Christ was a man of whom it was said, -Never Man Spake like this man.- This sermon looks at some of the Lord's teaching in Luke 16. Preached at Macedonia PBC in Dalark, AR.
          Dual Citizenship        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: Dual Citizenship
Subtitle: Sermons From the Road
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 5/14/2017
Bible: Romans 13:1; Acts 5:29
Length: 43 min. (64kbps)

Overview: Christians have dual citizenship as they walk through this life. They are citizens of an earthly nation as well as citizens in the kingdom of God. The bible exhorts disciples to obey their civil government, but not without some qualifications, for -we must obey God rather than men.- -Preached at Macedonia PBC in Dalark, AR-.
          Faith Navigates the Gap        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: Faith Navigates the Gap
Subtitle: Sermons From the Road
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 3/12/2017
Bible: Habakkuk 2:3-4; Hebrews 11
Length: 40 min. (64kbps)

Overview: God often seems to tarry from man's perspective, yet from God's perspective his deliverance is always right on time. Faith allows us to navigate that timing gap.----Preached at Macedonia PBC in Dalark, AR.
          Set Out a Cup of Water        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: Set Out a Cup of Water
Subtitle: Sermons From the Road
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 2/12/2017
Bible: John 4; Isaiah 55
Length: 36 min. (64kbps)

Overview: It is one thing to affirm the abject depravity of man as a result of the fall -Romans 3-10-18- and quite another to assume that we know who has been touched by grace with the ears to hear and who has not based on the evidence of someone's life. A sinful life is no guarantee that someone lacks a spiritual thirst -John 4-. Perhaps we would believe that more strongly if we endeavored to set out a cup of water more often than we do. If someone is thirsty, they'll move toward it- and often those who make the move are those you would not expect.----Preached at Macedonia PBC in Dalark, AR.
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Kualifikasi Piala Dunia 2014 Dini Hari Tadi        
[Kualifikasi Piala Dunia 2014]
FT: Rusia 1-0 Portugal (Kerzhakov). Pepe dan Cristiano main 90 menit. Coentrao starter dan diganti di menit 20. 
FT: Irlandia 1-6 Jerman (Keogh 90 - Reus 32, 40, Ozil 55-p, Klose 58, Kroos 61, 83). Mesut Özil sumbang 1 gol lewat penalti. Özil main 90 menit, Khedira main 46 menit. 
FT: Macedonia 1-2 Kroasia (Ibraimi 16 - Corluka 33, Rakitic 60). Luka Modric main 84 menit. 
FT: Belarusia 0-4 Spanyol (Alba 12, Pedro 20, 69, 72). Casillas, Arbeloa & Xabi main 90 mnt. Sergio Ramos main 70 mnt lalu diganti Albiol. 
FT: Argentina 3-0 Uruguay (Messi 2x, Aguero). Higuain main 80 menit. Di Maria main 90 menit, 2 assist (utk gol pertama Messi dan gol Aguero)

[Laga Persahabatan]
Prancis 0-1 Jepang (Konno 88'). Benzema main 90 menit.

          A Biblical Fund Raising Letter        
A new MP3 sermon from Merriman Hills Baptist Church is now available on with the following details:

Title: A Biblical Fund Raising Letter
Subtitle: 2 Corinthians
Speaker: Mike Perry
Broadcaster: Merriman Hills Baptist Church
Event: Sunday - PM
Date: 1/17/2016
Bible: 2 Corinthians 8
Length: 23 min. (64kbps)

Overview: Paul uses the Macedonians as an example of the proper attitude of giving. He is encouraging the Corinthians to give to the needs of the church in Jerusalem with the right spirit.
          Geography Bits        
Geography was always a subject of disinterest for me. Except for some amount of "Australia - Flora and Fauna" and "The South West Monsoon", I don't remember much from the geography classes of school. But God has been great in working out my travel calendar and has provided a good bit of opportunity to see places. This has increased my interest in the world and the different cultures. Of late this interest has still been increased by.... a game! The Travelers IQ challenge game has been interesting and educating to me. It hasn't thought me too many new things, but has served as a refresher, a sort of catalyst that helped fill the void.

My increased inquisitiveness made me research a bit on things that have confused me for years. Here are few things I learnt in geography recently, but which had known earlier
1) Crotia is a country that came out of the erstwhile Yugoslavia. I had somehow thought that it came from USSR. Frederick Forsyth's "Avenger" helped me understand that Yugoslavia split into Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia
2) West Indies is not a country! It is an ensemble of countries like Jamaica and Barbados that play as a single cricket team
3) If someone had asked me for the countries in the Australian continent, I would have probably said Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Papa New Guinea. Well, I am not sure of New Zealand anymore. Wiki says that New Zealand belongs to a continent called Zealandia. I get a bit confused in these kinds of trivia since I studied in school that there were only 7 continents and Zealandia is not one of them.
4) There are several countries that belong to multiple continents. My ex-colleagues from Alcatel who have traveled to Turkey have told me that Turkey is transcontinental. But I got to know of few more countries like Indonesia, Russia (though we all associate it with Europe, it is actually 71% in Asia!) and Egypt. Did you know that a part of Italy, Spain and Portugal are in Africa?

          World: Dorcas: Annual Report 2016        
Source: Dorcas Aid International
Country: Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Romania, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, World

- A new story: We worked on a new story for Dorcas in 2016, with various departments and stakeholders giving their input.
- Strategic plan: We prepared for our new strategic plan (2017-2021) through a focused process of completing a SWOT analysis. The key element of the new strategic plan is to expand inclusive community development in all of our projects. In addition, we are seeking to build a Dorcas “community” in The Netherlands. During an intensive process, which included a SWOT analysis, we prepared ourselves for a new strategic plan for the period 2017 to 2021. Our plan is to develop our work further in inclusive community development. Furthermore, we are building a Dorcas community in the Netherlands.
- Influencing Policy: In 2016 we had a number of productive meetings with members of the Dutch House of Representatives. To support that we showed the film Face Down that concerns the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and which we made at the start of 2016.
- Visits to Field Project: Two groups visited Dorcas projects in 2016, one to Moldova with 23 sponsors visiting their grannies and children and the other group to Romania.
- New Dorcas shops: The Dorcas shops in the Netherlands are doing well. Four new Dorcas shops were opened in 2016. A total of 2,000 volunteers share the work to operate these shops.
- Dorcas Academy: In 2016 we prepared for establishing the Dorcas Academy, through which we will invest in our staff’s knowledge and skill level. Preparations were made in 2016 for setting up the Dorcas Academy, through which we will be investing in the knowledge and skills of our co-workers.

          Tokoh Filsafat        
makalah pendidikan
Thales ( 625 – 545 SM )
Thales dijuluki sebagai filsuf Yunani pertama. Dia adalah satu dari “ Tujuh Orang Bijak” di zamannya. Thales adalah filsuf dan ilmuan praktis. Riwayat hidup Thales tidak banyak diketahui. Keterangan tentang thales justru banyak dari Aristoteles dan Diogenes Leartius. Itulah sebabnya tahun kelahiran dan kematian Thales tidak ada kesepakatan. Yang ada hanya perkiraan. Ada yang mengatakan ia lahir tahun 640 dan meninggal 550 SM, ada yang mengatakan ia lahir tahun 625 dan meninggal tahun 545 SM.
Thales mengembangkan filsafat alam kosmologis yang mempertanyakan asal mula, sifat dasar, dan struktur komposisi alam semesta[ Asmoro akhmadi, Filsafat Umum, Jakarta : Raja Grapindo Persada, 2009. hlm 33]. Sebagai filsuf Thales dari miletus berusaha menjawab pertanyaan : apa asal usul segala sesuatu? Sebagai ilmuan, dia juga mewariskan ajaran tentang sejumlah gejala alam . Menurut pendapatnya semua yang berasal dari air sebagai materi dasar kosmis.Thales konon meramalkan gerhana matahari yang tercatat oleh Heradotus dan terjadi pada akhir perang antara bangsa Lydia dan Medes. Menurut Thales bahan dasar dari segal sesuatu adalah air itu merupakan kesimpulan setelah mengamati dominasi peran air di alam dan kehidupan manusia. Seperti kata aris toteles, Thales dari hari ke hari mengamati bahwa kabut memberi kehidupan bagi segala sesuatu. Bahkan panas itu sendiri berasal dari kelembaban. Thales juga mengamati bahwa segala macam benih mempunyai kodrat kelembabab, dan air merupakan asal dari hakekat benda-benda yang lembab. Thales mungkin dipengaruhi juga oleh theologi-theologi kuno, diman air merupakan obyek komando dikalangan dewa-dewi. Fenomena penguapan juga bisa mengungkapkan jalan pikiran Thales. Pada penguapan air menjadi uap atau udara, sedangkan pada gejala pembekuan disaksikan bahwa jika proses itu terus berlangsung, maka air akan menjadi bumi. Hal penting yang harus diingat tentang tokoh ini adalah fakta bahwa dia mengajukan pertanyaan apa hakekat terakhir dari dunia? Dan bukan pada jawaban yang diberikannya. Thales juga mengajarkan bahwa segala benda penuh dengan dewa-dewi. Menurut dia, magnit mempunyai jiwa karena magnit dapat mengerakkan besa. Tapi, pernyataannya ini sulit untuk ditafsirkan dengan pasti. Apakah itu berarti bahwa Thales mengakui adanya suatu jiwa dunia dan bahwa jiwa dunia itu adalah Allah atau Demiurgos_nya Plato, masih jadi bahan perdebatan. Tetapi, yang penting dari ajaran Thales adalah bahwa ia melihat bahwa benda-benda mempunyai banyak bentuk yang memiliki unsur dasar dan primer yang satu. Elemen primer itu adalah air. Jadi, Thaleslah orang pertama yang mengerti apa itu kesatuan dalam perbedaan (unitas dalam pluralitas) dan sebab itu dia pantas menyandang julukan filsuf pertama.
Anaximenes (588 – 524 SM)
Tahun kelahiran dan kematiannya tidak diketahui dengan tepat. Ada yang mengatakan dia lahir tahun 588 dan meninggal tahun 524 SM. Ada pula yang menyebut tahun 538 sampai 480 Sm. Menurut Theophrastus anaximenes menulis dengan dialek Ionis yang kental. Menurut anaximenes prinsip dasar segala sesuatu adalah udara, kesimpulan ini mungkin sekali didasarkan pada fakta bahwa manusi hanya bisa hidup kalau bernafas. Jadi udara adalah prinsip kehidupan. “Sebagaimana halnya jiwa kita, yakni udara, mempersatukan kita, demikian juga nafas dan udara merangkul seluruh dunia” kata anaximenes. Jadi, udara adalah prinsip dasar (Urstoff) dari dunia. Udara tidak dapat dibagi, tapi dapat kelihatan dalam proses kondensasi dan perenggangan. Ketika udara menjadi renggang (rarefaction), ia menjadi lebbih panas dan cenderung terbakar menjadi api. Sebaliknya, kalau terjadi kondensasi is menjadi lebih dingin dan menjadi keras. Maka udara berada diantara cincin nyata dan kedinginan dengan massa kelembaban di dalamnya.

yang patut dicatat dari teorinya itu adalah usahanya untuk menemukan semua kualitas pada kuantitas. Anaximenes juga mengatakan bahwa kalau kita bernafas dengan mulut terbuka, udara panas. Sebaliknya, jika kita bermnafas dengan mulut tertutup, udara dingin. Menurut eksperimen modern apa yang dikatakannya memang benar dan dapat dibuktikan. Seperti Thales ia mengajarkan bahwa bimu ini berbentuk datar. Bumi, kata Anaximenes melayang di udara seperti selembar daun. Pelangi, kata Anaximenes, berasal dari sinar matahari yang jatuh pada awan yang tebal sehingga tidak dapat menembusnya. Pada tahun 494 Miletus dihancurkan oleh bangsa Persia, dan dengan demikian tamatlah pula riwayat sekolah Milesus ini. Doktrin Milesian sendiri secara keseluruhan dikenal sebagai filsafat Anaximenes. Mungkin karena dia adalah filsuf terakhir Ionis. Merka mengajarkan tentang keabadian materi. Tapi, harap dicatat pula bahwa idea tentang awal absolut dari dunia material ini belum terlintas di kepala mereka. Bagi mereka, dunia ini adalah satu-satunya dunia. Merka adalah materialis abstrak dalam ariti bahwa mereka mencoba menjelaskan asal-usul sesuatu dari sejumlah unsur material. Mereka bukan materialis dalam pengertian bahwa secara sengaja menolak perbedaan antara materi dan roh. Karena mereka belum membedakannya, maka menyangkalnya pun tidak mungkin.
Heracleitos (540 – 475 SM)
Heracleitos adalah bangsawan di Efesus dan menurut Diogenes sekitar masa olimpiade ke 69. ia seorang berperangai melankolik, suka menyendiri, soliter. Ia memandang rendah orang-orang kebanyakan. Bahkan, orang-orang ternama masa sebelumnya, seperti Homerus, Archilocus, Hesiod, Phythagoras, Xenophanes, dan Hecataeus tidak dihargainya. Pemikiran filsafatnya terkenal dengan filsafat menjadi. Ia mengemukakan bahwa segala sesuatunya (yang ada itu) sedang menjadi dan selalu berubah. Ucapannya yang terkenal : panta rhei kai uden menci, yang artinya segala sesuatu mengalir (all things are in a state of flux)bagaikan arus sungai dan tidak satu orang pun dapat masuk ke sungai yang sama dua kali. Alasannya karena air sungai yang pertama telah mengalir, berganti dengan air yang berada di belakangnya[ Asmoro akhmadi, hlm 38]. Tetapi, kata Coppleston ucapan ini tidak mewakili inti pemikiran filosofisnya, meski memang mewakili suatu aspek penting dari ajarannya. Aristoteles berkomentar bahwa doktrin utama Hiracleitos adalah “ segala sesuatu ada dalam gerakan, tidak ada suatu yang tetap ( all things are in motion, nothing steadforthy is). Jadi Heracleitos seakan-akan mengulangi apa yang dikatakan Pirandello di zaman dulu, bahkan tak ada suatu yang stabil, tak ada suatu yang tetap. Dengan kata lain ia mengajarkan the unreality of reality. Heracleitos mengajarkan konsep unity in diversity, difference in unity (kesatuan dalam keragaman, perbedaan dalam kesatuan). Dengan kata lain: dia mengajarkan tentang kesatuan dari satu ( unity of the one ). Ajaran ini pada prinsipnya berbeda dengan yang diajarkan oleh Anaximander.
Anaximander mengatakan bahwa hal-hal yang beroposisi saling membentur. Makanya timbul ketidakadilan. Perang antar hal-hal yang berlawanan sebagai suatu yang seharusnya tak boleh ada, suatu yang menodai kesucian Yang Satu. Sebaliknya bagi Heracleitos konflik dari hal-hal yang beroposisi justru sangat esensial bagi Yang Satu. Ajarannya, bahwa realitas adalah Yang Satu ( The One), terungkap dalam kata-katanya sendiri” bahwa konflik adalah esensial dari eksistensi Yang Satu, ia mengatakan : “ realitas itu satu, tapi pada saat yang sama banyak. Itu bukan suatu yang aksidentil, tapi esensial. Apa itu One-in-Many? Menurut Heracleitos (dan juga Stoisisme di kemudian hari). Hakikat segala sesuatu adalah api. Heracleitos bukan sekedar ingin tampil beda dari filsuf-filsuf Ionis lain (Thales mengatakan bahwa air merupakan inti segala-galanya, sedangkan Anaximenes menyebutkan udara sebagai Urstoff dari segalanya. Heracleitos memilih api karena sesuai dengan inti pemikiran filosofisnya. Menurut pengalamannya, api hidup dengan cara memakan, mengkonsumsi dan mengalihkan berbagai benda kedalam dirinya sendiri. Ketika api menyala oleh bermacam-macam benda, ia mengubah benda-benda itu menjadi api. Tanpa adanya benda-benda itu api pasti mati, tidak lagi eksis. Eksistensi api tergantung pada strife dan ketegangan (tension). Simbolisme ini tidak terdapat pada air dan udara. Kata Heracleitos api yang tak kunjung padam, dengan ukuran tertentu kalau menyala dan ukuran tertentu kalau padam. Api mengambil dari benda-benda lalu mengubahnya menjadi dirinya sendiri dengan nyala, dan memberi sebanyak yang diterimanya dari benda-benda. Itulah sebabnya, kata Heracleitos segala sesuatu ditukar dengan api, dan api ditukar dengan semua benda, sama seperti barang-barang ditukar dengan emas dan emas ditukar dengan barang-barang. Jadi, sementara substansi setiap benda materi salalu berubah, kuantitas agregat dari benda yang sama tetap sama.
Pythagoras (580 – 500 SM)
Pythagoras tidak banyak diketahui. Yang pasti adalah pythagoras mendirikan sebuah tarekat keagamaan di Kroton, Italia Selatan, pada paruh kedua abad 6 Sm. Pythagoras sendiri dilahirkan di Samos, masih daerah Ionia. Lamblichus, salah satu sumber untuk mengetahui Pythagoras, menyebut Pythagoras antara lain sebagai “Pemimpin dan bapak Filsafat Ilahi” Allah, Setan” (yakni makhluk sperhuman), atau manusia Ilahi.” Tapi kisah kehidupan Pythagoras sering dinilai sebagai roman dan bukan catatan sejarah. Pada masyarakat Yunani, sekolah atau sekte bukan barang baru. Tapi sekte Pythagoreanisme memiliki ciri khas yakni warna asketis dan religiusnya. Pythagoreanisme merupakan gerakan kebangkitan agama menjelang keruntuhan peradapan Ionia. Gerakan keagamaan yang didirikan Pythagoras ioni dipadukan dengan kuatnya komitmen kelompok itu kepada ilmu pengetahuan. Justru karena ituylah Pythagoreanisme dikelompokkan ke dalam sejarah filsafat. Pythagoras mengajarkan bahwa jiwa itu kekal, dan dapat berpindah-pindah. Sesudah kematian, jiwa berpindah ke hewan, dan begitu seterusnya. Pemurnian jiwa dapat dilakukan dengan mempraktikkan kesunyian, mendengarkan musik dan mempelajari matematika. Mematuhi larangan-larangan (seperti jangan makan kacang atau daging) juga membantu penyucian jiwa. Ajaran tentang bilangan merupakan ajaran Pythagoras yang penting. Tapi di pihak lain filsafat methematico-metafisik ini sangat sulit dipahami. Yang pasti. Pythagoras dan para pengikutnya sangat terobsesi dengan matematika. Sampai-sampai dikatakan bahwa Tuhan itu seorang ahli matematika.
Pemikiran Pythagoras substansi dari semua benda adalah bilangan, dan segala gejala alam merupakan pengungkapan indrawi dari perbandingan-perbandingan matematis[ Asmoro akhmadi, hlm 35]. Menurutnya, prinsip dari segala-galanya adalah matematika. Semua benda dapat dihitung dengan angka, dan kita dapat mengekspresikan banyak hal dengan angka-angka. Mereka terpesona oleh kenyataan bahwa interval-interval musik antara dua not pada lyra dapat dinyatakan secara numerik. Seperti halnya harmoni musik bergantung pada angka, maka harmoni jagad raya juga bergantung pada angka. Bahkan menurut Pythagoras, benda-benda adalah angka-angka (things are numbers). Menurut pythagoreanisme pusat jagad raya adalah api (hestia). Di sekeliling apai itu beredar kontra bumi (antikhton), bimi, bulan, matahari, kelima planet (merkurius, venus, mars, yupiter, saturnus) dan akhirnya langit dengan bintang-bintang tetap. Pythagoreanisme berpandangan bahwa seluruh langit merupakan suatu tangga nada musik serta bilangan. Ketika mengelilingi api sentral, tiap benda langit mengeluarkan bunyi yang sesuai dengan satu tangga nada. Telinga kit sudah terbiasa dengan musik itu, sehingga kita tidak mendengarnya lagi. Dikisahkan bahwa Pythagoras sendiri telah mendengar musik jagad raya itu. Perlu dicatat di sini bahwa pandangan ini kemudian dimodifikasi oleh pemikir-pemikir Yunani sesudahnya, yang menyamakan api sentral itu dengan matahari, sehingga menghasilkan pandangan heliosentris. Copernikus sendiri mengakui bahwa ia juga mengenal pandangan Pythagoreanisme.
Leocippus adalam pendiri aliran atomisme. Ada pendapat yang mengatakan bahwa Leucippus adalah tokoh fiktif, tapi akhirnya diterima sebagai tokoh historis berdasarkan tulisan Aristoteles dan Theophrastus. Menurut theophrastus, Leocippus adalah anggota sekolah Parmedes, sedangkan menurut Diogenes, Leocippus adalah murid Zeno. Atomisme merupakan perkembangan lebih lanjut dari filsafat Epedocles Aliran ini mengajarkan bahwa ada jumlah tak terbatas dari unit-unit individual yang dinamakan atom. Atom-atom itu tidak dapat dilihat dengan mata telanjang karena terlalu kecil. Atom-atom berbeda dalam ukuran dan bentuk, tapi tak punya kualitas tertent, kecuali solid dan tidak dapat ditembus. Atom-atom itu bergerak dalam ruang kosong. Ruang kosong bukan bersifat material, tapi sama riilnya seperti tubuh. Pada suatu saat dalam sejarah terjadi tabrakan antara atom. Atom-atom yang bentuknya tidak menentu terhimpun dalam satu kelompok dan membentuk kelompok-kelompok atom. Inilah awal proses pembentukan dunia.sedangkan atom-atom yang bentuknya sama terkumpul dan dengan demikian terbentuk lah empat unsur, yakni api, udara, tanah, dan air. Jadi, dunia yang tak terbatas jumlahnya muncul dari tabrakan atom-atom yang tak terbatas jumlahnya dalam ruangan kosong. Leocippus hany mengajarkan bahwa pada awal mula ada atom-atom yang bergerak dalam ruangan kosong. Dari permulaan seperti itulah muncul dunia yang kita alami. Dan menurut Leocippus dunia ini bagaikan tambourin yang melayang di udara.
Democritos (460-370 SM)
Democritos merupakan murid dari Leocippus. Ia lahir di kota Abdera di pesisir Thrake di Yunani Utara.[ Asmoro akhmadi, hlm 45] Ia adalah pemimpin sebuah sekolah di Abdera. Dia masih hidup ketika Plato mendirikan akademi. Laporan-laporan tentang perjalanannya ke Mesir dan Yunani tak dapat dipastiklan kebenarannya. Dia rajin menulis, tapi sayang, hanya sedikit tulisannya tersimpan. Dibawah ini dikemukakan secara garis besar ajaran Democritos tentang teori pengetahuan, tindakan dan evolusi kebudayaan. Menurut democritos benda-benda memancarkan gambar-gambar dalam bentuk atom-atom. Atom-atom itu masuk ke jiwa lewat indera. Jiwa sendiri terdiri dari atom-atom. Atom-atom yang bergerak melewati udara mengalami distorsi. Ini bisa menjelaskan mengapa benda-benda yang sangat jauh tidak dapat dilihat. Perbedaan warna kata democritos disebabkan oleh perbedaan halus-kasarnya gambar-gambar/atom itu. Demikian pula fenomena pendenganran, rasa, bau dan sentuhan dapat dijelaskan seperti ini. Ketika terdengar bunyi, atom-atom mengalir dari sumber bunyi sehingga menyebabkan gerakan-gerakan di udara antara tubuh dan telinga. Tentang tingkah laku/ tindakan menurut Democritos tindaka bertujuan untuk memperoleh kebahagiaan. Democritos sendiri menulis suatu risalah tentang kebahagiaan yang digunakan oleh Seneca dan Plutarchos. Kesenangan dan rasa sakait (pain) menentukan kebahagiaan. Kebahagiaan tidak ditemukan pada emas, tapi dalam jiwa. Tetapi, seperti pengetahuan indera adalah palsu, kesenangan inderapun palsu. Manusia harus dibimbing oleh prinsip simetri dan harmoni. Dengan demikian manusia memperoleh ketenangan badab (kesehatan dan ketenagna jiwa (kegembiraan ). Ketentraman ini hanya ditemukan pada barang-barang rohani. Mengenai kebudayaan democritos mengajarkan bahwa peradaban muncul dari kebutuhan dan usaha untuk memperoleh suatu yang menguntungkan dan berguna. Manusia menciptakan seni dengan meniru alam, belajar memintal dari laba-laba, membangun rumah meniru burung layang-layang, dsb.
Empedocles berasal dari Akragas atau Agrigentum, di pulau Sisilia. Kelahirannya tidak diketahui pasti. Hanya, ada petunjuk bahwa ia mengunjungi kota Thurii setelah kota itu didirikan tahun 443-44 SM. Dia berkecimpung dalam politik di Akragas dan menjadi pemimpin partai demokrasi disana. Tentang kematiannya ada berbagai versi cerita. Diceritakan bahwa ia naik ke surga, dengan melompat ke bawah gunung Etna. Versi ini bertolak dari anggapan bahwa Empedocles adalah dewa. Tapi, konon dia meninggalkan salah satu sandalnya di tepi gunug api. Seperti Parmenides, Empedocles mengemukakan filosofinya lewat puisi-puisinya. Pemikiran filosofisnya pada dasarnya hanya menggabungkan pemikiran para pendahulunya. Empedocles sependapat dengan Parmenides, bahwa alam semesta di di dalamnya tidak ada hal yang dilahirkan secara baru, dan tidak ada hal yang hilang[ Asmoro akhmadi, hlm 42]. Menurut Empedoles unsur dasar dari segala-galanya adalah empat enasir (rizomata) yakni tanah, udara, api dan air. Keempat macam benda itu tidak dapat saling dipertukarkan. Campuran keempat anasir itu menghasilkan benda-benda konkrit di sekitar kita. Jadi, benda-benda dibentuk dari pencampuran unsur-unsur itu, dan lenyap kalau terjadi pemisahan unsur-unsur tersebut. Tapi unsur-unsur tersebut tidak ada awalnya dan tidak ada akhirnya. Penggabungan dan pemisahan unsur-unsur itu terjadi karena kekuatan cinta dan kebencian atau harmoni dan kekacauan. Tapi kekuatan-kekuatan itu bersifat fisik dan material. Cinta atau harmoni menggabungkan unsur-unsur itu, sedangkan kebencian memisahkan unsur-unsur itu.
Tidak diketahui dengan pasti kapan socrates lahir. Ia sendiri tidak meningalkan tlisan, sedangkan keterangan tentang dirinya didapat dari para muridnya. Orang yang paling banyak menulis Socrates adalah Plato yang berupa dialog-dialog[ Asmoro akhmadi, hlm 49]. banyak hal tentang Socrates diketahui justru dari murid-muridnya. Menurut Plato, ketika dijatuhi hukuman mati, yakni tahun 399 SM usia socrates sekitar 70 tahun. Berdasarkan itu diduga Socrates lahir sekitar tahun 470 SM. Socrates mengajarkan tentang definisi atau hal-hal yang umum (universals) yang bersifat tetap. Dalam hal ini ia berbeda dengan kaum sofis yang berpandangan revatifistik. Menurut Socrates konsep universal tetap sama. Hanya hal-hal partikular dapat beragam, tapi definisi tetap sama. Socrates mengajarkan tentang argumen-argumen induktif yang dikembangkan Socrates bukan diperoleh melalui logika, melainkan dengan wawancara atau dialektik. Untuk membuat definisi sesuatu Socrates bertanya pada orang0orang lain, sementara dia sendiri memperlihatkan ketaktahuan. Dialektik Socrates dimulai dengan definisi-definisi yang kurang lengkap sampai akhirnya mencapai definisi yang lebih lengkap. Tujuan dialektik adalah memperoleh kebenaran dan definisi universal. Proses dimana argumen bergerak dari yang bersifat partikular kepada yang universal, atau dari yang kurang sempurna kepada yang lebih sempurna. Inilah yang dimaksudkan dengan proses induksi.
Tujuan dialektik bukan untuk mempermalukan orang, tapi memperoleh kebenaran. Kebenaran itu bukan sekedar spekulasi murni dalam kaitan dengan kehidupanyang baik ( good life). Menurut Socrates agar bertindak denganbenar, orang harus tahhu apakah kehidupan yang baik itu. Socrates percaya akan jiwa-jiwa, menurut dia jiwa hanya dapat dipelihara dengan semestinya lewat pengetahuan, yakni kebijaksanaan yang benar. Pengetahuan yang jelasa akan kebenaran sangat penting bagi kehidupan yang benar. Metode yang digunakan ini dinamakan mayetika. Socrates menaruh perhatian besar pada etika. Dia menganggap missi yang ditetapkan dewa kepadanya adalah menyadarkan orang-orang agar memelihara harta peling agung yakni jiwa lewat memperoleh kebijaksanaandan kebajikan. Kehidupan politik pun tk dapat dilepaskan dari etika. Dia sanagt concern dengan kehidupan politik dalam aspek etisnya. Menurut Socrates pengetahuan adalah sarana kepada tindakan etis. Etika Socrates memiliki ciri pengetahhuan dan kebijakan. Menurut dia, pengetahuan dan kebijakan adalah satu, dalam arti bahwa seorang bijaksana yakni orang yang tahu apa yang baik, juga akan melakukan apa yang benar. Dengan kata lain, orang pasti tidak memilih melakukan yang buruk. Penekanan pada aspek pengetahuan ini menyebabkan munculnya ciri yang dinamakan intelektualisme etis pada etika Socrates.
Menurut Socrates suatu tindakan itu benar jika betul-betul bermanfaat bagi manusia. Dalam arti, jika tindakan itu benar-benar mendatangkan kebahagiaan sejati. Socrates mengajarkan bahwa hanya ada satu kebijakan, yakni pengetahuan akan apa yang betul-betul baik bagi manusia, apa yang betul-betul dapat menghasilkan kesrhatan dan harmoni jiwa. Socrates juga mengatakan bahwa kebajikan dapat diajarkan. Di sini masih jelas ciri intelektualisme etis itu, kalau dokter adalah orang yang mempelajari obat-obatan, maka orang adil adalah orang yang telah belajar apa itu adil. Dalam ajaran tentang agama Socrates mengakui adanya allah-allah. Pengetahuan akan allah0allah tidak terbatas. Terkadang terlihat bahwa Socrates memang percaya akan adanya Allah yang tunggal. Tapi nempaknya Socarates tidak memberi perhatian besar untuk masalah monoteisme dan polyteisme, menurut Socrates sebagaimana tubuh manusia berasal dari bahan-bahan yang dikumpulkan dari dunia materi, akal budinya juga merupakan bagian dari akal budi universal.
Plato (427 – 347 SM)
Plato adalah salah satu filsuf terbsesar didunia. Lahir di Athena dari keluarga terpandang. Ayahnya Ariston, ibunya Perictione. Menurut sejumlah sumber, nama aslinya adalah Aristocles. Nama Plato baru diberikan sesudahnya karena ia memiliki fisik yang kokoh kuat. Di punya dua saudara,yakni Adeimantus dan Glaucon dan seorang saudari yang bernama Potone. Setelah kematian Ariston Perictione kawin dengan Pyrilampe. Perkawinan itu menghasilkan Antiphon. Jadi Plato dibesarkan oleh ayah tirinya yang juga sobat Perisles. Plato menjadi murid Socrates ketika ia berusia 20 tahun. Tapi perkenalan dengan Socrates pasti sudah lebih awal. Semula ia berniat masuk politik, tapi ambisi itu batal karena pengalaman yang kurang enak dengan dunia politik masa itu. Apalagi setelah Socrates diadili dan meninggal, Plato membuang jauh-jauh niat untuk masuk politik. Plato hadir ketika Socrates diadili, tapi tidak sempat menyaksikan langsung tragedi yang mengakhiri hidup gurunya itu sebab sedang sakit. Pemikiran Plato ada pada zaman pemikiran yang bercorak antroposentrisme. Dilatarbelakangi oleh pandangan Sokrates gurunya, dan sekaligus ia menyempurnakan pandangan-pandangan Sokrates, Plato melontarkan pemikiran tentang adanya dua dunia[ F.X. Mudji Sutisno,dkk, Para Filsuf Penentu Gerak Zaman, Yogyakarta : Kanisius, 1992. hlm 9]. yaitu dunia idea dan dunia materi. Dunia idea bersifat tunggal, permanen/tidak berubah, kekal. Dunia jasmani bersifat jamak, berubah-ubah, tidak kekal. Dunia idea adalah dunia obyektif, yang berdiri sendiri, yang sempurna. Dalam dunia idea tidak ada bayak hal yang bagus, tapi hanya ada satu idea yang jauh di sana. Menurut Plato ada banyak idea, sebab itu ada hirarki idea. Yang berada paling di puncak adalah idea kebaikan. Idea-idea hadir dalam benda-benda konkrit, sebaliknya dunia konkrit berpartisipasi dalam ideanya. Jadi, idea berfungsi sebagai model atau contoh bagi dunia jasmani. Dengan demikian Plato sebetlnya melangkah lebih jauh dibanding Socrates. Socrates berusaha samapai hakekat atau esensi sesuatu. Misalnya, esensi keindahan, caranya : mengumpulkan sebanyak mungkin fakta tentang keindahan. Dari semua itu dia kemudian berusaha mencari definisi. Dalam definisi inilah ia mendapat esensi. Plato mengatakan bahwa esensi itu memiliki relaitasnya sendiri. Jadi, ada idea keindahan. Dengan cara itu Plato mempertemukan ajaran Heraleitos dan Parmenides yang saling bertolak belakang. Heracleitos mengatakan bahwa segala sesuatu selalu berubah, sedangkan Parmenides mengatakan segala sesuatu tetap, tidak berubah.
Aristoteles (384-322 SM)
Murid Plato yang paling berpengaruh adalah aristoteles ia berasal dari di Stageria, Macedonia (kini Yunani Utara)[ F.X. Mudji Sutisno,dkk. Hlm 19]. Ayahnya seorang dokter pribadi Raja Macedonia. Ketika berusia 18 tahun ia belajara filsafat pada Plato di Athena. Setelah Plato meninggal, ia mendirikan sekolah Assos. Dia kemudian kembali ke Macedonia dan menjadi pendidik pangeran Alexander Agung. Ketika Alexander meninggal pada tahun 323, timbullah huru-hara. Aristoteles dituduh sebagai penghianat. Dia lari ke Khalkes, dan meninggal dunia disitu pada tahun 322. karya Aristoteles banyak sekali, tapi sulit menyusunnya secara sistematis. Ada yang membagi karya-karya itu menjadi delapan bagian, yakni tentang logika, filsafat alam. Psikologi, biologi, etika, politik, dan ekonomi. Logika : tradisional yang kita kenal sekarang, diajarkan oleh Aristoteles. Dia mengajarkan tentang proses pengambilan kesimpulan yang dinamakan silogisme, yang terdiri dari pertanyaan dalam bagian mayor (dalil umum), minor (dalil khusus), dan kesimpulan.
Aristoteles menyebut jiwa dengan psykhe. Menurut Aristoteles, bukan hanya manusia punya jiwa, tapi semuanya yang hidup punya jiwa. Menurut Aristoteles, jiwa dan tubuh adalah dua aspek yang menyangkut satu substansi. Kedua aspek ini mempunyai hubungan satu sama lain sebagai materi dan bentuk ini di kenal degan hylemorphisme. Badan adalah materi, jiwa adalah bentuknya. Materi berperanan sebagai potensi, jiwa sebagai aktus. Aristoteles menyebut jiwa sebagi aktus pertama dari suatu organis. Aktus pertama karena jiwa dalah aktus paling fundamental. Jiwa hucing adalah aktus pertama, sedangkan mengeong adalah aktus kedua, yang membuat kucing menjadi kucing adalah jiwanya. Aristoteles menolak dualisme Plato. Karena menurut dia jiwa dan tubuh adalah dua aspek yang berbeda dari substansi yang sama, yakni manusia. Pada manusia tidak ada dua substansi seperti pada ajaran Plato. Menurut Aristoteles, jiwa akan binasa pada saat kematian badan. Jiwa manusia, seperti tumbuhan dan hewan, tidak bersifat kekal.
          Frequently Abused Verses: Does God Condemn Debate? (2 Timothy 2:14)        

Almost twenty years ago, during Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week conference, I heard Jim Cymbala make the following plea for unity:

Think of the division right now in the Body of Christ. We have all these names that don’t exist to God: Baptist, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Charismatic. God doesn’t have any idea what any of them mean, because He only has one Body. . . . He has one Body—the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Evangelical—evangelical doesn’t even exist to God. We’re using words that aren’t in the Bible. We’re thumping the Bible and being unbiblical while we’re thumping it. He only has—there’s one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Body. And He doesn’t like us dividing up His Body. [1] Jim Cymbala, “The Victorious Church,” February 5, 2000.

In the moment, it struck me as nonsense. Of course God knows what our denominational titles mean; of course He understands where the doctrinal lines have been drawn in the sand.

But then again, who is going to argue in favor of division?

The church’s current fascination with the soft ecumenism of identifying and celebrating common ground hinges on a false dichotomy—that all division grieves God. They point to a variety of texts—frequently wrenched out of their original context—to make that point.

Cymbala’s text, for example, was Mark 3:20–26—a passage in which Christ answered the allegations that His power came from Satan. The Lord rightly points out it would be illogical to use Satan’s power to cast out demons—that “a house divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Cymbala turned that statement into a rebuke to a divided church.

Today another text is frequently floated as a mandate for unity: “Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14). Often, that’s taken to mean we should not debate our doctrinal differences—that we shouldn’t let doctrine divide us at all. If we say we’re Christians, we ought to focus on what we agree on, and set aside anything on which we don’t.

Under certain circumstances, that posture might be acceptable. But, as John MacArthur explains, in a world overrun with false gospels and false christs, we cannot afford to simply brush away every doctrinal line in the sand.

Through the centuries, the steady stream of falsehood has become a deeper, wider, and increasingly more destructive sea of ungodliness. False teaching about God, about Christ, about the Bible, and about spiritual reality is pandemic. The father of lies is working relentlessly to pervert and corrupt the saving and sanctifying truth of God’s written Word, the Bible, and of the living Word, His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Christian” cults abound today as never before, as does every type of false religion. Many Protestant denominations that once championed God’s inerrant Word and the saving gospel of Jesus Christ have turned to human philosophy and secular wisdom. In doing so, they have abandoned the central truths of biblical Christianity—including the Trinity, the deity of Christ, His substitutionary atonement, and salvation by grace alone. In rejecting God’s truth, they have come to condone and embrace countless evils—universalism, hedonism, psychology, self-salvation, fornication and adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and a host of other sins. The effects of ungodly teaching have been devastating and damning, not only for the members of those churches but for a countless number of the unsaved who have been confirmed in their ungodliness by false religion. [2] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Timothy (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 68.

As he writes in his book, The Truth War, today we need to be all the more fervent in our defense of the truth.

Jude’s command “to contend earnestly for the faith” is not merely being neglected in the contemporary church; it is often greeted with outright scorn. These days anyone who calls for biblical discernment or speaks out plainly against a popular perversion of sound doctrine is as likely as the false teachers themselves to incur the disapproval of other Christians. That may even be an understatement. Saboteurs and truth vandals often seem to have an easier time doing their work than the conscientious believer who sincerely tries to exercise biblical discernment.

Practically anyone today can advocate the most outlandish ideas or innovations and still be invited to join the evangelical conversation. But let someone seriously question whether an idea that is gaining currency in the evangelical mainstream is really biblically sound, and the person raising the concern is likely to be shouted down by others as a “heresy hunter” or dismissed out of hand as a pesky whistle-blower. That kind of backlash has occurred with such predictable regularity that clear voices of true biblical discernment have nearly become extinct. Contemporary evangelicals have almost completely abandoned the noble practice of the Bereans, who were commended for carefully scrutinizing even the apostle Paul’s teaching. They “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

But in our generation it sometimes seems as if the more aggressively something is marketed to Christians as the latest, greatest novelty, the less likely most evangelicals are to examine it critically. After all, who wants to be constantly derided as a gatekeeper for orthodoxy in a postmodern culture? Defending the faith is a role very few seem to want anymore. [3] John MacArthur, The Truth War (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 9798.

Far from the modern twist on 2 Timothy 2:14, much of what Paul wrote to his apprentice had to do with defending the church and holding fast to sound doctrine. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. . . . This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (1 Timothy 1:3–4, 18–19)

The same kind of exhortations are littered throughout Paul’s writing. In Acts 20:28–30 he warned the Ephesian church,

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

He further exhorted the Thessalonians, “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). Paul was clearly not one to shy away from a doctrinal debate. He was a passionate defender of the gospel, and a tireless guardian of the truth.

So what should we make of his exhortation to Timothy “not to quarrel over words” (2 Timothy 2:14, ESV)? Here’s how John MacArthur explains it.

Paul’s purpose was to motivate and encourage Timothy to keep a firm grasp on that truth himself and to pass it on to others who would do likewise (2 Timothy 2:2). It is only with a thorough knowledge of God’s truth that falsehood and deceit can be recognized, resisted, and opposed. . . .

Logomacheō (wrangle about words) carries the idea of waging a war of words, in this instance with false teachers, who are later described as “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Such deceivers use human wisdom and reason to undermine God’s Word, and believers are not to debate with them, especially within the church. [4] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Timothy, 70–72.

He goes on to explain why such a warning is particularly timely for the church today.

The barrage of ungodly ideas and verbiage that today is assaulting society in general, and even the evangelical church, is frightening. More frightening than the false ideas themselves, however, is the indifference to them, and often acceptance of them, by those who name the name of Christ and claim to be born again. Abortion, theistic evolution, homosexuality, no fault divorce, feminism, and many other unbiblical concepts and attitudes have invaded the church at an alarming rate and to an alarming degree. One of the most popular and seductive false teachings is the promotion of high self-esteem as a Christian virtue, when, in reality, it is the very foundation of sin. Such destructive notions are inevitable when Christians listen to the world above the Word, and are more persuaded by men’s wisdom than by God’s. Far too few leaders in the church today can say honestly with Paul that their “exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit” (1 Thessalonians 2:3).

As Christians become less and less familiar with Scripture and sound doctrine on a firsthand, regular basis, they become easy prey for jargon that sounds Christian but strongly mitigates against God’s truth. Such unbiblical and arbitrary ideas as being “slain in the Spirit” and “binding Satan” frequently replace or are valued above the clear teaching of and submission to Scripture. [5] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Timothy, 73.

God’s people should not be combative; we must not walk around with doctrinal chips on our shoulders, looking for a fight. But we must also have a high enough view of God’s Word that we’re willing to stand up in its defense. We should not condemn doctrinal debate or disagreement; we should use them for God’s glory and the good of His church.


          Frequently Abused Verses: Was Jesus Poor So We Could Be Wealthy? (2 Corinthians 8:9)        

The prosperity gospel is neither a small nor isolated error. The fixation with money and material riches pervades the theology of its adherents, corrupting every aspect of their faith and doctrine. It is a comprehensive lie—one that skews the very nature of the gospel itself, distorting even the Person and work of Christ.

In particular, it assaults the nature of Christ’s atoning work on our behalf. Forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness are of minor importance at best. Instead, prosperity preachers teach a version of the atonement that serves their material interests. And it all hinges on one verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Here’s how TBN televangelist Joseph Prince explains it:

On the cross, Jesus bore the curse of poverty! That is what the Word of God declares: “For you know the grace [unmerited favor] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Read 2 Corinthians 8 for yourself. The entire chapter is about money and being a blessing financially to those who are in need. So don’t let anyone tell you that the verse is referring to ‘spiritual’ riches.” [1] Joseph Prince, Unmerited Favor: Your Supernatural Advantage for a Successful Life (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2010), 29.

Prince is partly right—2 Corinthians 8 is about blessing others financially. But his fixation with money forces him to overlook the obvious flaw in his argument—that Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to give for the sake of other Christians in need. Apparently they had not been—as Prince promised his readers—delivered from “the curse of poverty.”

In verse 1 Paul commends the Macedonian Christians for the “wealth of their liberality” that flowed out of their “deep poverty.” Likewise, in verse 7 Paul reminds the Corinthians of their own spiritual riches: “Just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious [giving] work also.” The Corinthians and Macedonians were wealthy in many ways, just not in the specific way Joseph Prince is.   

Phil Pringle, another prosperity preacher and founder of the gigantic C3 Church in Sydney, Australia, leaves no doubt about his interpretation of 2 Corinthians 8:9—going so far as to offer his own paraphrase: “Jesus became poor regarding the wealth of this world on the cross, that those who receive Him may become rich with the wealth of this world.” [2] Phil Pringle, Dead for Nothing?: What the Cross Has Done for You (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2007), 58.

Such is the corruption and greed of men like Prince and Pringle, that no subject is off limits in their quest to sanitize and sanctify their perverse love of money. At best, they minimize the forgiveness of sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness at the expense of physical health and material wealth. At worst, they do away with the spiritual components of Christ’s atoning work altogether.

That self-absorbed theology collapses under biblical scrutiny. John MacArthur points out the true nature of Christ’s earthly poverty:

This verse is not a commentary on Jesus’ economic status or the material circumstances of His life. . . . The Lord’s true impoverishment did not consist in the lowly circumstances in which He lived but in the reality that “although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7). [3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Corinthians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2003), 291–92.

Christ was not a wealthy man, but He wasn’t especially poor, either. The poverty He endured was in contrast to the vast heavenly riches He willingly set aside during His incarnation:

Though as God, Jesus owns everything in heaven and on earth (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 10:14; Job 41:11; Psalm 24:1; 50:12; 1 Corinthians 10:26), His riches do not consist primarily of what is material. The riches in view here are those of Christ’s supernatural glory, His position as God the Son, and His eternal attributes. . . . As the eternal second person of the Trinity, Jesus is as rich as God the Father. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9), and “[Jesus] is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Arguments for Christ’s eternity and deity are inseparable. Since the Scriptures reveal Him to be eternal, and only God can be eternal, Jesus must be God. Therefore, He owns the universe and everything in it, possesses all power and authority (Matthew 28:18), and is to be glorified and honored (John 5:23; Philippians 2:9–11). [4]The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Corinthians, 289–90.

Therefore, the riches Christ offers us surpass anything this world can offer. Material blessings don’t merely pale in comparison—they fade into oblivion when contrasted with the vast spiritual riches the Lord supplies. Justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and, eventually, glorification—the eternal benefits of salvation are beyond our comprehension. Peter described them as “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for [believers]” (1 Peter 1:4).

And as John MacArthur explains, these are the riches we most desperately require:

Sinners desperately need the riches of Christ because they are spiritually destitute. They are the “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3), beggars with nothing to commend themselves. But through salvation, believers are made “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), sharing His riches because they are made “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). The ultimate goal of their salvation is to be made like Him (1 John 3:2), to reflect His glory in heaven, “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). [5]The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Corinthians, 294.

Paul anticipated the lies of the prosperity gospel. In his letter to the Philippians, he described its promoters as “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). He charged the church to avoid such worldly distractions. Instead, Christians must fix their hearts on the eternal riches only Christ can provide.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20–21)


          Isus în Scriptură - familia Dubei        

„CercetaÅ£i Scripturile, pentru că socotiÅ£i că în ele aveÅ£i viaÅ£a veșnică, dar tocmai ele mărturisesc despre Mine.” Ioan 5:39

Cea mai bună mărturie despre Isus o găsim în Scriptură; și mulțumim Domnului că întreaga Biblie este disponibilă în limba noastră, și o putem studia zilnic. Am vizitat Societatea Biblică din București și am rămas surprins de câte versiuni și modele de Biblie avem. Imediat gândul mi s-a dus la cele 1700 de popoare care încă așteaptă să-L cunoască pe Isus prin Scriptura tradusă în limbile lor.

Aceasta este rugăciunea noastră și pasiunea vieților noastre, să fim o binecuvântare pentru aceste popoare marginalizate și neglijate atâția ani... De aceea vizitez aproape săptămânal Biserici și organizații creștine, pentru a vedea o colaborare mai mare pentru mișcarea de traducere a Bibliei. Evanghelizarea nu ajunge, popoarele trebuie să aibe ce avem și noi, întreaga Biblie în limba maternă. Rugați-vă pentru o colaborare mai mare.

Am luat parte la o conferință Wycliffe în Germania, și la o pregătire de lideri în Kenya, unde Dumnezeu a pus accentul pe nevoia de prietenie în trupul lui Hristos, ceea ce poate deveni o mărturie puternică pentru lume. De aceea mă rog și fac eforturi să mă împrietenesc cu lucrători și parteneri, dezvoltând o relație mai apropiată, pe lângă lucrare, ceea ce poate conduce la un parteneriat mai puternic. OM m-a invitat să predau un curs de islam unui grup de tineri care erau gata de a pleca și sluji în taberele de refugiați din Macedonia, și astfel m-am apropiat mai mult de liderii OM.


Rugăciune pt. familia Dubei

          Real Madrid vs Manchester United (08 Agosto 2017)        
El partido entre Real Madrid vs Manchester United por la Final de la Supercopa de Europa 2017 se juega este martes 08 de agosto en Macedonia, este encuentro será transmitido en vivo por ESPN y Fox. Real Madrid vs Manchester United es un encuentro valido por la Final de la UEFA SUPER CUP 2017. La UEFA desde su… Read More »
          Quien ordena su casa, ordena su vida         
Este es el diario de una limpieza general.  El texto está plagado de obviedades y de frases hechas porque el objetivo principal de poner orden en casa es aprovechar para poner orden en la mente, aplicando principios del milenario Feng Shui. Repitiendo determinados pensamientos se busca que acciones habituales se conviertan en automáticas, primero y en subconscientes, finalmente.  No se trata de "mientras ordeno, aprovecho para pensar" si no de "mientras pienso, aprovecho para ordenar", que es bastante diferente.  Sobre todo con la actitud que tomas ante la tarea, anteponiendo la interesante a la aburrida y no al revés.

Es por tanto, un post de autopsicoanálisis en toda regla, donde el "auto" es excluyente, en cuanto a interés se refiere, para todos aquellos seres vivos que no sean yo mismo. Si alguien está tan aburrido que no tiene nada mejor que hacer y se lo lee entero, que no me acuse de aburrido.  Hoy no cuento nada interesante, sólo pretendo fijar cuatro ideas en mi subconsciente y entrenar la conexión entre la parte del cerebro que genera las ideas y la que las convierte en palabras escritas.

En esta nueva limpieza de mi vivienda, el holocausto de cosas que no uso ha sido importante. Cada vez que hago uno, me pregunto por que no fui más estricto la última vez, pero ésta vez se que, muy probablemente, la próxima será mucho más fría e inflexible. ¿Cuando? A saber.  Yo quisiera hacerla mañana, pero las cosas son como son, no como queremos que sean.  Pondremos los medios para que sea lo antes posible, sin que eso no quiera decir ni seis meses, ni un año y medio.

Lunes: amanezco a las 12 de la mañana, después de dejar que el cuerpo durmiera todo lo que quiso, que fueron 11 horas.  Me levanto con la intención de oxigenarme un poco con la bici, pero está lloviendo demasiado, así que, cafetera mediante, me pongo con el dormitorio, la pieza de la casa que está más alejada de la entrada.  La limpieza, de dentro hacia afuera.  Cojo aire y en la inspiración me acuerdo de mi espalda.  Hago el propósito de volver a la rutina de Pilates y meditación que tan bien me sienta al despertar.  Empezaré mañana.  Primera decisión importante de la semana.
El armario (200*252) tiene tres secciones.  En una de ellas hay siete trajes (sacos).  Me he puesto uno, dos veces en los dos últimos años y no hay perspectivas, por suerte, de que tenga la necesidad de volver a enfundarme uno.  Escojo dos, oscuros y atemporales de corte, que me cubran de algún evento imprevisto y meto los otros cinco en una bolsa.  Lo mismo hago con las camisas, odio planchar y me quedo tres, deshaciéndome de siete. Las corbatas van, mansamente, detrás.  Ya había regalado una decena y tirado otra, pero aún quedan como veinte.  Escojo diez, que me parecen muchas, abarcando toda la gama cromática, aunque si me pongo una, será con una camisa blanca, así que aún podía haber sido más expeditivo, ya que me serviría cualquiera de ellas.

Guardo una de tonos rojos y blancos, para colgar el muñeco de Papa Noel de la ventana, en Navidad.  Es una tradición de varios años, ahorcar en esas fechas señaladas, a un Papa Noel con una corbata atada por el cuello, lo cual, al principio, me costó alguna palabra cruzada con algún vecino con hijos.  Pero ya hace ya tiempo que mis vecinos saben con quien conviven y dejaron de emitir juicios de valor sobre mis excentricidades y se limitan a cruzar de acera cuando van con sus hijos y a invitarme a bebida y palmearme el hombro y echar unas risas cuando van solos y coincidimos en un bar.  Saben que soy rarito, pero no peligroso.  Y, a veces, bastantes, divertido.

Los polos siguen el mismo camino.  Este verano no he llevado otra cosa y compré 15 low cost para trabajar.  Aparto los que han soportado mejor el tute y el resto pasa al cajón de ropa de "ir por casa", empujando a la que había ahí a la segunda bolsa de deshecho.  Repaso todos los cajones de la cómoda y termino de llenar la segunda bolsa.  Para plegar toda la ropa que va en cajones y estantes utilizo el LP en vinilo de Yazoo "Don´t go", a efectos de que todas las prendas tengan el mismo ancho, es un tema meramente de estética.  En los estantes y en los cajones la ordeno escalonada por colores.  Obviamente, la ropa que va colgada en perchas también está escalada cromáticamente, como se ve en la foto que colgué al principio.

Alguien pensará que esto es enfermizo, compulsivo.  No es el caso.  Simplemente lo hago porque para cualquier tarea se tiene que tener un plan o, si lo preferís más sencillo, una visión de cómo hay que llevarlo a cabo.  Ya sea un viaducto sobre una ría, la lista de la compra o colgar las camisas en el armario.  No sirve "Las cuelgo, y listos".  Se empieza pensando así y se terminan desmoronando las civilizaciones.  El declive de Roma empezó el día en que el asistente de Nerón empezó a colgar las túnicas de cualquier modo.  Ese pequeño cáncer aparentemente inofensivo se convirtió, con el tiempo, en lo que los libros de historia han denominado "La caída del imperio romano".

Debajo de la cama hay un canapé.  Son 200 * 160 * 30 cmts, lo que supone un volumen de 960 litros, casi un metro cúbico.  Ahi caben muchas cosas y como queda oculto a la vista se corre el riesgo de acumular mucha mierda inútil.  Lo saco todo y aspiro y friego dentro.  Luego me voy a tomar un café para que me de un poco el aire y enterarme de lo que hizo el Reus Deportiu de fútbol (que ganó fuera y se coloca cerca de los puestos de ascenso).

Al volver, me siento con ánimos (el café doble ha hecho sus previsibles efectos) y abro este post (tardaría unos cuantos días en terminarlo), titulo un word en blanco "El triunfo de la perversión del lenguaje", en lo que tiene que ser un artículo de un folio y medio para Letra en Obras y del que publiqué una copia en castellano en un post anterior y abro otro titulado "Independència", para compilar una serie de notas que tengo sobre el proceso soberanista que se vive en Catalunya y del que quisiera ofrecer una visión particular con la inocente ignorancia del que lo vive de lejos, en un tono eminentemente humorístico.  Escribo apenas un párrafo de cada uno y paso una hora procastinando por feisbuc y el mail, antes de guardarlos y volver a enfrentarme con el montón de trastos amontonados en el pasillo y que antes estaban bajo la cama.

Hay de todo.  Utensilios de pintura, herramientas, bolsas de diferentes tamaños, tonterías de playa, accesorios para ir en moto, utensilios varios de trekking, raquetas, palas de ping-pong, elementos informáticos varios... Cuando termino de recolocar lo que me parece que vale la pena conservar, medio canapé está vacío y tengo una bolsa para tirar en el punto limpio y otra para donar.  Cambio las sábanas y la funda del edredón, sin intentar recordar cuando fue la última vez que puse unas limpias, ni ayudarme del olfato para ubicar ese punto en el tiempo.  Más vale tarde que nunca.

Despues de quitar el polvo, aspirar y fregar, contemplo, orgulloso, el trabajo.  Hasta las tareas más pesadas, hasta las más engorrosas, si se hacen bien, le producen a uno satisfacción.  Sólo hay dos formas de hacer cualquier labor: bien, o mañana.

Me tumbo en el sofá después de ducharme y me pongo la serie "Vikingos", esperando que me entren ganas de escribir.  Después de dos capítulos las musas seguirán brillando, pero no aqui y como es algo más de medianoche decido irme a leer un rato a la cama.  Me cuesta horrores dormir, como 100 folios de "Un estudio sobre la banalidad del mal", de Hannah Arendt, que es un buen rato. 

Martes: Al levantarme, asomo la cabeza por la ventana y llueve.  Pienso en salir de todos modos porque no hace frío, pero la pereza de tener que sacarle el barro a los cambios y engrasarlos de nuevo, a la vuelta, me retiene en casa. Recuerdo mi propósito de retomar el Pilates y la meditación y me quedo con el primero.  No me apetece demasiado enfrentarme, de sopetón, a la macedonia mental que tengo y decido que me iré preparando psicológicamente a lo largo de la semana, no sea que me de un cortocircuito.

Hoy toca la habitación de los invitados, que también es la de los gatos.  De hecho, cuando viene alguien suelo dormir yo en ella para no tener que trasladar la arena y los platos de Cuca y Tete y acomodo a los invitados en el otro dormitorio.  En el armario tienen varias perchas y dos cajones vacíos para que coloquen sus cosas.  A veces, hasta les pongo sábanas limpias. 

Esa habitación también ejerce de biblioteca, archivo y trastero, es como un backup de mi existencia y una muestra de mi pretendido orden dentro del caos.  Después de limpiar el polvo, aspirar y fregar, me entretengo con los papeles viejos.  Tiro varios kilos de documentación comercial de la última empresa en la que trabajé (aún no sé por que la guardaba), papeles oficiales diversos y la carpeta donde guardo todos los diplomas que he ido acumulando a lo largo de los años. ¿Por que? ¿Y por qué no? Recuerdo perfectamente lo que sé y lo que no y lo que conseguí, no necesito una cartulina de colores que me lo recuerde y nunca los colgaré en una pared.  Uno tiene que conseguir que le valoren y le juzguen por lo que hace, ahora.  Que no sea ni por lo que hizo, ni por lo que tiene. 

En esa pieza también están los dos zapateros.  No diré los que hay, para que no me imeldicen.  Suelo comprarlos buenos en las terceras rebajas y me duran mucho tiempo.  Hay unos que vinieron conmigo desde Maspujols y de eso va a hacer 10 años.  Me los llevo a la cueva y les doy lustre a todos mientras veo otro capítulo de "Vikingos".  La ambientación de la serie es increíble y la fotografía, espectacular.  La trama, algo lenta para mi gusto.  Lo de limpiar todos los zapatos de un tirón ya lo inventó Henry Ford en la década de los treinta para conseguir ahorro de tiempo y costes, aunque el lo hacía con la fabricación de coches.  A mi, de la cadena de montaje, me interesa el aspecto del ahorro de tiempo y tener las cosas listas para usarlas.

A lo largo del día (como haría durante toda la semana) voy anotando ideas sueltas en este post pero, al terminar con la limpieza, soy incapaz de desarrollar ninguna de ellas (al igual que ayer), ni de añadirle más que unas pocas líneas a los textos abiertos.  En mi cabeza, las ideas están claras, pero no soy capaz de transformarlas en palabras.  Me vuelve a costar horrores dormir, a pesar de que me duelen los ojos del cansancio y de que me encajé química como para sedar a una cebra.

Tampoco duermo mucho, cuatro horas y media.  Después de la tabla de Pilates, sin mirar que día hace, me visto de ciclista de invierno  y salgo a la calle. No llueve, pero lo hará, así que no quiero ir demasiado lejos.  Bajo hasta la playa y, aprovechando que hay marea baja, la recorro de una punta a otra una docena de veces.  Sé que meter la bici en el agua (y en la arena) es nefasto para ella.  Espero que las máquinas no tengan sentimientos porque a ésta la maltrato bastante, aunque luego la mime todo lo que puedo.  Es como pegarle y luego decirle "lo siento, sabes que te quiero", algo muy deplorable.  Soy un egoísta, lo sé.

(la foto es de hace dos o tres veranos, lo que certifica la premeditación y la reincidencia, espero que Dios no tenga dos ruedas, pedales y manillar)

Para hoy miércoles me he reservado el baño y el pasillo.  El primero lo termino demasiado rápido (no es ni "mediano") y decido quitarle los restos de cal a la mampara de cristal de la bañera, un rato, hasta que me doy cuenta que es un coñazo superlativo y lo anoto a la lista de tareas para la chica que viene a cuidar los gatos cuando no estoy y que, de paso, me da un repaso al piso para que cuando vuelva no me agobien las bolas de pelo de gato por todos los rincones.

Para compensar ese dribling a las cosas bien hechas, desinfecto con aguafuerte y un estropajo toda la bañera.  Una vez leí que si te descubres frotando la tina con lejía, antes de la visita de una señorita, es señal de que estas enamorado.  Renuncio al deseo de tener visita femenina por la tarde, no sea que se cumpla el dicho.

Viendo el botiquín y el armario de cosméticos de un soltero no es difícil adivinar su edad.  A los treinta, en el botiquín sólo tenía Espidifén para las resacas, Radiosalil para calmar los daños colaterales de hacer deporte (golpes y torceduras) y un tubito de aciclovir para las herpes labiales.  Ahora hay una docena y media de referencias.  Con treinta, los cosméticos se reducían a un bote de Sanex en la bañera y al gel de afeitar, el bálsamo after y un bote de colonia para ocasiones especiales.  Tampoco haré una lista exhaustiva de lo que hay ahora, pero confesaré que no podría pasar sin un gel de aloe vera para la cara y las manos.

El pasillo se apaña rápido, así que le doy una pasadita a todos los enchufes, manetas y pomos metálicos de la casa.  Cuando creo que ya estoy listo por hoy, me doy cuenta que las fotos que hay colgadas en el pasillo y en la Cueva tienen algo de polvo.  En total son 73 portafotos de cristal (sin marco), de 20*30 cmts, 43.800 centímetros cuadrados.  Un día más, aplico la técnica de Henry Ford y cae otro capítulo más de "Vikingos", pero no me entero de mucho.  Las fotos sirven como soporte a la memoria y impiándolas afloran muchos recuerdos.  Paro el disco duro multimedia y pongo música de fondo mientras me entrego a la nostalgia.

Hoy hay Champions y bajo a ver el Barça a la cervecería.  Quieras o no, piden cañas para todos y vuelvo a casa con cuatro en el cuerpo.  No son muchas pero, de un tiempo a esta parte, el alcohol no me sienta bien.  En lugar de abrirme puertas a la percepción que normalmente están cerradas como sucedía antes, ahora me cierra las pocas que tengo abiertas y me deja muy cansado.  Llego a la conclusión de que, con toda certeza, resultará que ya me he bebido todo el cupo de alcohol que tenía asignado a esta vida.  Tampoco es un drama; excepto una copita de rioja con un buen trozo de carne, puedo vivir sin tomar bebidas alcohólicas.  Con lo que he llegado a chupar... ¡cómo cambian las cosas!

Hay dos cosas que me matan; el alcohol y el tabaco, sobre todo la segunda.  Sé como dejar de fumar, lo he conseguido una decena de veces.  Sé como no volver a encender un pitillo y cuando debo empezar. Jamás volveré a escribir "he dejado de fumar" porque no podré decirlo con la cabeza bien alta hasta el día que muera.  En mi caso, esa batalla es para toda la vida.
Efectivamente, el alcohol me deja cansado; al llegar ni me siento ante los folios en construcción. Apago el ordenador y vuelvo a dormir diez horas y media de tirón. El jueves levanto con pocas ganas de nada.  O ninguna, para ser más exactos.  En el mundo exterior diluvia, lo que reduce drásticamente las opciones de penitencia.  Hoy toca la cueva, donde, en teoría, hay poco que eliminar.  Pongo música y cojo un cepillito y un trapo y me dedico a escuchar música mientras le quito el polvo a las figuritas de frikie que tengo y a los cd´s.

Encuentro en un cajón todas las fotos que he ido renovando de los portarretratos.  Tengo copia por triplicado de todas ellas así que, desde hoy mismo, tengo otro cajón libre en la Cueva.  Encuentro dos que las guardé porque esperaba un milagro.  Pero los milagros no existen.

Desmantelo un ordenador cuyo disco duro se jodió hace un año y del que he aprendido a prescindir.  Hace tres años solía trabajar muchas veces con tres a la vez, alguno de ellos con dos o más tareas o procesos en marcha.  Desde que dejé de trabajar como asalariado me quité ese vicio horrible.  Eso ha hecho que me vuelva más incapaz de manejar multitareas pero (no es casualidad), cometo menos errores en las que hago, amén de disfrutarlas más.  Correr es de cobardes, ya lo comenté en un post, hace tiempo.  En otro, es cierto, me contradije, afirmando que "correr es de atletas". Se debe tomar como la excepción que confirma la regla.

Quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio, quiero vivir despacio...

Del ordenador me quedo el doble ventilador del disco duro, la fuente de alimentación, el ventilador principal y una de las grabadoras, por la simple razón de que, si las tiro, serán las piezas que se estropearán la semana que viene en el otro PC, que empieza a acumular muchas horas por encima de su vida esperada.  En esta vida, una de las cosas que hay que intentar evitar a toda costa es chulearle a la Ley de Murphy.

Tengo una treintena de películas en DVD que van todas a otra bolsa de deshecho.  El reproductor de se salva por los conciertos que tengo en ese formato, aunque no soy capaz de recordar la última vez que lo usé para reproducir un disco desde que compré el almacén multimedia.  Vacío los cajones del escritorio y les paso un trapo húmedo.  La mitad de cosas que había en ellos no regresan a sitio.

Chequeo la tablet de nuevo (no arrancaba) y tengo que resignarme a que se jodió.  Puedo acceder a los datos, pero la pantalla no muestra más que una tenue luz.  Este ha sido el mes de la electrónica en el Bidán Inglés.  Además del accidente de la tablet, perdí un reproductor mp3, se me cayó otro al WC al levantarme medio dormido a echar un pis y el e-reader se niega a retroiluminarse. Demasiadas opciones de regalo navideño para mi castigada economía. Veo dos capítulos más de "Vikingos" esperando las ganas de escribir y termino yéndome a cama algo ansioso por que no aparecen por ningún lado, ya van cuatro días.

Me despierto a las seis y cuarto y a las siete ya me doy cuenta de que no me volveré a dormir.  Me pongo a Federico Jimenez Losantos y al cabo de seis minutos ya tengo la adrenalina suficiente para abandonar el reconfortante envoltorio del edredón.

Hoy viernes toca la cocina, que presenta un aspecto muy próximo a "asqueroso".  Me coloco los auriculares inalámbricos, cargo los discos de Midlake, Jeremy Jay y Tanya Donelly y me dispongo a sacar todo lo que hay en los armarios superiores.  Me cuestiono seriamente por que tengo seis piezas de algunos platos y tazas si nunca comemos más de tres, cuatro a lo sumo, en casa.  El espacio que ocupan tampoco es vital y conservo la mayoría, pero no perdono los vasos de tubo. Esos si que no se usarán bajo ningún concepto y los meto en una caja para mi colega del bar.

Repaso fechas de caducidades de harinas, arroces, latas y pasta y certifico con satisfacción que todo está para aguantar el invierno.  Este año he tenido que tirar poquísima comida, algo que me produce unos remordimientos enormes.  Algún tomate escaqueado y algún brik de leche a medias, como mucho.  Repito el proceso de enjabonar con estropajo, esta vez en los armarios bajeros y vuelvo a indultar una limpieza más al wok y a la fondue que están por estrenar, hoy estoy blandito, está claro.  Me libro de limpiar el interior del horno, evidentemente por falta de uso.  Hago ensaladilla rusa para manchar lo menos posible y bajo a la cervecería a socializar un poco, aprovechando el partido de fútbol.  En lugar de las cañas habituales, pido Burn con mucho hielo. Solo.  Tomo dos, uno por parte.

Este detalle cambia muchas cosas y, al llegar a casa, se me escapan las letras por los dedos.  Me pongo con el artículo para Letra en Obras, pero se me va la mano y a las seis de la mañana, tengo cinco folios, un exceso para lo que quieren.  La primera premisa de lo publicado en internet es "corto" (pienso en este post y me da la risa).  Decido repasarlo mañana y recortar por algún sitio.  No tiene que ser difícil, en este país esa es la cultura que hay.

Vuelvo a dormir cuatro horas y media.  El café parece revivir los dos Burn de anoche y hago la tanda completa: Media hora de Pilates, media de meditación y una hora de bicicleta.  Después de la ducha me siento increíblemente estupendo.  El día en que las dos primeras horas de todos mis días puedan empezar de esta forma, seré libre de verdad.

Me siento increíblemente inspirado y aprovecho para grabar La Cage Sessions 15.  Me hacen falta sólo dos intentos para que quede más que aceptable y paso el resto del día editándola, separando pistas y subiendo a la nube las diferentes versiones.  Mientras hago eso, aprovecho para revisar el artículo que dejé medio montado anoche (leer y escuchar música no se consideran "dos tareas simultáneas").  Los recortes convierten los cinco folios y medio en ocho. No tengo estados intermedios. O todo o nada.  0 o 1, soy un homenaje andante a la era digital.  A las once de la noche me estoy cayendo sobre el teclado y decido ir pacama, donde caigo dormido en menos de diez minutos, pero a las cinco ya vuelvo a estar poniendo una cafetera, es muy posible que el café tenga mucho que ver en este estado de pseudo-insomnio en el que vivo.  Recojo el resto de la cocina en compañía de Franz Ferdinand, Frankie Rose y Fleetwood Mac.

Pienso en el sentido y la intención del artículo que le he mandado a Letra en Obras y, con cierta amargura, reconozco que cada vez tengo más claro que, en este país de mierda, no se va a montar una revolución y esto va a ser peor que una plantación sureña de algodón.  Lo malo del asunto es que soy demasiado joven para ideólogo y demasiado viejo para montar barricadas.  Si, sólo me queda una salida, emigrar.

Procastino a ratitos y cuando la cocina está para una foto de revista de decoración proletaria (aún no hay ninguna y ese nicho tiene holgura) es la hora de la carrera de Moto3.  Termino odiando más profundamente de lo que lo hacía, a Nico Abad y a la realización de Tele 5.  ¿Por que no ofrecen una versión de pago sin cortes publicitarios y con alguien al micro que sepa hablar?  Esta temporada, ver las carreras de motos no ha sido bueno para mi karma.  Si el año que viene siguen igual, las voy a visionar en diferido por internet, como hacen un par de amigos míos con la cabeza mejor amueblada que la mía.  Durante Moto2, me echo una siestita con el volumen muteado.

Cuando despierto, le doy un repaso al piso para darme cuenta de que me he olvidado de limpiar los cristales.  Entra luz suficiente y ahora es época de lluvia.  Dos motivos suficientes para posponer la tarea hasta la llegada de la primavera.  Me voy a ver como Márquez queda campeón del Mundo.  Le envidio enormemente (y no estoy seguro de que esa envidia sea sana) por haberlo conseguido con 20 años.  Tengo que conseguir morir satisfecho de mi paso por esta vida.  Ahora mismo, superado el ecuador no lo estoy en absoluto.  Me he limitado a flotar en ella demasiado tiempo, sumergiéndome muy pocas veces.


En la segunda revisión de este post ha sido cuando muchas cosas quedaronn claras.  Imprimo 3 folios que contienen una palabra en Beat my guest a 210: Tinduf.  Cuelgo uno en el baño, otra junto a la mesita de noche y otra en el corcho de la zona DJ, para no olvidarme de la meta para la que tengo trazado el plan de ruta, con sus correspondientes etapas. Esta mañana he empezado un nuevo Camino, literal y metafóricamente.

          El Camino del Norte. Día 1: Miño-Irún        
Mientras la estaba embalando (joer, tuve que buscar como se escribía correctamente, empezamos bien) pensaba en los 127 pavos de la puesta a punto de la bicicleta.  Cambio de la transmisión, del cambiador, pastillas y ajuste de cables.  Por ese precio casi que me compraba una nueva.  Según el mecánico, la transmisión no hubiese aguantado el tute.  Se ve que esa "manía", como le llama él, de meterla en la playa no le sienta muy bien a los rodamientos.  Pienso en el gran placer que es pedalear en un palmo de mar y me la pela.  Ha durado seis años. Probablemente debería tener una bici chunga para esa gozada y reservar la buena para que dure, pero claro, nunca sabes cuando vas a terminar metido en el agua, depende del día... Divagar sobre tonterías mientras haces tareas rutinarias es la mejor manera de que no te agobien...

Siempre que tengo que salir de casa con una maleta tengo la desagradable sensación de que me olvido algo.  Cuanto mayor te haces y mejor organizado tienes tu espacio vital, más te cuesta salir de él.  Al menos, a mi me pasa.  En La Cueva hay un sitio para cada cosa y la tranquilidad de saber que están ahí, aunque las use dos veces al año, se desvanece cuando tengo que abandonar mi zona de confort por más de una noche, provocándome una ligera ansiedad.  Solución: un lexatin.  Aún no hemos salido y ya empezamos con el doping.  Voy a pedalear, así que tampoco me siento mal por drogarme un poquito.  Los gatos notan que me piro y me miran con rencor.  Trato de ignorarlos, pero saber que les dejo prácticamente sin compañía durante no sé cuanto tiempo, con lo sociales que son con la gente, tampoco me ayuda a relajarme.  Solución: otro lexatín.  La noche antes de la salida duermo como un bendito.

Al final, y teniendo en cuenta que no hay tantos albergues como en el Camino Francés llevo equipo de más, sobre todo mudas de ropa, porque no sé cada cuanto podré hacer una colada bien hecha.  Lo patético es el apartado de cables; cuatro cargadores diferentes (BB, tablet, mp3 y batería de la cámara) y media docena de adaptadores.  Hace dos días que tengo la tablet y aún no la piloto, así que me llevo también el e-book.  Dos reproductores mp3, 8 gigas de música en total, la cámara de fotos, la susodicha tablet y el móvil.  No voy a desconectar, está claro.

Debo llevar un par de kilos de peso en tecnología, que podría ahorrarme perfectamente.  Bueno, la cámara es imprescindible.  Y los reproductores de música, también.  Como mínimo sirven para acallar los ronquidos en los albergues.  Y, vale, un enfermo de la música como yo no iba a estar dos semanas sin escuchar canciones, sobre todo por la mañana, que son mi cafeina... Y la tablet es por cuestiones de curro y excusas para meter algo en la mochila hay doscientas y vale, habíamos hablado de la zona de confort y eso...

El otro apartado preocupante es el neceser-botiquín.  Hace diez años habría llevado un bote de sanex, dentrífico, after-shave y listos.  El que ahora llevo ocupa más sitio que el de la última novia que tuve, que ya es decir.  Es cierto que llevo un buen acopio de analgésicos (tramadol), relajante muscular (lexatin) y antiinflamatorios (diclofenaco), podría montar una farmacia. Pero llevo media docena de pijaditas (que no enumeraré) que son perfectamente prescindibles, en teoría.  Al final, las usaría todas, también, cosas de la edad.

Con la excusa de las alforjas, no he mirado demasiado lo de ahorrar espacio.  Al final del viaje, al menos, descubriría que usé todo lo que cogí, con lo que tan mal no estuvo montada la mudanza.  No voy a poner la lista completa de lo que me llevé porque me da pereza y porque paso de que me llamen (con razón) nenaza.  Eso sí, no encontré a faltar nada.  Medalla al canto que me pongo, que no me quedan abuelas y mi mamá vive a 1000 kilómetros de aqui.  El que quiera una orientación de lo que hay que llevar para esta aventura en bici, hay un tipo que tiene una página estupenda al respecto.

Renuncio a calibrarme en la báscula.  Se que ando cuatro o cinco quilos pasadillo de peso pero no quiero que gente, tiempo, kilometros o gramos a perder marquen el ritmo de viaje.  Vamos a fluir, con todas las consecuencias.  Y cuatro o cinco mil gramos no son problema para una operación bikini exprés y menos teniendo en cuenta el tiempo que está haciendo, que bikini vamos a llevar pocos días.

Hice compra en el super para el viaje y llevo fruta, yogures y sandwiches diversos.  La bicicleta la envolví con 100 mts de film para congelación.  Según los de Información de Renfe, la podía llevar como equipaje, siempre y cuando desmontara rueda y pedales y la empaquetara de tal manera que no superara norecuerdo que medidas.  No estoy demasiado seguro de que lo haya hecho correctamente pero nadie me dirá nada en la estación y terminará discretamente en la bandeja de equipajes del vagón.  El billete, comprado por internet, me ha costado 28,50 €, una ganga, por cruzar el país de una punta a otra.

Por supuesto, algo tenía que pasar por la mañana para empezar la aventura con emoción y el tráfico entre Ferrol y Miño debía estar la mar de fluído, porque el autobús pasó cinco minutos antes de su hora habitual, tres minutos antes de la hora que pone en el horario oficial y me pilló en el parking sacando la bici.  Si, ya sé, los horarios son orientativos y hay que estar en la parada con antelación.  A mi me gusta apurar los tiempos, es una tara que no consigo quitarme.  A esa hora de la mañana no se han levantado los taxis de Miño, pero siempre hay un colega del que tirar y termino llegando a la estación de tren con siete minutos de sobra, con tiempo de fumarme uno de mis últimos pitillos después de acomodar los trastos.  

En el lapso de veinte minutos que tarda mi amigo (y socio) en venir tan amable y resignadamente a recogerme aparece Maceiras, el médico y ex-alcalde.  Tomamos café juntos y me cuenta una primicia pokeril que no me permite divulgar hasta que sea oficial.  ¿Pá que me lo dices, entonces? ¿Para hacerme rabiar o para que lo cuente por lo bajini añadiendo "pero no se lo digas a nadie"? Yo, es que de maruja tengo cero y opto por la primera opción.  Diez minutos, que es lo que tardo en guasapearselo a mis colegas de Pokerviú mientras me recoge mi colega y volamos hasta la estación de Renfe o Adif o como se llame ahora el tren.

El día anterior intenté contactar con el albergue de Irún y con el de Hondarribia pero no pude hacerlo, malo será que no tenga donde dormir al llegar.  Decido echarle fe (o confianza en el Universo, como queráis llamarle) y me relajo enchufando el e-book y apoyando la cabeza en la ventanilla.  

Me ha tocado al lado una muchacha bonita que va hasta Vitoria, según reza su billete, pero no me apetece para nada conversar con nadie y me enfrasco en la lectura de "Pensar rápido, pensar despacio" de Daniel Kahneman, un libro que estoy releyendo y que tengo que volver a leer una tercera vez tomando notas porque me parece lo mejor que me ha caído en las manos (de lecturas hablo) en los últimos cinco años, si no más. Que te expliquen como funciona tu cocorota ayuda muchísimo a entender porque actúas de una manera tan estúpida (a veces) sin ser, técnicamente, un estúpido.

Antes de llegar a Santiago ya me he dado cuenta que el Off and On de Findlay va a ser la banda sonora de este Camino.  Que poderío de voz y de guitarras.  Me va a ahorrar la mitad de cafés matinales con todo ese derroche de energía directo a la vena.  Redescubro con deleite el placer de la lectura.  Últimamente no he leído apenas nada, muy probablemente por la frustración de no ser capaz de hilvanar decentemente la novela que empecé.  Al no poder escribir supongo que le cogí aversión subconsciente a la lectura.  Ese tapón también desaparecerá en los días que vendrán.

Mi compañera de asiento lee Lo que mueve el mundo, de Kirmen Uribe y escucha música (al menos lleva los auriculares puestos) y yo leo lo de Kahneman y escucho música.  Pienso que va a ser muy incómoda la situación durante siete horas y pico sin cruzar conversación, pero sigue sin apetecerme hablar.  Y yo tengo la ventana, que permite hacer ver que te extasió el paisaje y estás en una dimensión superior de sensaciones.  En Santiago, para empeorar la situación se llena el vagón y no hay posibilidad de reubicarse en ningún otro asiento.  Me toca una chica bonita y me quejo...  Si llega a ser un viejo mugriento vete tu a saber...

Al llegar a Orense, aún no he conseguido dormirme, con lo fácil que lo hago en los transportes públicos.  Empiezo a putearme un poco porque no paro de bostezar.  Demasiado cansado para leer, demasiado poco para dormirme.  Decido endiñarme un lexatin y dos petit suisse de la marca blanca de Dia.  El plástico se quiebra fácil y el método de succión directa (que ahorra el empleo y limpieza de una cuchara) no funciona del todo bien.  No compraré más esa marca, a pesar de que el contenido sabe mejor que el original.  No soy de comerlos con cubiertos. 

No echo fotos del paisaje gallego porque me lo sé de memoria y el cristal está bastante guarrete como para conseguir alguna instantánea decente. Algunos guiris no paran de soltar grititos de admiración ante el desparrame de verdor.  Es cierto, cuando algo se te hace cotidiano, sea bueno o malo, dejas de apreciarlo como tal.  

Notita mental: salir más a menudo de casa hacia el sur, para disfrutar de la vuelta, después de haber estado en sitios peores.  La imágen de la hamada sahariana me viene instantáneamente a la cabeza y me acojona un poco.  No me gusta la playa por la arena y necesito tener el mar cerca... ¿que coño hago yo en medio del reputo desierto?  

Recuerdo cuando me llamaron Bidan por primera vez, recuerdo los ojos verdes que añadieron Gamar al sustantivo, allá por 1998 o 99, pero no recuerdo cuando adopté el apodo como propio, después de haber perdido el contacto con aquellos hombres azules saharauis en 2002.  Supongo que sería un intento inconsciente de justificar mi desaparición.  Estoy en deuda con ellos, me inculcaron dos de los pilares fundamentales que sustentan mis principios.  Y las deudas hay que pagarlas.  

El Camino... ¿se aclara por momentos o es un sueño? Despierto con la boca espesa y el lexatín bloqueando la sinapsis.  El paisaje no me ayuda a orientarme, ya hemos entrado en esa parte de España horréndamente monótona, donde es imposible saber ni donde estás ni a dónde tienes que ir sin ayuda de instrumentos mecánicos cuando el sol desaparece, cosa que sucede en ese instante.  Podríamos ir en cualquiera de las cuatro direcciones cardinales y el cuerpo no notaría la diferencia.  Ver esa puta mierda que parece un eterno copy-paste de la naturaleza todo el día debe influír en la tasa de suicidios de los lugareños.  Sobre todo en invierno. Una voz me recuerda que el paisaje del desierto variado, variado, no es que sea.  Perfecto, añadiendo argumentos en contra, que la idea no tiene ni pies ni cabeza alguna.

Le doy al play del reproductor y la inconfundible voz de Karen O me anuncia que tienen canción nueva.  Cuando los Yeah Yeah Yeahs (que nombre tan horrendo para una banda de rock) se ponen serios hacen canciones muy buenas.  Sacrilege va al zurrón sin pensarlo dos veces. 

Lucía (la he bautizado así por ponerle un nombre) se ha despertado y entre sus gadgets y los míos hay un buen cristo en nuestros asientos.  No te preocupes son las primeras palabras que cruzamos en todo el trayecto. Recojo parte de mis cosas y me acomodo en el otro lado del pasillo, dos asientos más atrás, lo que permite que, si quisiéramos, nuestras miradas se podrían cruzar con más facilidad que antes, cuando estábamos sentados juntos.

Me he vuelto poco sociable con los desconocidos, no sé porque, pero no me apetece conocer gente nueva, últimamente.  En la cafetería un tipo de Donosti me ofrece una conversación en principio agradable, pero me irritan los temas banales.  El puto tiempo, la puta crisis y el puto Gobierno.  Siempre lo mismo, la misma repetición de frases  memorizadas en de alguna tertulia barata de taberna.  Educación, ya sé.  Ahora mismo puedo prescindir de ella; necesito hacerlo, quiero que me dejen en paz unos días, es muy sencillo. 

Me pongo un programa de radio, en casa me provoca sueño y aqui surte el mismo efecto.  Cuando vulevo a despertar, el paisaje es algo más verde, pero el verde tampoco es que sea una pista muy válida, todo el norte lo es.  No llevo reloj, es imposible saber donde está el sol y calcular que porcentaje de las once horas y media del trayecto llevamos hechas es inútil.  Podría preguntar, claro. ¿Que más da donde estemos?  Está libre la butaca individual que está frente a la silla de ruedas para pasajeros con movilidad reducida y aprovecho para derramar mi organismo entre ambos asientos.

Mientras como otros dos sandwiches de queso de untar con pechuga de pavo entre rebanadas empapadas de aceite de oliva extra virgen (hice los 13 iguales, en honor a John Ford y a la comodidad de la ¿cocina?: fácil y rápida, por favor) pienso si estaré perdiendo la oportunidad de conocer mejor a Lucía, que puede ser una mujer interesante.  Este pensamiento me provoca una enorme sonrisa cargada de sarcasmo y me doy cuenta que estoy algo resentido por algo que hay que sacar afuera en los días que vienen.  Cinco minutos después, estoy paseando en camello por el desierto, con un AK-47 en los brazos y prefiero entretenerme en esa estúpida escena semi surrealista que en valorar la posibilidad de hablar de algo banal con ella.

En Sahagún fumo medio pitillo.  Es curioso...  Llevo quince días avisándole al cuerpo que la dosis diaria de nicotina se va a terminar cualquier día de estos y parece preparado.  A pesar de que debo llevar cuatro o cinco horas sin fumar no me apetece hacerlo.  He intentado aplicarme una especie de auto hipnosis durante las sesiones de meditación matinales y parece que van a funcionar.  Mi mente tiene claro que ya no voy a fumar más.  Ahora falta que el cuerpo y el subconsciente entiendan y acepten el mensaje.  Al subir, el vagón se vuelve a llenar y me tengo que sentar otra vez al lado de Lucía.  Sigo sin interés alguno por su vida y ella sigue sin ninguno por la mía.

El revisor, que es el tercero diferente que pasa, me informa que la bici no puede viajar, según la normativa. Le explico lo que me contaron los de información de Renfe. "Los de información no tienen ni puta idea", sentencia y me recita dos artículos del reglamento de carrerilla.  Ese rollito aleccionador ya lo conozco y no es peligroso.  Quiere meterme miedo para hacerse el bueno al final, así que le dejo hacer.  De todos modos, para bajarme del tren va a necesitar a los GEOS.  Efectivamente, al final sentencia: "Mira, no voy a ser yo el malo que te baje aqui, en medio de la nada, cuando no te han dicho nada al subir en la Estación.  Pero que sepas que la bici no puede subir".  

Esbozo una sonrisa muy forzada y le doy las gracias al perdonavidas, que se aleja meneando la cabeza condescendientemente.  Si me da la chapa dos minutos más, lo mando a tomar por culo con todas las letras.  ¿Tendré la culpa yo de que su mujer lo haya dejado por un trompetista?  Puto país, como más hundido está, más gente aparece que te pretende enseñar como tienes que hacer las cosas.  Pero no las importantes, las que solucionarían los problemas.  Siempre son chorradas que no llevan a ninguna parte.  Cualquier día nos meterán un anuncio sobre la manera correcta de limpiarse el ojete para ahorrar papel higiénico.  Cuando responda que yo utilizo toallitas húmedas para bebés seguro que me llamarán maldito burgués despilfarrador y me declararán no apto para cualquier subsidio o pensión por gastar un céntimo cada vez que me higienizo después de ir de vientre. 

A partir de Miranda de Ebro la monotonía del paisaje se rompe y las luces de la tarde invitan a contemplarlo.  Esta vez si, me coloco en otra dimensión de sensaciones cromáticas y mi ánimo parece que se va relajando un poquito más.  Conforme avanzamos entre montes, me voy sintiendo cada vez mejor, más en mi ambiente.

En Vitoria-Gasteiz, Lucía se apea y oigo su voz por primera vez en diez horas. "Hasta luego", sonríe. "Hasta otra", le devuelvo la sonrisa.  Tengo que desbloquearme.  La muchacha emanaba vibraciones positivas.  No está el mundo como para ir rechazando energías positivas...

Al llegar a Irún, el aspecto del equipaje es el siguiente.  La bici, ciertamente, tiene un traje cómico.  Yo, si fuera revisor, no dejaría subirla de esa manera, aunque lo permitiera la normativa...

No tengo ni idea de donde está el albergue, pero el instinto me lleva en menos de diez minutos. Es un piso doble del ayuntamiento con dos literas en cada habitación. Acomodo la bici en el bajo, me acredito y escucho.  El hospitalero, Iñaki, está de voluntario durante diez días, una fórmula interesante para conocer gente.  Anima a todo el mundo, aconseja y caldea el ambiente, lo que no es sencillo, aunque se lubrica con una botella de licor de hierbas.

Estamos 25 personas y hay 13 nacionalidades; España, Francia, Alemania, Nueva Zelanda, Australia, Irlanda, Malta, Gibraltar (UK), Estados Unidos, Bulgaria, Italia, Holanda y la mía, una buena macedonia que se medio entiende en inglés, contando anécdotas de otros Caminos anteriores.

Me dan la cama de arriba al fondo.  Mike, el calvorota de la foto, roncaba como un cabrón pero yo no me enteraría hasta que me levanté a hacer pis sobre las cuatro y me encontré a Veronika desesperada por no poder dormir.  Yo me coloco los auriculares y le zumbo al volumen, pero siempre llevo unos tapones de espuma por si me quedo sin batería en el reproductory se los regalé.  Le explico que, en caso de emergencia supersónica, también se puede fabricar unos con papel higiénico humedecido.  Con Veronika, que me agradeció como tres veces en días sucesivos lo de los tapones, terminaríamos empatizando a base de coincidir a menudo.  El roce y eso, hace que la gente parezca menos imbécil.  A veces hasta agradable y todo...

El colchón estaba bien y dormí de puta madre, esa noche.  No recuerdo si soñé con camellos y arena o con danzas del vientre o con qué, la verdad.  Los relajantes musculares tienen esa ventaja, la de hacerte dormir a gusto.

Gastado en el día: 59 €
Doping: Dos lexatines, una de tramadol y otra de diclofenaco.  No cuento los dos lexatines del día anterior, el de los preparativos.

Si alguien quiere ver todas las fotos del día, las colgué en un album de feisbuc.

          Dear Friends        
As we announced earlier, the third edition of Bulgaria Tattoo Expo will take place on 16/17 april 2016. We will be again at the National Palace of Culture, Hall 3. This year the event gathered 75 artist, who worked and had fun with visitors from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, England and Spain. We organized a seminar with the amazing artist BulletBG. You probably also saw him, while he was tattooing at the event. We were visited by over 4000 people, who were entertained by the participants and our partners. The sound from the tattoo machines was combined with the Dj's music and the roar of the Harley Davidson bikes, specially delivered for the event. The tattoo competitions are a traditional part of our event. They brought to the artists and guests not only positive emotions, but also lots of prizes provided by our sponsors. For this year and all years ahead, we are raising our goals and we will try to overdo them, because we have a mission and we believe that tattoo art fans all around Europe need this kind of events. We are expecting you at the third edition of Bulgaria Tattoo Expo!
          Jana Pavlovska, piano        
Jana PavlovskaJana Pavlovska, born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1983, completed her education in Macedonia as class’ valedictorian at The National Music Academy then moved to the United States to pursue Masters’ level studies in Piano Performance with Dr. Winston Choi at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA).  She recently completed her studies of Artist Diploma in Piano Performance with Dr. Ludmila Lazar at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
          Qatar Airways inicia acuerdos de código compartido con LATAM         
Por Ricardo J. Delpiano

Qatar Airways LATAM Airlines (Cias Aereas)
Foto: Cías aéreas
Como parte del fortalecimiento de las relaciones y la generación de sinergias entre ambas empresas, Qatar Airways y LATAM Airlines implementaron desde el 1º de agosto un nuevo acuerdo de código compartido, inicialmente orientado a fortalecer la conectividad en Brasil. El mecanismo puede considerarse como punto de partida en la operación conjunta de ambas compañías, especialmente tras el ingreso de la aerolínea qatarí a la propiedad de la compañía chilena y las perspectivas de expansión que tiene en la región.

Según informa Qatar Airways, el acuerdo establece códigos compartidos en las rutas que LATAM posee desde Sao Paulo (GRU) hacia 25 ciudades al interior de Brasil, incluyendo Río de Janeiro (GIG), Salvador de Bahía, Campo Grande, Foz de Iguazú, Recife, entre otras.

Como resultado, LATAM será la encargada de proporcionar conectividad a través de Sao Paulo (GRU) con los vuelos diarios que Qatar Airways realiza a Doha y desde ahí un número significativo de destinos en todo el mundo, especialmente en el Lejano Oriente, India, Oceanía, África y el Medio Oriente. En Brasil, LATAM es el mayor operador con una red conformada por 44 destinos nacionales gestionada desde Sao Paulo (GRU) como otros aeropuertos en el país.

“Este acuerdo de código compartido entre Qatar Airways y LATAM Airlines Brasil fortalece los lazos futuros entre Brasil y Qatar. Nosotros hemos sido testigos de la creciente demanda entre los países de América del Sur y Qatar y más allá. Nuestro acuerdo no sólo satisface esa demanda sino que provee un servicio de valor para nuestros pasajeros en Doha y desde decenas de destinos en todo el mundo”, dice Su Excelencia Akbar Al Baker, CEO de Qatar Airways. “Con este nuevo acuerdo, más de la mitad de los destinos domésticos de LATAM en Brasil son accesibles para los clientes que vuelan en Qatar Airways”.

El acuerdo complementa y anticipa la nueva expansión que Qatar Airways está desarrollando en la región tanto con sus operaciones de pasajeros como en la red de carga. No se descarta que a medida que las operaciones se amplíen esta asociación podría ampliarse hacia otros países como parte de un proceso natural en las relaciones de las dos líneas aéreas.

Qatar Airways comenzó a volar a Brasil en el año 2010 con un servicio diario en la ruta Doha – Sao Paulo (GRU) – Buenos Aires (EZE), inicialmente con equipos Boeing 777-200LR, que posteriormente reemplazó con la versión -300ER de mayor capacidad. A partir de fines de enero de 2018, la compañía comenzará a operar su nueva ruta a Río de Janeiro (GIG) con continuación a Santiago.

En rutas de carga, la aerolínea ha ampliado su red con vuelos a Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires (EZE) y Quito, cuyas operaciones favorecen la importación y exportaciones de productos con el Medio oriente y Asia, brindando nuevas oportunidades para el desarrollo del comercio.

Además de ser miembros de oneworld, LATAM y Qatar Airways han iniciado un camino de cooperación de largo plazo con miras a fortalecer sus respectivos negocios a través de la generación de nuevos mecanismos de conectividad y sinergias de distinta índole, ambos gestionados desde su liderazgo a nivel regional y global. Qatar Airways es propietaria del 10% de LATAM Airlines Group desde diciembre de 2016, operación financiera aprobada previamente en agosto de ese año por una junta extraordinaria de accionistas.

A pesar del bloqueo impuesto por algunos países árabes vecinos, Qatar Airways continúa desarrollando sus operaciones a nivel global con normalidad tras algunos ajustes necesarios. Recientemente, la línea aérea ha incorporado a su creciente red destinos como Dublín (Irlanda), Skopje (Macedonia), Praga (Rep. Checa), Sohar (Omán) y Kiev (Ucrania), entre otros. También ha anunciado un incremento de operaciones hacia Irán como fórmula para compensar el bloqueo en el Reino de Arabia Saudita aprovechando el potencial que ofrece el país persa.

          Certificado EUR 1        

¿Qué es el EUR 1?
El certificado de circulación EUR1 es un documento  otorgado por la UE que acredita el origen  preferencial de las mercancías ante las autoridades aduaneras del país importador.  Este documento justifica la aplicación del régimen arancelario preferencial, es decir,  permite al importador beneficiarse de la reducción en los derechos de aduana sobre la mercancía importada.

¿Qué países pueden beneficiarse del EUR1?

El EUR1 es otorgado a aquellos países con los cuales la UE mantiene un Acuerdo Preferencial:  Marruecos, Argelia, Túnez, Egipto, Jordania, Siria, Líbano, Israel, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia y Croacia; Países ACP  (África, Caribe y Pacífico); países EFTA (Suiza, Islandia, Noruega y Liechtenstein); Países y Territorios de Ultramar y otros países con los que la UE tiene suscritos Acuerdos Preferenciales.

¿En qué momento debe ser expedido el EUR1?

El EUR1  debe ser expedido en el momento de la exportación, puesto que,  en términos generales,  no puede tener una fecha posterior al embarque porque el importador perdería los beneficios  fiscales. De modo excepcional, se puede expedir “a posteriori” si no se hubiera expedido en el momento de la exportación debido a un error u omisión involuntaria o por circunstancias especiales, o si se demuestra que la Secretaría expidió un certificado de circulación EUR.1 y no fue aceptado al efectuar la importación en el territorio de la Comunidad por motivos técnicos.

          2001 B.C.: A Time Odyssey from Audacious Rock by        
Book front cover
Time's Eye: A Time Odyssey Book1
Sir Arthur C. Clarke
4 out of 5 stars

Time's Eye is the first novel in the Time Odyssey series. According to the authors, this series doesn't run parallel to the Space Odyssey, but rather orthogonal (at right-angles, for all non-mathematicians). Though I have yet to find any reference to HAL and Dave Bowman. However, the classic line "But he would think of something." is back and promises to lead us into a great series.

The book deals with a sudden congregation of earth's history. Mongols, Macedonians, Colonial British and 21st Century UN soldiers, all find themselves thrown together on a world renamed "MIR". if only that were all. Everywhere the book takes us, there are hovering "Eyes" that appear to be watching everything that these (involuntary) timetravellers do.

The book is filled with the latest ideas in science about the nature of the universe. Although it makes for an interesting read, the explanations are far too short to be understood by the casual reader and many will find themselves skipping over them. Not a problem, the book has far more to offer than just maths. It is a very detailed and (from what I've heard, read and seen) a very accurate account of the respective time periods. Much of the book is spent on explaining military routines and rituals and the book seems to focus on war, but then that's hardly surprising, given earth's history.

Though not exactly a compulsory page-turner, this book is very gripping. I'm not sure in what relationship the two authors wrote this book, but this "Odyssey" series will be a much more mainstream read. Where 2001 was very arty and thought-provoking, this book will certainly appeal to a wider range of readers.

The book is well written, with just enough descriptive imagery to bring the ancient worlds to life. The story is paced and gripping. The dialogue is quirky with a mix of modern and 19th century british slang.

All in all this is a very good book and I'm already eagerly anticipating the second book, which I hope will clear up a few of the mysteries with which the book leaves you. Recommended to everyone.

          Translate your favorite with Google        
Sebelumnya telah diuraikan perihal Priority Inbox, dimana fitur ini bekerja pada Gmail dan saat ini Ambae.exe berkesempatan menggunakannya bersama others AMBAE. Lebih awal disampaikan bahwa Google mengeluarkan 2 (dua) fitur terbarunya. Yang akan diuraikan di bawah ini adalah Google Translate dengan fitur yang lebih hebat. Bagi sobat Googler, Google Translate bukanlah hal baru, tapi mungkin saja masih ada rekan-rekan yang ingin mengetahuinya dari awal terutama Ambae.exe yang masih awam.

Layanan ini diperkenalkan pada tahun 2007 dan mulai memasukkan Bahasa Indonesia ke dalam pilihan bahasa yang bisa diterjemahkan sejak 25 September 2008. Adapun sasaran utama dari Google Translate yakni untuk menerjemahkan bagian teks atau halaman web dalam satu bahasa ke bahasa lain.

Lalu mengapa diklaim memiliki fasilitas canggih dibanding penerjemah lainnya...? Tidak seperti layanan terjemahan lain seperti Babel Fish dan AOL yang menggunakan SYSTRAN, Google menggunakan perangkat lunak terjemahan sendiri. Itulah hebatnya mbah Google, si empunya tidak mau meminjam apapun dari pihak lain. Kalau perlu Sergey M. Brin dan Lawrence E. Page membeli produk pihak lain agar bisa menguasai dunia maya.

Lanjut fren, satu persatu kita bahas perihal Translate milik mbah Google. Dukungan Google Translate mencakup :
- Google Translate versi standar
- Google Search
- Google Toolbar
- Google Chrome
- Google Labs
- Google Mail (Gmail)
- Google Chat (chat via Gmail)
- Google Talk
- Google Groups
- Google Moderator
- Google Docs (Google Documents)
- Google Video (YouTube)
- Google Mobile
- Google Android
- Google Web Element
- Google AJAX API
- Google Toolkit

A. Google Translate versi standar

Steps A1
Kunjungi Google Translate, lalu ketik atau paste karakter, kata maupun kalimat yang ingin diterjemahkan. Tentukan bahasa terjemahan yang akan digunakan dan klik Translate. Tukar arah terjemahan dengan mengeklik tombol Swap languages.

Steps A2
Klik Listen untuk mendengarkan terjemahan versi suara Google. Klik Read phonetically untuk membedakan suara/lafadz dari yang diperdengarkan Google. Metode Read phonetically memanfaatkan sistem notasi fonetis (International Phonetic Alphabet), yakni kumpulan tanda yang dengannya semua bahasa manusia dapat ditulis dan dijelaskan. Seperti halnya membedakan lafadz fa dengan pa dan va atau sa dengan xa dan za atau ca dengan ka dan qa serta ei dengan ee dan ey dan bahasa planet lainnya.

B. Google Search

Steps B1
Silakan meluncur ke Google Homepage dan ketikkan keyword yang akan dicari. Hasil pencarian pun muncul sebanyak 10 URL/Website di halaman pertama Google yang paling terkait dengan keyword tersebut. Untuk menerjemahkan URL, klik link Translate this page atau Terjemahkan laman ini di sisi kanan salah satu URL hasil Searching. Translate dapat dimaksimalkan dengan mengatur metode pencarian pada menu Advanced Search atau Preferences.

Steps B2
Setelah mengeklik link Translate this page, Google segera menerjemahkannya. Tentukan bahasa terjemahan pada tampilan halaman berikutnya. Untuk menukar arah terjemahan, tidak disiapkan tombol Swap languages. Sehingga harus mengganti bahasa secara manual pada kedua drop down menu.

Steps B3
Temukan hal unik dari namamu, pada kolom pencarian ketik perintah Translate 'My Name is xxxxxxx' to yyyyyyy.
~ xxxxxxx : Nama
~ yyyyyyy : Bahasa

C. Google Toolbar

Steps C1
Google Toolbar bekerja pada browser Microsoft Internet Explorer dan Mozilla Firefox versi 2.0 atau yang lebih tinggi. Operation System (OS) yang direkomendasikan yakni Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista atau yang lebih tinggi. Untuk mengaktifkannya Download dan Install Google Toolbar, ikuti langkah selanjutnya hingga Finish. Bila Google memerintahkan untuk Restart, sobat Googler ikuti saja, jangan membantah perintah orang tua (mbah Google), mumpung GRATIS. Setelah terinstall, Google Toolbar akan terpasang di bagian atas halaman browser, tepatnya pada Toolbar Menu.

D. Google Chrome

Steps D1
Serupa tapi tidak sama, Google Chrome mirip dengan Google Toolbar. Perbedaannya, Google Toolbar merupakan Add-ons yang bekerja pada browser IE dan Mozilla Firefox. Sedangkan Google Chrome merupakan browser yang di dalamnya telah dibenamkan fitur Google Translate dengan tampilan Google Toolbar. Bekerja hanya pada Operation System (OS) Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista dan Windows 7. Daripada bingung, Download versi teranyar Google Chrome dan rasakan kehangatan Google Translate bersamanya. Untuk versi Beta, disini downloadnya.

Google Labs dan Google Mail (Gmail)

Steps E1
Email yang masuk tidak selalu menggunakan bahasa Indonesia. Bahkan orang Indonesia pun terkadang memakai bahasa Alien dalam mengirimkan email atau di saat chatting. Install salah satu fitur Google Labs pada Menu Settings. Pilih Sub Menu Labs, aktifkan fitur Message translation lalu Simpan pengaturan.

Steps E2
Masih pada Menu Settings, pilih Sub Menu General dan tentukan bahasa terjemahan secara default lalu simpan kembali pengaturan terakhir.

Untuk menonaktifkan fitur ini, centang Disabled pada Menu Labs. Namun, bila ingin menonaktifkan Google Labs secara utuh tanpa memilah-milah fiturnya, kunjungi OFF.

Google Chat (chat via Gmail)
dan Google Talk

Steps F1
Fitur ini memanfaatkan Google Bots dalam menerjemahkan setiap pesan Chat. Googler yang terbiasa dengan Google Wave, kiranya tidak mengalami kesulitan dalam mengaplikasikan Google Bots. Guna memudahkan sobat Googler, Ambae.exe menyuguhkan daftar Google Bots yang dapat ditambahkn pada Gmail Chat atau Google Talk.

Google Bots pada fitur ini dimaksudkan sebagai robot Google yang akan menelusuri data yang dicari para Googler. Selanjutnya para Robot ini menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa masing-masing Bots. Jangan lupa menambahkan Format penulisan Bots yakni
~ xxxxxxx : Salah satu Bots
~ Contoh : Google Bots untuk bahasa Chinese ke English.

Google Groups, Google Moderator
dan Google Docs (Google Documents)

Steps G1
Berdiskusi bersama rekan sesama Googler, mengedit dokumen, merespon, bertanya, menjawab, menyarankan atau memberi ide dan masukan kepada dan/atau dari Google. Dengan fitur Google Translate di dalamnya, serasa kuliah dengan fasilitas Dwi Bahasa. Sobat tidak perlu mengutak-atik Setting dan Preferences. Cukup mengunjungi Translate ala Google Groups, Google Moderator dan/atau Google Docs (Google Documents).

H. Google Video (YouTube)

Steps H1
Halaman pencarian YouTube, mirip dengan Google Homepage. Klik Translate untuk menerjemahkan Keterangan Video atau klik Show original untuk mengembalikan ke dalam bentuk aslinya.

Steps H2
Sobat Googler sering menikmati tayangan HBO atau HBO Asia, Cinemax, Star Movie, Star World dan sebagainya...??? Menonton Film kesayangan di channel termasyur tersebut benar-benar mengasyikkan. Tersedia dalam Bi-Lingual atau Dwi Language. Di samping itu tersedia pula Running Text di setiap Film, meski film itu telah berganti bahasa dari English ke Indonesia. Wajarlah HBO mengklaim dirinya It's not TV, it's HBO

Bagaimana dengan Google Video atau YouTube...??? Video yang disertai dengan keterangan Teks alias Caption dapat pula diterjemahkan ke dalam berbagai bahasa. Dengan catatan bahwa video tersebut memiliki Caption atau lazim dikenal dengan Running Text sebagai terjemahan teks dari apa yang diucapkan dalam video bersangkutan. Klik Icon (^) lalu pilih Icon (cc), keduanya berada di pojok kanan bawah Video. Lalu klik Translate Captions untuk mengatur bahasa terjemahan.

Steps H3
Tentukan bahasa terjemahan dengan mengeklik drop down menu. Selanjutnya klik tombol Translate. Maka sekejap, Caption Video diterjemahkan sesuai bahasa yang dipilih.

I. Google Mobile dan Google Android

Steps I1
Translate via Google Mobile melalui perangkat seluler sobat Googler dengan mengunjungi Google Mobile

Steps I2
Dengan Google Android, fitur Google Translate benar-benar dimaksimalkan. Tidak hanya berupa teks ke teks, Googler dapat menerjemahkan teks ke dalam bentuk suara. Demikian sebaliknya, suara diterjemahkan kembali ke dalam bentuk teks. Download Google Android untuk merasakannya.

J. Google Web Element,
Google AJAX API dan Google Toolkit

Steps J1
Ingin memiliki Tool Translater di Webpage sobat Googler...??? Benamkan Code Google Translate ke dalamnya.

Copy dan Paste Script Code berikut

Script di atas hanya contoh, pengaturan secara manual silakan kunjungi Google Web Element. Mengenai penempatan HTML tersebut, posisikan pada BODY section.

Sobat tidak menginginkan Google menerjemahkan halaman Webpagenya. Copy dan Paste Meta Tag berikut dan posisikan pada HEAD section :

Steps J2
Terjemahan Webpage maupun Web Element lebih dimungkinkan lagi dengan fitur Google AJAX API. Tentunya Googler akan lebih sering bermain dengan Javascript.

Steps J3
Yang ini lebih hebat lagi. Googler dapat mengupload dan mendownload data yang diterjemahkan dengan fitur Google Toolkit. Lebih lengkapnya, kunjungi Google Tranlator Toolkit karena pada halaman tersebut diuraikan dengan jelas melalui media Video Tutorial versi mbah Google.

Sobat Blogger dan rekan Googler yang ingin mengetahui lebih banyak tentang fitur ini, silakan mengunjungi mbah Google. Mengingat panjangnya artikel ini dan rumitnya pembahasannya. Sebagai newbie, mohon dikoreksi bila terdapat kesalahan di dalamnya.

Persembahan berikutnya berupa Daftar Bahasa yang didukung Google Translate hingga saat ini sebanyak 57 Bahasa, yakni :
* Afrikaans
* Albanian
* Armenian (Alpha)
* Azerbaijani (Alpha)
* Arabic
* Basque (Alpha)
* Belarusian
* Bulgarian
* Catalan
* Chinese (Simplified)
* Chinese (Traditional)
* Croatian
* Czech
* Danish
* Dutch
* English
* Estonian
* Filipino
* Finnish
* French
* Galician
* Georgian (Alpha)
* German
* Greek
* Haitian Creole (Alpha)
* Hebrew
* Hindi
* Hungarian
* Icelandic
* Indonesian
* Italian
* Irish
* Japanese
* Korean
* Latvian
* Lithuanian
* Macedonian
* Malay
* Maltese
* Norwegian
* Persian
* Polish
* Portuguese
* Romanian
* Russian
* Serbian
* Slovak
* Slovenian
* Spanish
* Swahili
* Swedish
* Thai
* Turkish
* Ukrainian
* Urdu (Alpha)
* Vietnamese
* Welsh
* Yiddish

          Categories of Vocabularies        
1.    Title of incident/type of incident
Assault/Assassination/Attack/Vandalize/Murder/Property / persecution / Damage/Kidnapping/Demonstration/Slanghter/Homicide/Persection/Harrashment/Intimidation/
Threat/Stalking/Mugging/Extortion/Blackmail/Torture/Mob Justice/Beating/Domestic Violation(HRV)/Robbery/Suicide/Burglary / break in/Theft/Road Accident/Genocide/Massacre Arson/Assault/Blackmail/Fraud/Hijacking/Hooliganism /Mugging
2.    Body structure/looks of suspects.
Heavily built/slim/lean/medium built /muscular built/(slender- willowy- meager) (robust/ /stout/strapping /chunky / stocky /  burly /bold / brawny/ sturdy) ( lanky – leggy - tall and thin) (cocky / overconfident ) shaved head/curly hair/skinny/bony/bald head
3.    Dress of suspects
Camouflage/sneaker/bandana/Turban/ emblem/Denim jean/ Trainer/sleeve-less shirt/ belt/scarf
Underpants/undershirt/ hooded sweat shirt / black track pants/ track suit/
4.    Kind of fire arms and non fire arms
Machetes /AK-47/mouser rifle/Glock17 /revolver/club/ base ball bat/Browning pistol/knife/Astra pistol/Assault rifle/Smith & Wesson-semi automatic pistol / Compact Assault Rifle /
Automatic Shotgun - 12 gauge / Semi-Auto Carbine / Walther pistol/Beretta pistol/Chinese pistol/

5.    Color types
( Tan/ brown) - Gray - Blue/ navy – Purple – (green/ emerald/ jade/ olive/ lime/ sea green/ bottle green) – (White/ colorless/ pallid/ sallow/ ashen) – Black (Yellow/ fair-haired/ blond /pale/ golden-haired/ blonde / flaxen
(Maroon/ burgundy/ reddish purple/ claret /dark red/ wine-colored)

6.    Action words
Swerve/plant/grab/clutch/punch /stab /strangulate/apprehend – detain / stun /disperse – scatter / dispatch/veer/fell/drown/beat/tie/bind/struck/point/assault/torture/vandalize/abduct/apprehand/arrest/offend/attack/charge/accuse/convict/ arrest/ban/break in/break into/ break the law/burgle/charge/commit a crime/escape/get away/hold up/investigate/rob/steal/veer-turn/
7.    Types of vehicles
Volkswagen/Mercedes/sedan/lada/ land rover/Tata jeep/mini bus/truck/( TL/SD/TB/TY)/Honda civic/Honda Crv/Honda City/Honda Pilot/Honda Hrv/Honda Accord/Honda Fit/Land Rover/
Mercedes-Benz/Mitsubishi/Nissan/Suzuki /Toyota Corolla /Toyota Hilux/ Alfa Romeo / FIAT/ BMW /Hyundai/Ford/
8.    Type of ethnicity
Muslim/Serbian/Albanian/Croat/Bosnian/Kosovar Albanians /Kosovar Serbs/Gorani/Turks/Macedonian/Romanian/orthodox Serb/Timorese/  Morle

9.    Complexion
Caucasian/black/white/fair/dark/ mulattos and whites
10.    Mark/scar/tattoo
  Scar/ blemish/ disfigurement/ wound/ scratch /mark/ pockmark/ stain /spot /blotch/ nick/notch
11.    Position of human/objects
supine/prawn/upside town/downside up/inside out/outside in/squatting - hunkering down/crouching-stoop/kneeling/lying/hanging/
12.    Criminals
ef/vandal/ offender / assailant/ perpetrator/assailant/miscreant / thugs /intruder/suspect/accused/convict/maniac/
13.    fugitive- renegade-escapee/ deserter-escapee/bandit/ fraudster/
14.    part of body
temple/ abdomen/chin/chick/waist /Ankle/foot/skull/tibia /tummy- stomach //wrist/forehead/
15.    injuries
Wound/ hurt/ lesion / abrasion/ cut/ wound/ gash/ sore/ laceration/ scratch/ Abrasion/Bruising/Burns
Cluster Headaches/Concussions/Congestive Heart Failure/Coronary Artery Disease/Dislocation
Flail Chest/Fracture/ Crush Injury/ Dislocation/Flail Chest/Fracture/Head Trauma/Hypothermia/Lacerations/Pinched Nerve/ Rib Fracture/ Spinal Cord Injury/ Traumatic Brain / massive Trauma / hemorrhage / Injury

16.    kinds of drugs
Marijuana / Cannabis/Cocaine/Heroin/Ecstasy/Ketamine/LSD Index/Mushrooms/Drug Types

17.    Justice System
Appeal – request /barrister/caution/Cell/Community service/Court/court case/death penalty/defense/fine/goal-jail/guilty/imprisonment/innocent/judge/jury/justice/lawyer/offence/
Sentence/prison/probation-trial/prosecution/punishment/capital punishment – death penalty/corporal punishment – long term prison/remand home/solicitor/trial/verdict/witness

18.    Extra
Compensation/ ransom/bail/parole/ escape/at large/ abscond/flee/ Hostile/aggressive/
( fugitive-escapee)

          Spain opens Euro 2016 qualifying with big win; England seizes control of Group E        
LONDON — Spain looked back to its old self in opening its European Championship qualifying campaign by running over Macedonia, while England took control of its group by beating biggest rival Switzerland on the road. Here is a look at […]
          (DF) Parliament Chair Glavchev Confers with Macedonian Counterpart, PM        
August 8 (BTA) - It is now the turn of the parliaments of Bulgaria and Macedonia to confirm and continue what the two prime ministers - Boyko Borissov and Zoran Zaev - have done with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation, National Assembly Chairman Dimiter Glavchev said in Skopje on Tuesday quoted by the National Assembly Press Centre. He made this statement during a meeting with Macedonian Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi.
          (DF) President Radev Hails Goodneighbourliness Treaty with Macedonia        
August 2 (BTA) - Bulgarian President Rumen Radev hailed the Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation between Bulgaria and Macedonia signed on Tuesday. Radev underscored that "a new, European page has been turned" in bilateral relations, the presidential Press Secretariat said Wednesday.
          (DF) Bulgarian PM Borissov, Bulgarian Delegation Attend Ilinden Uprising Observances in Skopje        
August 2 (BTA special correspondent Hristo Vodenov) - On Wednesday, the second and last day of his official visit to Macedonia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his delegation attended observances of the anniversary of the 1903 Ilinden Uprising in Skopje. On August 2, the Republic of Macedonia marks its national day.
          (DF) US State Department Hails Signing of Bulgaria-Macedonia Good-neighbourliness Treaty        
August 2 (BTA) - "The United States congratulates Bulgaria and Macedonia on the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighborliness and Cooperation," the US Department of State said in a press release on Tuesday.
          (DF) EC Officials and EU Foreign Ministers Welcome Bulgaria-Macedonia Treaty        
August 1 (BTA) - European Commission officials and EU foreign ministers hailed Tuesday's signature of the Goodneighbourliness Treaty between Bulgaria and Macedonia. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in a statement that the EU welcomes the treaty.
          (DF) Sofia Concludes Railway Memorandum with Skopje        
August 1 (BTA) - Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski and Macedonian Transport Minister Goran Sugareski on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to develop railway links between their countries, Moskovski's ministry reported.
          (DF) Natural Gas Memorandum Signed with Macedonia        
August 1 (BTA) - The governments of Bulgaria and Macedonia have confirmed their political intention to work for the security of energy supplies to the two countries, to Southeastern Europe and to the European Union and have expressed support for the building of a European Energy Union. These commitments have been set out in a bilateral memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the field of natural gas. The memorandum was signed by Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova and Macedonian Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi in Skopje on Tuesday, the Bulgarian government press service reported.
          (DF) Bulgaria, Macedonia Sign Goodneighbourliness Treaty        
August 1 (BTA) - A Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation between Bulgaria and Macedonia was signed in Skopje on Tuesday. The document was signed by Prime Ministers Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Zoran Zaev of Macedonia during the former's two-day official visit to Skopje. "The Treaty is not aimed against any country," Borissov said, speaking to journalists. He said that Bulgaria and Macedonia, "using no intermediaries or guidelines, arrived at the conclusion that peace, friendship and goodneighbourliness are more important than all else." Macedonian Prime Minister Zaev said: "The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria have together made a historic step forward. We decided to use history as a basis for the future and we opened up a path of stability and development for our two countries and for the Balkan region."
          (DF) Bulgarian Parliament Adopts Unanimously Declaration in Support of Bulgaria-Macedonia Goodneighbourliness Treaty        
July 27 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Parliament Thursday adopted unanimously a declaration in support of a Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation with Macedonia. 206 MPs took the vote and all votes were in favour.
          (DF) Bulgarian Government Approves Draft Treaty of Goodneighbourliness with Macedonia        
July 26 (BTA) - At its weekly meeting Wednesday, the Bulgarian government approved a draft Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation with Macedonia, said the government press office. The signing of the Treaty is "an expression of Bulgaria's wish to build relations of goodneighbourliness with Macedonia, based on European values", Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said during the government meeting.
          Carnival of the Balkans #1: BALKAN ARTS AND MUSIC        
Welcome to the first Carnival of the Balkans! This project grew out of the realization that there are more good sites from Southeastern Europe every day, and that one nice way to follow their development and bring attention to them would be by offering an occasional showcase of some of the best, most interesting and most amusing writing going on. The first edition is on the theme of Balkan music and arts, broadly defined.

Our first edition is smaller than some of the more established blog carnivals, but larger than the average studio apartment. Posts were nominated either by submission or because the editors had seen something wonderful. With any luck, as the Balkan blog sphere grows and more people become aware of it, future carnivals will be bigger, louder, and more diverse.

The world of theatre and film was approached through nostalgia by Science and Politics with a remembrance of a great performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the National Theatre in Belgrade. Balkan-scissors shared with us the observations of stage and screen legend Eva Ras, who has published an autobiography. The Burekeaters let us in on the release of the new Macedonian film Bal Can-Can, while Drax set up a new site to be a repository for his film reviews.

In Balkan television, Burekeaters shared news of the exciting project to link Balkan cities with one another musically through MTV Adria, and let us in on the internet launch of the great Macedonian comedy group K-15. Drax continued to chronicle the spread of “reality TV” in the region, showing again how local patterns make their way into a global commercial form.

The world of music continued to oscillate between joyful nostalgia and willful forgetting. Drax chronicled the misfortunes of Nova TV in Croatia, which thought it could score a commercial coup by broadcasting an interview with turbo-folk diva and political lightning rod Ceca Raznatovic. The Burekeaters appreciated the music of Bojan Zulfikarpasic and the Kocani Orkestar. Balkan-scissors took a trip through earler Balkan rokenrol with a brief history of the New Primitives and of Zabranjeno Pusenje, and an appreciation of the archives of the old pop magazines Ritam and Dzuboks made available by the new pop magazine Popboks. The Glory of Carniola offered glorious and curious old Yugoslav album covers, introduced us to the interesting to look at Slovenian group Atomik Harmonik, and shared with us the worst-ever performance of the Ode to Joy. East Ethnia hoped for the Balkanization of America by noting that Edo Maajka was coming, so no sikiriki.

The basic Balkan source for literature and the visual arts remained quod scripsi, scripsi with its daily features on visual artists, writers, and places, much of it supplemented at the author's new multilingual blog. Visual enjoyment of places also continued to be enhanced by Novalas with their ongoing series of “Postcards from the Past.” Among the painters with notable web presences these past few weeks have been Aghim Muka and Bujar Asllani. The last month also marked the departure of Edo Murtic, noted by Quod. Meanwhile the fate of cultural institutions was observed by Ludost's continued chronicle of Bosnia's Zemaljski muzej.

Balkan cuisine travelled the world as the Burekeaters ate burek (what else?) in Palermo and East Ethnia brought the joy of sour cabbage to benighted and snowed-in western Massachusetts. Rijecanka taught the world to make krostule, and Seesaw offered us first a picture, then a recipe for bosanski lonac.

Some of the best Balkan humor was on the theme of political culture. The Centralni komitet showed the (d)evolution of political culture in Montenegro. Ludost invited addicts to join Ethnoholics anonymous, and the Burekeaters contributed the Glory of Croatia with a stadium wrapped in a necktie --Croat/cravat, you see.

The list of excellent Balkan blog productions also includes many that are not mentioned or linked here. Join in, submit your pieces to the Carnival of the Balkans – what is blogging for but to get the word out?
          Bowlings, Won Life, Bowling Sisters to Sing at Macedonia Baptist        

Daviess Event 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/10/17) – The Bowlings with Won Life and The Bowling Sisters will be singing at Macedonia Baptist Church Aug. 26.

Singing starts at 6 p.m. at 4835 Millers Mill Road. Tickets are $10 each.

SurfKY News

          Comment on Macedonia: Migrants Allowed to Board Train at Northern Border by Neven Luledzija        
Really? What about the time when Europe sent its "noble man" to destroy the culture of Islam? Well, over the centuries, finally you came to reap what you sow... Who gave Europe and US a mandate to be the world's police, to order who can and who can't be the leader of the other countries? You destroyed Libya, Yugoslavia, many other countries, well, it's the time to pay for your misdeeds
          Comment on Macedonia: Migrants Allowed to Board Train at Northern Border by Lindsey8512        
These scumbag Muslims think they can force themselves across Europe's borders. Europe doesn't owe Muslims anything! Stay in your own countries because nobody wants hundreds of thousands of terrorists and future terrorists destroying their culture and country!
          EU truths and untruths        
With the UK now voting as to whether it remains in the EU or stirs up what has been described as "the biggest change in European politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall" (although the war in Yugoslavia and the first genocide since the Nazis ought to come close), I thought I'd run through some of the claims of both sides that are intellectually dishonest.


3 million jobs are linked to trade with the EU: Well yes, but then nobody is saying trade with the EU will end and nobody campaigning to leave wants inferior trading conditions.  The European Free Trade Association provides free trade with the EU, with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland all members.  The idea that leaving the EU means 3 millions jobs are at risk is a gross exaggeration.   However, if the EU is bloody minded and puts up tariff barriers equivalent to what it does for the rest of the world. it is a 4% average tariff on UK trade to the EU, which is negative for jobs, but hardly a huge risk. 

If the UK leaves the EU, you might need a visa to visit the EU: Nonsense.  You don't need a visa to visit the EU from the US, Canada, Australia, NZ or any of the EFTA member states.  What would change is having the right to live there.  Given those wanting to leave mostly want to end the free movement of people, that could be a concern for some. 

Leaving the EU will create a recession: No it wont.  The worst estimates are a small reduction in economic growth, but the long run estimates are a 6% long term slowing of growth if the UK gets the most inferior trading conditions likely with the EU (and assuming the UK has no free trade agreements with any other countries, like the US, Japan and China).  It also assumes the UK does not cut any EU regulation out at all.  In short, the Treasury estimates used by the Government of a recession are based on leaving the EU, and not taking advantage of the new freedom to trade and freedom to relieve the economy of EU Directives that impose costs on growth.

The EU means food, petrol, flights, energy and mobile phone charges are lower: Unmitigated rubbish, quite the opposite.  The EU Common Agricultural Policy inflates the price of food in the EU by 17% over market prices.  The EU legally requires all Member States to tax petrol by at least around 32p/l (but the UK government taxes it at 80% more than that).  The Single Aviation Market goes beyond the EU, with many non-EU countries as participants.  Norwegian Airlines has grown rapidly in the past couple of years, expanding long haul flights between the UK and US.  Norway is not in the EU. The EU inflates energy prices, by requiring minimum levels of taxation on gas and electricity bills, and imposing renewable energy obligations on member states.  Yes mobile roaming in the EU is lower than it would have been had the EU not enforced it, but it's clear EU protectionism and "normalisation" of regulations imposes costs on consumers. 

The £10 billion paid into the EU is "returned' many times over: No it's not.  What is returned is free trade, which should never be at the cost of paying for farming subsidies or infrastructure investment in other countries.  Leaving the EU doesn't mean an end to trading with the EU. 

The EU has 50 trade agreements we lose access to:  Many of which are with micro-states/territories, like San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Guernsey.  The only significant economies with deals are Mexico, South Africa and South Korea.  The UK could readily negotiate during the transition deals easily as good or better, as the main forces for protectionism in trade are the likes of France.

Staying in means reform:  That's highly unlikely.  David Cameron couldn't even get all the reforms he asked for with a threat of Brexit (which clearly the EU saw through as being unlikely), why would it happen after a vote to Remain?  The UK holds 9% of the MEP seats in the European Parliament, and although it is a significant contributor, reform is sclerotic.  The EU hasn't significantly cut back any of its activities and always finds new ones.  It is a political project of integration, and shows little sign of ever caring what is thought of it.

David Cameron's deal means unemployed EU migrants can be deported:  No, they can't. EU citizens can't be deported from Member States unless they are a threat to national security or criminals.  


Leaving the EU will fix the immigration "problem":  Assuming the problem is too many immigrant, and the failure of the Government to cut annual immigration to less than 100,000 people, leaving the EU will enable the UK to ration EU immigration like it does for non-EU.  However, non- EU immigration is already over 150,000 per annum.  Nobody is saying Brexit means deporting immigrants (thankfully).  Most concerns over immigration are perceptions about access to taxpayer provided services, and more often than not reflect the bankruptcy of the world's biggest health bureaucracy, which is treated as a religion never to be reformed (NHS), the bizarre legal obligation of all local authorities to ensure anyone who lives in the UK has housing (including rooms in hotels paid for by taxpayers), the open access to compulsory education and the sclerotic way the UK restrains supply of housing and roads.   Leaving the EU wont solve any of that, but then those wanting to stay in the EU are also devoid of responses to what are more fundamental problems.  

Turkey is joining soon: No it's not.  Notwithstanding David Cameron's hypocrisy over the issue, it is difficult to see Cyprus accepting Turkey until there is settlement over northern Cyprus, or Greece accepting Turkey until Turkey secures its southern borders with Syria and Iraq.  However, Serbia, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia and Albania will all likely be members within 10 years.

Money saved will be spent on the NHS:  Well the half that is a rebate and is current subsidies wont change, although there is a chance to make some serious saving there.  The rest?  Well it can go on many things, but there is a case for simply cutting the deficit by £10 billion a year.  After all, despite George Osborne's platitudes, the UK government is still overspending.  What happens with the money is up to the government.  The Leave campaign is not the government.  Yes leaving the EU wont save £350 million a week, more like half that, but the rebate is not set in a treaty, and the spending 

UK will be drawn into the Euro and ever closer union: The UK has a treaty opt-out of the Euro and has to agree to treaties for ever closer union, but it wont mean it doesn't face the costs of ever closer union.  That will depend on future negotiations.

The UK can get trade access as good as the Single Market without free movement of people:  This is unlikely, simply because it would mean the Single Market is undermined and would be a massive backtracking of the principles of the EU.  Signing up to EFTA or the EEA will mean some compromise on this.

          #ESPECIAL “Buscando refugio para mis hijos”        

Te recomendamos este Especial del fotoperiodista y director de Periodismo Humano, Javier Bauluz, realizado con Univisión. Más de 250 fotografías del éxodo de las familias de refugiados hacia Europa a través de seis países. Desde las islas de Lesbos y Kos, Grecia, pasando por Macedonia, Serbia, Hungría, Austria y Alemania.  Javier Bauluz ha acompañado a pie, en tren o en bus a los refugiados durante 120 días desde agosto de 2015 hasta abril de 2016.

          Roma International Scholarship Program (RISP), 2014-2015        

This scholarship has been extracted from the BEST SCHOLARSHIP WEB: Scholarships 2017 - 2017 =)

Roma Education Fund is inviting application for international scholarship program for pursuing bachelor, master, doctoral or postdoctoral program at a state accredited university in other than applicant’s home country. The Program is designed to provide partial support to Roma students who are citizens of one of the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. REF can support under RISP scholarship scheme the same applicant throughout his/her studies for maximum 5 years.. Roma Education Fund’s Scholarship Program (REF SP) announces the opening of its yearly scholarship cycle of the Roma International Scholar

All the complete information in Roma International Scholarship Program (RISP), 2014-2015 !

          Macedonian Government Undergraduate Scholarships for Foreign Students, 2014-2015        

This scholarship has been extracted from the BEST SCHOLARSHIP WEB: Scholarships 2017 - 2017 =)

Applications are invited for Macedonian government scholarships available for foreign students to pursue undergraduate studies for the academic 2014/2015 at the University of Information Science and Technology. The scholarships are available to outstanding students, not older than 22 years old. Successful applicants will sign a contract with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia. The contract will stipulate that the scholarship provides funds for the first academic year and subsequently for the rest of the three years of the undergraduate studies, provided that the student ends the first year of studies with satisfactory success rate. Application should be submitted till August 1, 2014.. .  Scholarships are available for pursuing undergraduate degree at the University of Information Science and Technology.

All the complete information in Macedonian Government Undergraduate Scholarships for Foreign Students, 2014-2015 !

          MENON: Journal of Educational Research Call for Papers        


The Faculty of Education of the University of Western Macedonia invites you to submit a manuscript to the 5th issue of the MENON: Journal of Educational Research, which is planned to be launched on December 2017. 
The MENON: Journal of Educational Research is a national and international interdisciplinary forum for scholars, academics, researchers and educators from a wide range of fields related to Educational studies. MEJER (MENON: Journal of Educational Research) publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on humanities, social sciences and sciences related to educational issues.


Deadline of submissions: 30/09/2017
Reviewing process: 01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
Resubmission/editing process: 01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
Manuscripts must be submitted  as electronic files  (by e-mail attachment in a Microsoft Word document) to: or via the Submission Webform
Submission of a manuscript implies that it must not be under consideration for publication by other journal or has not been published before.



          4th Issue, April 2017        
menon_issue_1st_special_2014_001.jpgThe Faculty Of Education announces the publication of the 4th issue of MENON: Journal Of Educational Research

The scope of the MENON is broad, both in terms of topics covered and disciplinary perspective, since the journal attempts to make connections between fields, theories, research methods, and scholarly discourses, and welcomes contributions on humanities, social sciences and sciences related to educational issues. It publishes original empirical and theoretical papers as well as reviews. Topical collections of articles appropriate to MENON regularly appear as special issues (thematic issues).

This open access journal welcomes papers in English, as well in German and French. Allsubmitted manuscripts undergo a peer-review process. Based on initial screening by the editorial board, each paper is anonymized and reviewed by at least two referees.  Referees are reputed within their academic or professional setting, and come from Greece and other European countries. In case one of the reports is negative, the editor decides on its publication.



Download the 4th issue from here.


          2nd Thematic Issue, May 2016        
The Faculty Of Education announces the publication of the 2nd Thematic Issue of MENON: Journal Of Educational Research
The scope of the MENON is broad, both in terms of topics covered and disciplinary perspective, since the journal attempts to make connections between fields, theories, research methods, and scholarly discourses, and welcomes contributions on humanities, social sciences and sciences related to educational issues. It publishes original empirical and theoretical papers as well as reviews. Topical collections of articles appropriate to ΜΕΝΟΝ regularly appear as special issues (thematic issues).




“The Use of History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education”

The question of the integration of the History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education has been discussed since the 20th century by Educators (Barwell, Brousseau, Freudental, Piaget), Philosophers (Bachelard), Mathematicians (Klein, Poincare), and Historians of Mathematics (Loria, Smith), who have supported the proposal and have given arguments on the interest and challenges in school Mathematics courses.

Since the 1960s the use of the history of mathematics in mathematics education has become more popular and many papers in scientific journals, books, proceedings of conferences and groups of researchers have focused on this in contrast to the paradigm of the “modern mathematics” reform. We can find many didactical situations, mathematical problems, teaching series but also empirical and theoretical studies, Master and Phd level dissertations on the role and the ways of using historical, social and cultural elements in the teaching of mathematics. During the 2nd International Congress on Mathematics Education (ICME) in 1972 we have the creation of an International research group (International study group on the relation between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM)) which organizes a congress every 4 years. The idea of a European Summer University (ESU) on the Epistemology and History in Mathematics Education started from the Instituts Universitaires de Formation de Maîtres (IUFM) in France, and an ESU is organized every three years in different European countries. Since 2009 in the context of the Congress of the European Society for Mathematics Education (CERME) we have also the appearance of a discussion group on The Role of History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education: Theory and Research (WG 12). This group also concentrates on empirical research. We should also mention the publication of the ICMI study History in mathematics education: the ICMI study (Fauvel & van Maanen, 2000) which presents the state of the art until this period. 

Since the publication of this study, researchers address in a more demanding way questions about the efficacy and pertinence of many efforts (examples) of applications in classrooms. They are also wondering about the transferability of positive experiences from educators on different levels of education. They are considering questions on the capacity of students but also of educators when they were in front of the difficulties of studying the historical aspect of many notions.

Recently researchers΄ activities are moving to investigations in terms of didactic and educational foundations from which they believe that it could be possible to think better about the role of the history of mathematics in the teaching and learning of mathematics and the development of theoretical and conceptual frameworks which could provide the required equipment for the production of finer and more focus investigations.

These issues include, among others, the educational and teaching foundations of a cultural-historical perspective in the classroom, the need to give voice to community stakeholders about the introduction and more broadly, the nature and the terms of the empirical investigation prevailing in the research environment.

Parallel to these advancements in research, an attempt to humanize Mathematics is increasingly present in the mathematics curricula worldwide.

For over 20 years, the presence of the history of mathematics in training teachers’ environments has increased considerably in many countries. However, despite the different objectives associated with the introduction of the history of mathematics in training mathematics teachers, this presence, implicit or explicit, took the form of specific initiatives for each establishment of teacher training.

By browsing through the literature since 1990, it is possible to classify the empirical studies on the use of history in the mathematics classroom into two categories: studies that relate to the narrative of grounded experiences and quantitative studies on a larger scale.

Overall, it appears necessary to restore the research field on the introduction of History in the teaching and learning of mathematics within Didactics of mathematics and more generally with the educational sciences. This repositioning should enable research to get inspired from the contexts of the exploratory work from Humanities as well as theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues from the Didactics of mathematics and educational sciences.

This issue includes eight invited papers. Six papers are written in English and two in French. Each text is accompanied by an abstract in English. The following papers discuss specific issues in the domain of Using History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education and are ordered according to the instructional level; from elementary school to the university and in service teachers training.

This open access journal welcomes papers in English, as well in German and French. Allsubmitted manuscripts undergo a peer-review process. Based on initial screening by the editorial board, each paper is anonymized and reviewed by at least two referees.  Referees are reputed within their academic or professional setting, and come from Greece and other European countries. In case one of the reports is negative, the editor decides on its publication.
MENON © is published at University of Western Macedonia – Faculty Of Education.

          MENON online Journal Of Educational Research, 2nd Thematic Issue        


“The Use of History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education”

The question of the integration of the History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education has been discussed since the 20th century by Educators (Barwell, Brousseau, Freudental, Piaget), Philosophers (Bachelard), Mathematicians (Klein, Poincare), and Historians of Mathematics (Loria, Smith), who have supported the proposal and have given arguments on the interest and challenges in school Mathematics courses.

Since the 1960s the use of the history of mathematics in mathematics education has become more popular and many papers in scientific journals, books, proceedings of conferences and groups of researchers have focused on this in contrast to the paradigm of the “modern mathematics” reform. We can find many didactical situations, mathematical problems, teaching series but also empirical and theoretical studies, Master and Phd level dissertations on the role and the ways of using historical, social and cultural elements in the teaching of mathematics. During the 2nd International Congress on Mathematics Education (ICME) in 1972 we have the creation of an International research group (International study group on the relation between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM)) which organizes a congress every 4 years. The idea of a European Summer University (ESU) on the Epistemology and History in Mathematics Education started from the Instituts Universitaires de Formation de Maîtres (IUFM) in France, and an ESU is organized every three years in different European countries. Since 2009 in the context of the Congress of the European Society for Mathematics Education (CERME) we have also the appearance of a discussion group on The Role of History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education: Theory and Research (WG 12). This group also concentrates on empirical research. We should also mention the publication of the ICMI study History in mathematics education: the ICMI study (Fauvel & van Maanen, 2000) which presents the state of the art until this period. 

Since the publication of this study, researchers address in a more demanding way questions about the efficacy and pertinence of many efforts (examples) of applications in classrooms. They are also wondering about the transferability of positive experiences from educators on different levels of education. They are considering questions on the capacity of students but also of educators when they were in front of the difficulties of studying the historical aspect of many notions.

Recently researchers΄ activities are moving to investigations in terms of didactic and educational foundations from which they believe that it could be possible to think better about the role of the history of mathematics in the teaching and learning of mathematics and the development of theoretical and conceptual frameworks which could provide the required equipment for the production of finer and more focus investigations.

These issues include, among others, the educational and teaching foundations of a cultural-historical perspective in the classroom, the need to give voice to community stakeholders about the introduction and more broadly, the nature and the terms of the empirical investigation prevailing in the research environment.

Parallel to these advancements in research, an attempt to humanize Mathematics is increasingly present in the mathematics curricula worldwide.

For over 20 years, the presence of the history of mathematics in training teachers’ environments has increased considerably in many countries. However, despite the different objectives associated with the introduction of the history of mathematics in training mathematics teachers, this presence, implicit or explicit, took the form of specific initiatives for each establishment of teacher training.

By browsing through the literature since 1990, it is possible to classify the empirical studies on the use of history in the mathematics classroom into two categories: studies that relate to the narrative of grounded experiences and quantitative studies on a larger scale.

Overall, it appears necessary to restore the research field on the introduction of History in the teaching and learning of mathematics within Didactics of mathematics and more generally with the educational sciences. This repositioning should enable research to get inspired from the contexts of the exploratory work from Humanities as well as theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues from the Didactics of mathematics and educational sciences.

This issue includes eight invited papers. Six papers are written in English and two in French. Each text is accompanied by an abstract in English. The following papers discuss specific issues in the domain of Using History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education and are ordered according to the instructional level; from elementary school to the university and in service teachers training.

  • Evelyne Barbin suggests a new thinking on technique, proposed in the texts of Simondon and Rabardel. Her purpose, in introducing an historical instrumental approach of geometrical teaching for students aged 11-14 years, is to show how an instrument can be conceived both as an invention to solve problems and as a knowledge or theorem in action. In particular, she stresses the links between different varieties of instruments and different kinds of knowledge and shows the consequences of an instrumental failure for the construction of new knowledge. Her goal is a coherent using where teaching is based on families of instruments.
  • Matthaios Anastasiadis and Konstantinos Nikolantonakis describe the context of an instructional intervention focused on isoperimetric figures and area-perimeter relationships with the use of one historical note and two primary sources, from Pappus’ Collection and from Polybius’ Histories. Their findings are based on classroom observations, worksheets and interviews with sixth grade Greek students.
  • Vasiliki Tsiapou and Konstantinos Nikolantonakis present part of a research study that intended to use the Chinese abacus for the development of place value concepts and the notion of carried number with sixth grade Greek students.
  • Ingo Witzke, Horst Struve, Kathleen Clark and Gero Stoffels describe how the concepts of empirical and formalistic belief systems can be used to give an explanation for the transition from school to university mathematics during an intensive Seminar. They stress the usefulness of this approach by outlining the historical sources and the participants’ activities with the sources on which the seminar is based, as well as some results of the qualitative data gathered during and after the seminar.
  • David Guillemette tries to highlight some difficulties that have been encountered during the implementation of reading activities of historical texts in the preservice teachers training context. He describes a history of mathematics course offered at the Université du Québec à Montréal, with reading activities that have been constructed and implemented in class and the efforts made by the students and the trainer to articulate both synchronic and diachronic reading, in order to not uproot the text and his author from their socio-historical and mathematical context.
  • Michael Kourkoulos and Constantinos Tzanakis present and analyze a teaching work on Pascal’s wager realized with Greek students, prospective elementary school teachers, in the context of a probability and statistics course. They focus on classroom discussion concerning mathematical modeling activities, connecting elements of probability theory and decision theory with elements of philosophical discussions.
  • Areti Panaoura examines in-service teachers’ beliefs and knowledge about the use of the history of mathematics in the framework of the inquiry-based teaching approach at the educational system of Cyprus, and the difficulties teachers face in adopting and implementing this specific innovation in primary education.
  • Snezana Lawrence offers ideas for teachers to engage with mathematics through the historical ‘journeys’ and relationship with art and cultural and intellectual history. She treats the question of how teachers could find their own ‘mathematical’ voice through series of historical investigations and what impact that may have on their teaching and pupils’ progress.


Firstly, I would like to express my warmest thanks to Christina Gkonou[1] for her precious efforts to read and ameliorate the English texts.

Secondly, I would also like to express my thanks to the Editorial Committee of Menon Journal for giving me the chance to work this Thematic Issue on the field of Using History in Mathematics Education.

Finally, I would like to express my grateful thanks to my Colleagues who sustain with their papers this publication.


The Editor of the 2nd Thematic Issue of

MENON: Journal for Educational Research


Konstantinos Nikolantonakis, Associate Professor

University of Western Macedonia, Greece



Download the 2nd Thematic Issue from here.

Browse the Journal articles



[1] Christina Gkonou is Lecturer in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex, UK. She received her BA from Aristotle University and her MA and PhD from the University of Essex. Her research interests are in foreign language pedagogy and the psychology of language learning and teaching.


          Î§Î¡Î—ΣΙΜΕΣ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΕΣ        
2η Ημερίδα με θέμα
Κτίριο Παιδαγωγικής Σχολής
3ο χλμ. Φλώρινας Νίκης, Φλώρινα


Η πρόσβαση στο νομό μπορεί να γίνει με τη χρήση αυτοκινήτου μέσω του υπάρχοντος οδικού δικτύου.
Κυριότεροι οδικοί άξονες:
Θεσσαλονίκη - Έδεσσα - Φλώρινα
Θεσσαλονίκη - Βέροια - Κοζάνη - Φλώρινα
Αθήνα - Λάρισα - Κοζάνη - Φλώρινα
Ιωάννινα - Κοζάνη - Φλώρινα
Υπάρχουν τακτικά καθημερινά δρομολόγια που συνδέουν την Φλώρινα με Θεσσαλονίκη, Αθήνα και όλους τους ενδιάμεσους σταθμούς.
Σταθμός ΚΤΕΛ - Φλώρινα τηλ. 23850.22.430
Σταθμός ΚΤΕΛ - Αθήνα τηλ.
Σταθμός ΚΤΕΛ - Αμύνταιο τηλ. 23860.22.219
Με τρένο:
Καθημερινή σύνδεση με Θεσσαλονίκη και Αθήνα. Από Αθήνα για Φλώρινα, η σύνδεση δεν γίνεται απευθείας, οι επιβάτες αποβιβάζονται στο Πλατύ και με τα τοπικά τρένα από τη Θεσσαλονίκη μεταφέρονται στη Φλώρινα.
Σταθμός ΟΣΕ Φλώρινας τηλ. 23850.22.404
Σταθμός ΟΣΕ Θεσσαλονίκης τηλ. 2310.517.517
Σταθμός ΟΣΕ Αμύνταιου τηλ. 23860.22.226
Τακτικές πτήσεις από Αθήνα καταλήγουν στα αεροδρόμια Κοζάνης και Καστοριάς που απέχουν περίπου μια ώρα από την πόλη της Φλώρινας.
Αθήνα: 571 χλμ.
Θεσσαλονίκη: 159 χλμ.
Ιωάννινα: 271 χλμ.
Ηγουμενίτσα: 353 χλμ
Βόλος: 273 χλμ.
Ξάνθη: 375 χλμ.
Αλεξανδρούπολη: 497 χλμ.
Η Φλώρινα είναι μία από τις Περιφερειακές Ενότητες που συγκροτούν την Περιφέρεια Δυτικής Μακεδονίας. Προσδιορίζεται βόρεια από τη γείτονα Πρώην Γιουγκοσλαβική Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας και δυτικά από την όμορη Αλβανία. Η λίμνη της Μεγάλης Πρέσπας αποτελεί το σημείο επαφής των τριών κρατών, το τριεθνές.
Προς την ελληνική ενδοχώρα η Φλώρινα συνορεύει με τις Π.Ε. Πέλλας, Κοζάνης και Καστοριάς. Η Περιφερειακή Ενότητα αποτελείται από τρεις Δήμους: Δήμος Αμυνταίου, Δήμος Πρεσπών, Δήμος Φλώρινα. Πληθυσμός 54.768 κάτοικοι, 0,5% του πληθυυσμού της χώρας, κατανεμημένοι σε ένα αστικό κέντρο, την πόλη της Φλώρινας (14.279 κάτοικοι), ένα ημιαστικό, το Αμύνταιο (3.636 κάτοικοι) και σε 88 συνολικά χωριά, με πληθυσμούς που κυμαίνονται από έναν (Μηλιώνας Πρεσπών) έως 1.821 κατοίκους (Φιλώτας).
Έκταση 1.924 τετραγωνικά χιλιόμετρα, με πλούσιες εναλλαγές τοπίων, υψόμετρο 650 μέτρων, που φτάνει στα 2.524 μέτρα στην κορυφή του Βόρα. Μορφολογικά, η Π.Ε. έχει ορεινό, ημιορεινό και πεδινό χαρακτήρα. Η συμπαγής ορεινή μάζα του βόρειου-βορειοδυτικού τμήματος αποτελείται από τα βουνά Βαρνούντας, Βέρνον και Βόρας, που οι ορεινοί όγκοι τους καταλήγουν στις εύφορες πεδιάδες των Πρεσπών. Έξι λίμνες, ο σπάνιος υδροβιότοπος των Πρεσπών σε συνδυασμό με το κλίμα και τις εναλλαγές του τοπίου, κάνουν την περιοχή πρόκληση για τον επισκέπτη.
Το κλίμα της Περιφερειακής Ενότητας επηρεάζεται από τη γεωγραφική και υψομετρική θέση της περιοχής, σε συνδυασμό με τους μεγάλους ορεινούς όγκους και την παρουσία των λιμνών στις Πρέσπες και στην περιοχή του Αμυνταίου. Το κλίμα είναι καθαρά ηπειρωτικό, με ψυχρούς χειμώνες, πολλές βροχοπτώσεις και Χιόνια και μέση ετήσια θερμοκρασία Ι 1,5° C, αν και υπάρχει αισθητή διαφορά μεταξύ των τριών υψιπέδων Αμυνταίου, Φλώρινας και Πρεσπών.
Ο επισκέπτης μπορεί να αρχίσει την γνωριμία του με την πόλη από το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο, δίπλα στον Σιδηροδρομικό Σταθμό. Σε ένα από τα παλιά κτίρια του σταθμού στεγάζεται και λειτουργεί η Πινακοθήκη Φλωρινιωτών ζωγράφων, που διατηρεί η Στέγη Φιλοτέχνων Φλώρινας και όπου εκτίθενται δείγματα των Φλωριναίων δημιουργών. Από την οδό Ιωάννου Άρτη, πλήρη πολυκατοικιών, βρίσκουμε τον Σακουλέβα, το ποτάμι της Φλώρινας. Η εικόνα διαφέρει ανάλογα με την εποχή. Άλλα χρώματα την άνοιξη, άλλα το φθινόπωρο και διαφορετικά τον χειμώνα. Ο λόφος του Αγίου Παντελεήμονα φαίνεται κοντινός. Προχωρώντας ο επισκέπτης βλέπει τα κτίσματα – αντιπροσωπευτικά δείγματα της αρχιτεκτονικής του παρελθόντος. Στην αριστερή πλευρά του ποταμού το 2ο Δημοτικό Σχολείο,  το σπίτι του Τέγου Σαπουντζή (1ου Δημάρχου της πόλης στα 1912), εργαστήρια δύο Φλωριναίων ζωγράφων, το Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, και το σπίτι του Βογιατζή όπου γύρισε αρκετές σκηνές της ταινίας «ο Μελισσοκόμος» ο Θόδωρος Αγγελόπουλος. Δεξιά το εργαστήρι του αείμνηστου ζωγράφου Στερίκα Κούλη, η Μητρόπολη, το 3ο Γυμνάσιο και στο Κέντρο το κτίριο του Φ.Σ.Φ. «Ο Αριστοτέλης», του παλαιότερου εν ενεργεία πολιτιστικού Συλλόγου. Απέναντι και δεξιά του Συλλόγου στέκει ακόμη το τριώροφο σπίτι του «Πέϊου», ένα από τα παλαιότερα παραδοσιακά αστικά αρχοντικά της πόλης. Συνέχεια της διαδρομής η πλατεία δικαιοσύνης με τα περιποιημένα δημόσια κτίρια, τις εγκαταλειμμένες παλιές φυλακές και το τουρκικό λουτρό (χαμάμ). Ο παρόχθιος περίπατος εκτός από τις εικόνες αντίθεσης που δίνει, οδηγεί  στην παλιά Γεωργική Σχολή, σημερινά Τ.Ε.Ι. και στον Άγιο Νικόλαο. Η επιστροφή μπορεί να γίνει από τον κεντρικό δρόμο, την Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου όπου βρίσκονται το 4ο Δημοτικό Σχολείο (Πρώην Παιδαγωγική Ακαδημία),τα δικαστήρια, η παλιά Νομαρχία, το Δημαρχείο, το παλιό οικοτροφείο,  το παιδικό παράρτημα της  Δημόσιας Βιβλιοθήκης «Βασιλικής Πιτόσκα» στο κτίριο Γεωργιάδη, και το «Διεθνές» όπου στεγάζεται η Λέσχη Πολιτισμού Φλώρινας και όπου γυρίστηκαν σκηνές με τον Μαρτσέλο Μαστρογιάνι στις ταινίες του Θόδωρου Αγγελόπουλου. Παρακάτω ο εμπορικός δρόμος και η Εθνική Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος, κτίριο σε νεοβυζαντινό στυλ χτισμένο το 1931. Απέναντι, το δρομάκι οδηγεί στο σπίτι του «Εξάρχου» όπου σύντομα θα μεταφερθεί το Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης.
Πίσω από την Εθνική Τράπεζα λειτουργεί η Δημοτική Αγορά , «το παζάρι». Αξίζει μια επίσκεψη για ψώνια και αν είναι Τετάρτη η ποικιλία είναι εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσα. Είναι η μέρα που έρχονται οι γυναίκες, τοπικοί παραγωγοί, με τα γνήσια προϊόντα της φλωρινιώτικης γης και ενίοτε με τις παραδοσιακές ενδυμασίες τους από τον άξονα Σκοπιάς, Πολυποτάμου και Υδρούσας. Δίπλα στην αγορά, στον 1ο όροφο, πάνω από το ΚΑΠΗ, λειτουργεί ο συνεταιρισμός γυναικών «η Πελαγονία» που αναπαράγει και πουλά παραδοσιακές φορεσιές, όμορφες μαντήλες και υφαντά. Τα πιο φημισμένα προϊόντα που αγοράζει κανείς στην αγορά είναι οι φλωρινιώτικες πιπεριές- οι καυτερές τσούσκες, τα φασόλια, τσάϊ του βουνού, μήλα και αναλόγως εποχής φράουλες. Αγορές «εις ανάμνησιν» στα εργαστήρια με τα τοπικά γλυκά κουταλιού και τα μοναδικά πλεχτά κεριά, των κηροπλαστών της Φλώρινας.
Η κεντρική πλατεία και ο πεζόδρομος της πόλης, έχουν κίνηση όλες τις ώρες. Πρωϊνοί καφέδες για όσους έχουν την πολυτέλεια του χρόνου, απογεματινές βόλτες για τους οικογενειάρχες και το βράδυ φοιτητές και νέοι στα μπαράκια. Η νέα πλατεία, δημιουργήθηκε στη θέση του παλιού Εθνικού Σταδίου και φιλοξενεί  υπαίθρια δύο κορυφαία έργα του γλύπτη Δημήτρη Καλαμάρα , τον «θνήσκοντα πολεμιστή» και τον «Καπετάν Κώττα». Απέναντι από τη νέα πλατεία το ΚΤΕΛ και το Διοικητήριο που κρύβει με τον όγκο του το θαυμάσιο κτίριο της παλιάς Οικοκυρικής Σχολής.
Τα ενδιαφέροντα σημεία και οι περίπατοι είναι πολλοί ανάλογα με τη διάθεση και τον χρόνο του επισκέπτη μέσα στην πόλη ή σε μικρές διαδρομές γύρω από αυτήν με πιο χαρακτηριστικές τον Λόφο του Αγίου Παντελεήμονα ή την παρόχθια προς Άλωνα.
Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Μακεδονίας
Παιδαγωγική Σχολή
Συνοπτικός Κατάλογος Εισηγήσεων (Α-Ω)
Το πρόγραμμα εισηγήσεων της ημερίδας
Το ΚΤΕΛ Φλώρινας
Δρομολόγια ΟΣΕ:
ΚΤΕΛ Θεσσαλονίκης (ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ)
Δήμος Φλώρινας
Περιφερειακή Ενότητα Φλώρινας
Ξενοδοχεία στη Φλώρινα:

          Restaurante MONTIA: ha nacido una estrella...        
Mira que ya lo dije yo el año pasado: estos chicos apuntan maneras... Y más que apuntar, que eso lo hace cualquiera, lo que han hecho es trabajar duro, mantener sus convicciones y, ESTRELLARSE...

¡Enhorabuena Dani!. ¡Enhorabuena Luis!. ¡Enhorabuena, EQUIPO!. Que la estrella os ilumine y os sirva de guía pero que no os nuble la vista. Seguid en la misma línea y os aseguro que seguiréis en el cielo... No os olvidéis nunca que sois un EQUIPO (Paula, Alex, Patri & Cia...).
No sabéis lo que me alegro de vuestro éxito. Espero (y deseo) seguir disfrutándolo a menudo.
Y para los que nos os conocen, una "ración" de vuestro "savoir faire"...
Como siempre un buen pan, artesano, de "madre hizo pan".
Y esa mantequilla de La Colmenareña (ya no puedo aguantarme hasta hacer la foto...) en su punto pomada...
Y ese aperitivo "humilde" y "tradicional" con el vermut de siempre de las tabernas de Madrid.
Hoy nos vamos a dar un "pequeño" homenaje y por eso nos decantamos por el menú extra largo y marinado con vinos de la mano de Paula.
Empieza el maridaje con un blanco de la variedad albillo de San Martín de Valdeiglesias, CANTOCUERDAS, de bodegas Bernabeleva. Gran labor la de estos bodegueros recuperando variedades "en peligro de extinción" por esta zona...
Comenzamos el menú con el trío de aperitivos: aspic de anguila ahumada con apio, revisión del cocido madrileño (consomé de su caldo, pelota, espuma de las verduras y crujiente de jamón), y croqueta de senderillas (marasmius oreades).
Después una ensalada templada de caracoles, cangrejo de río y bacalao.
A continuación lo que denominan "entreacto", esto es, pequeños aperitivos (o cocina en miniatura como se vienen llamando a la moda) entre plato y plato para que la espera se amenice... En esta ocasión montia fontana (corujas) con una royal de lentejas y angulas de monte (cantharellus lutescens), foie, verduritas al dente y piparras.
Seguimos con una terrina de paté de liebre a la pimienta verde. Carne de liebre, foie, hierbas aromáticas y aceitunas picadas que le confieren una textura "arenosa" y una gelatina de pimienta verde. Se acompaña de verduras y setas escabechadas, manzana fresca, rábano y salsita de perejil.
El segundo "entreacto" está formado por una sopa de pescado con patatas cocidas, crujiente de pan con lomo de tenca ahumado y huevas de trucha.
Cambiamos de tercio, o sea, de vino, y ahora Paula nos ofrece "SALMONIDO"; un rosado a contracorriente de Bodegas Barranco Oscuro, de la Sierra de la Contraviesa, en plena Alpujarra granadina.
Y lo marida con una reinterpretación del "gazpacho manchego", bueno, o la versión del mismo que ofrecen a los pies del monte Abantos: galiano (torta) a base de harina, agua, vino blanco y aromáticas),  y setas de pie azul (lepista personata) en lugar de la caza; por encima acelga roja, borraja, hojas de orégano y paté de interiores, y rematado con un caldito.
Sorprendente la hamburguesa de ciervo, ahumada con cantueso y acompañada de una crema de boniato asado y unos níscalos (lactarius deliciosus) en pepitoria.
Volvemos a cambiar de vino, y en esta ocasión de la variedad salmantina "rufete", "RUFIÁN".
Que marida divinamente con unos Bam de langostinos. Panecillos orientales al vapor, con ajo, rellenos de langostinos al ajillo y ganaché de salsa americana; por encima una brandada de langostinos.
Seguimos con conejo al ajillo. guisado entero, deshuesado y rellano de sus cuartos traseros, acompañado de unos champiñones silvestres (agaricus campestris) de Peguerinos y rúcula de huerto.
Otro vino (esto es un "sin beber"·, digo sin vivir...). Tinto joven con crianza, francés (oh, la la...) Domaine de Nidolères, del Rousillon, "LA PIERROUNE" 2010, de la variedad syrah.
Y que va de maravilla con una paloma torcaz en texturas con trompetas negras (craterellus cornocopioides). Sobre una base de trompetas negras guisadas con anís, el muslito de la paloma estofado con pacharán, naranja y aromáticas, y por sobre éste, la pechuga sangrante, en su punto. Al lado, una cremita de las mismas trompetas negras con trufa.
Y rematando la faena del salado, un clásico de Montia: callos a la madrileña con callo, pata y morro de la finca de Jiménez Barbero guisados con mucho amor...
Antes de pasar a los dulces, la también clásica "piedra de quesos artesanos con su Mirinda" (que no tabla). De izquierda a derecha: queso fresco de cabra de El Helechal (Torremocha de Jarama); de Miraflores, queso de oveja de pasta blanda y corteza enmohecida; nuevamente de Torremocha, El Embrujo de la Sierra, semicurado de oveja;de El Barráco (Ávila) queso de cabra de la quesería de Elvira García; queso azul de Colemanr Viejo de Suerte Ampanera y, finalmente, de Fresnedillas de la Oliva, La Bomba+69. Se acompaña cada uno de ellos, y en el mismo orden, de nuez, manzana, zanahoria y azafrán, remolacha y naranja, pimiento verde y pimienta, y miel de Navalafuente. La "Mirinda"  es una infusión de pera y poleo.
Empezamos los postres con un blanco de Cebreros, de Rubén Díaz Viticultor, "SURPRISE", "etiquetado" para la ocasión (estrella Michelin).
El primer postre, de la huerta, fresco, muy fresco, yo diría "fresquísimo", a base de un bizcocho caramelizado en el fondo con crema inglesa de limón; en el centro un helado de higos chumbos y a los lados, una macedonia licuada de vegetales (remolacha, zanahoria, apio, chirivía y nabo). Al final, Luis y yo acordamos llamarlo erotismo vegetal. ¿Y os preguntais por qué...?.
Seguimos con temporada, calabaza.
Y nos adentramos en la feria: un "combinado" con helado de manzana asada con gel de apio, cacahuetes garrapiñados, y algodón de azúcar con polvo de apio.
Para terminar un "VINO PRECIOSO", de Cebreros, de la variedad albillo real.
Que acompaña a unas singulares natillas de remolacha, crema de naranja y helado de galleta María. Natillas de remolacha (mitad leche mitad licuado de remolacha fresca) infusionadas en cantueso, con una juliana dulce al limón, una crema de naranja amarga y un helado de galleta maría. Sencillamente "rompedor".
Buen café de comercio justo, como no podría ser de otra forma, y licores artesanos.
¡Genial!. ¡Fantástico!. Como siempre. No tengo palabras para expresar lo que siento... Seguid siendo "Héroes del silencio", sin levantar la voz, pero que se os oiga. Seguid vuestro camino, como un "maldito duende"... Y sabed que ni amanece tan pronto, ni estáis tan solos y, además, brilláis de día con luz propia...

I want to think for a moment about this proverb and see how it connects to much of (most of?) Christian theology out there (in my opinion, erroneously - and I will explain why).

It's a beautiful sentiment, and the song itself is haunting - in a good way.  And I wouldn't just reject the sentiment outright - I do think that oftentimes, weary travelers need to leave their battles behind and move on.  Sometimes we need to find rest, and sometimes we need inspiration.  So in a way - as I hope you will find by the time this post is over - I am going to be affirming this proverb at the same time that I reject it.

I think that if we take this proverb literally, it expresses a sentiment that runs counter to the message of Jesus, and unfortunately is all too popular within Christian theology.  Think about this message: the idea is that we must turn toward some sacred object outside of ourselves
that provides illumination we would otherwise have no access to, and we must turn away from the problems of the world in order to do so - leave them all behind.  But if we're supposed to leave the problems of the world behind, then why does this attitude looks so unlike Jesus, who came right into the problems of this world and was astonishingly present to the people that the religious system of his day treated like "the shadows" in this proverb?

"The sun" is the sacred object in the song.  If we would turn towards it - and it is obvious what object is the sun (no one disagrees about that - it's the brightest object in the sky!) - we will find illumination.  But think about this for just one moment: have you ever actually explored Christian theology?  I don't mean to ask if you've read all the approved authors of your chosen denomination.  I mean: have you read authors from other denominations and other perspectives?  Have you examined the various debates?  And when I ask this, I mean, have you explored the various perspectives surrounding those debates?  Because if you had, I am sure you will find: no one agrees about anything!  Least of all, which object is "the sun".  Everyone has a different definition of what object is "the sun", what its (supposedly obvious) characteristics are, and how we are to "turn your face toward" it.  And every theological camp out there is pointing at all the others and saying that they are obviously "the shadows" that we are supposed to turn away from in this model.  

Why is that?  And why is it that this sentiment sounds so much like the Garden of Eden - if we would just turn towards the sacred object (the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), all our troubles (wait, I didn't know I had troubles before this!  But now that you mention it, yes, I am incomplete without this object!) will go away!  

(Does this remind you of "Super Jesus/Magic Jesus" from my last post?  If we just believe in him, he'll fix everything for us while we sit on our La-Z-Boy....)

I'd like to suggest that Jesus presents a model of theology that runs counter to this Māori proverb - and to summarize what I think it is, before arguing why, I will state this model like so:

You are all stars (see John 14:12) - turn towards the shadows and let your light shine (see Matthew 5:16).

Now this might sound strange to you if you've grown up in a different theological paradigm that stresses other parts of the Bible over the ones I have highlighted above.  So let me bring out a few more passages for you to consider.

Let's start by considering how, for the writer of I John, if we wish to know God, we must be "born of love" (I John 4:7).  By the way: does this phrase - "born of love" - remind you of the phrase "born again", coming from John 3:3, which is used in evangelical circles so often without any attempt beyond magic to explain what it means?  It does for me.

The writer of I John goes on to say that "whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." (I John 4:8)  I have lived for many years in Christian circles which seek very much to downplay that phrase: "God is love" (after getting into one argument with one of my old friends, I wrote an argument in defense of it).  Throughout the rest of the passage, the writer of I John really wants to drive his point home - he says that "since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another" (I John 4:11 - this presents a problem for the protestant desire to de-emphasize works and stress that faith - interpreted so often as having all the right ideas - is what saves us).  He says that "if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us" (I John 4:12).  And then he restates once again, in case you missed it or didn't think it was important, the statement he made before, and sums up everything that came in between:

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
(I John 4:16)
The Sun is Within
Now contrast this with the ideas of the Māori proverb - the sun is not some distant object outside of ourselves that we must turn towards and worship.  The sun is within - it is our love, and by turning our hearts away from the egotistical attitude that is always seeking to fill ourselves by grasping at objects outside of ourselves, and inverting this by turning ourselves into outwardly focused people who are always seeking the best of others (which is what love is), we are embodiments of the light itself.

Consider for a moment the Eucharist - I think that the philosopher Peter Rollins does a marvelous job of capturing what is so often missed about this sacrament in his book, "The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith".  In this book, he compares the Eucharist to the three stages of a magic trick: the Pledge, the Turn and the Prestige.  To understand how the Eucharist is like a magic trick, we must first understand how these three stages work in a normal magic trick, so Rollins explains how he used to perform a certain coin trick. 

For the Pledge, Rollins would show his audience a coin - just like any coin.  He would explain that he is going to make the object disappear - hence the name: the Pledge.

Then comes the Turn.  In this stage, Rollins would use a distracting motion of his hands to make them believe that he had kept the coin in his left hand, while he really had it in his right.  He would lift his right hand - with the coin - over his shoulder and drop the coin down his shirt while he pretended to rub the coin into his elbow with the left.  He then shows the audience his left hand, which does not contain a coin.

In the movie "The Prestige", Cutter draws out the nuance of this stage of the trick:

The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled.
Then comes the final stage - the Prestige.  Cutter explains why this stage is necessary:
Making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back.
For Rollins' trick, he would walk over to a table where he had placed another coin underneath a glass of water before the show, lift the glass, and present the other coin - which was presumed by the audience to be the same coin he had "rubbed into his elbow", but which was, in reality, hiding inside of his shirt.

Rollins compares the Eucharist to these three stages in the same way - and it is interesting to note that the oft used magic words "hocus pocus" were most likely a lampoon of the Latin phrase (which was interpreted quite literally by Catholics for centuries): hoc est corpus meum ("this is my body").  When Jesus presents the bread, representing his body, Rollins contends that this is the Pledge.  Jesus then breaks the body - for us - and this is the Turn.  But as Cutter explained in the movie, for this to be a proper magic trick, the magician must take the ordinary something and make it do something extraordinary.  Breaking "the body" - while being extraordinary in the way that Jesus gives his body willingly - is not quite what we're looking for.  So Jesus must bring back it back in the Prestige stage of the trick.

But as we know from the way the coin trick works, what comes back is never the same as what was made to disappear in the Turn.  And yet so much of theology reduces the Resurrection to a resuscitation - the same matter that goes into the tomb comes out again.

But if this is the purpose of the Eucharist, then why does Paul say in I Corinthians 12:27:

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (emphasis mine)
(See also Rom. 12:5.)

What if the point of the Eucharist was much bigger?  When we consume the bread of Jesus - turning the life of Jesus into nourishment for our souls which, when digested, becomes the material making up our cells - and then live out the commandments of Jesus (see John 14:15 and 23), we become the living embodiment of Jesus - and thus we become the incarnation of God, as I John 4:7-21 points towards!  And that is something truly extraordinary - something magical!

How Does the Sun Illuminate and Cast Out Shadows?
So if the sun we are supposed to turn towards in the model Jesus gives us is not some object outside of ourselves, but is unconditional love itself, and thus resides within - the next question we must ask is: how does the sun illuminate and cast out shadows?  Are we supposed to designate certain portions of humanity as "shadow" and turn away from them, as so much religion does?

To really explore how Jesus contradicts that idea, I want to explore Matthew 6:22–23 - particularly a very interesting translation of this passages provided by the scholar William Barclay in his commentary on Matthew:

The light of the body is the eye. So then, if your eye is generous, the whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is grudging, your whole body will be in the dark. If, then, the light which is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
You might note - as I did when I first read this - that most translations do not say "if your eye is generous", but "if your eye is healthy" or "if your eyes are good".  Barclay defends his translation like so:
HERE, Jesus speaks of one special virtue which fills the eye with light, and one special fault which fills the eye with darkness. The Authorized Version speaks here about the eye being single and the eye being evil. Certainly that is the literal meaning of the Greek, but the words single and evil are here used in a special way which is common enough in the Greek in which Scripture is written.

The word for single is haplous, and its corresponding noun is haplotēs. Regularly in the Greek of the Bible, these words mean generous and generosity. James speaks of God who gives generously (James 1:5), and the adverb he uses is haplōs.

Similarly in Romans 12:8, Paul urges his friends to give generously (haplōs). Paul reminds the Corinthian church of the generosity (haplotēs) of the churches in Macedonia, and talks about their own generosity to all (2 Corinthians 9:11). It is the generous eye which Jesus is commending.

The word which is translated in the Authorized Version as evil is ponēros. Certainly that is the normal meaning of the word; but both in the New Testament and in the Septuagint, ponēros regularly means niggardly or grudging.
The whole point of Matthew 6:22–23 is that if we want to see clearly, we must be generous - which is really love in action (and thus, a manifestation of God).  Jesus is saying that if we are not generous - but are always accusing each other and seeking to blame everyone else for the problems of this world (a theme I return to again and again in my series: Satan: Lifting the Veil) - we will have a distorted view of life and of people.  Thus, when we love others, we are not only being incarnational (we are the embodiments of "the sun"), but we are also able to see more clearly - we are casting out the shadows through our love!  And perhaps this helps to explain why the Gospel of Thomas has the Golden Rule:
Love your brother like your soul, guard him like the pupil of your eye.

Through understanding generosity as the key to seeing clearly, we see that loving others is the key to clear sight, and when we love our brother, we will discover our soul.

One final Biblical picture may help to clear this up.  In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells a story that presents a big problem for what often seems to be the Protestant theology of faith without works (if you have all the right ideas, you are magically saved) - this story is commonly referred to as the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.  In the story, the King is separating the sheep from the goats (Jesus is mixing his metaphors a bit here - turning the King into a shepherd).  And what is problematic for much common theology out there is the fact that the defining characteristic between the sheep and the goats has nothing to do with saying the right words or having the right ideas - indeed, when the goats are sent away, they call the King "Lord", demonstrating that they have the right ideas and can say the right words! 

But, rather, the defining characteristic that separates sheep and goats is how they treat the people who most need to be shown love!  If they treat these with kindness, they are sheep - thus, Jesus demonstrates the prevailing theme of his ministry: you will know the disciples of Jesus by their love! (See John 13:35.)

But before we take this to mean that if we see people who are unloving, we can proceed to treat them as condemned individuals beyond hope - consider the irony of the situation: once the goats (who were presumably rich and well off individuals) are cast out from the kingdom, do they not become the very same "least of these" whom so desperately need to be shown love?  And if God were not willing to show these individuals mercy, would he not be acting like a goat Himself?

Often I have heard Christians justify their hatred of certain individuals with the phrase Paul quotes in Romans 9:13 (originally from Malachi 1:2-3):

I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
To take this as an excuse to bear a grudge that is never let go ignores so much of the Bible - especially when Jesus tells us to love our enemies, and then tells us that God does this perfectly (see Matthew 5:43-48).  But it also ignores the connection between the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats and the end of the story of Jacob and Esau - for when Jacob and Esau reconcile, Jacob sees the face of God through his former enemy (who was always his brother): Esau!  (See Genesis 33:10.) 

It is when we love unconditionally that we experience the presence of God - and not only this, but we embody the presence of God to others. 

And so I reword the
Māori proverb as:
We are all stars, and if we turn towards the shadows and let our love shine, the world will be filled with light, and there will be no more shadow.

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          Ten cuidado con lo que deseas        

Midas era un rey que capturó a Sileno, una divinidad menor, un viejo sátiro al que le gustaba el vino pero que era poseedor de una profunda sabiduría y educó a Dioniso en su juventud.

"Sileno borracho" Rubens
Sileno vivía libre en un maravilloso jardín al pie del monte Bermio (Macedonia). Midas rellenó con vino la fuente de la que solía beber el viejo Sileno, y así, al caer éste embriagado, pudo hacerlo prisionero. Esta es una versión, en otra, los pastores del rey Midas sorprendieron al viejo genio mientras dormía en uno de los jardines reales, así que lo ataron y lo condujeron ante el rey. Una vez en presencia de Midas, las cuerdas que ataban a Sileno se soltaron como por encanto que sin mostrarse enojado enseñó al monarca los misterios de la naturaleza y del pasado.
Después de un tiempo, Midas llevó a Sileno ante Dioniso, quien, encantado de haber recuperado a su viejo tutor y en agradecimiento por lo bien que le habían tratado, decidió conceder a Midas un deseo.
Midas le pidió: “Que todo lo que toque con mi cuerpo se convierta en resplandeciente oro”. La demanda fue satisfecha, y el rey pudo comprobar la efectividad de su nueva facultad tocando toda clase de objetos que se convertían en oro: una rama de encina, una piedra, un terrón  del suelo, varias espigas de cereal, las piezas de una puerta, una fruta, el agua que se deslizaba entre sus manos.
Midas estaba muy contento con su nuevo don, pero cuando se dispuso a comer vio como todos los alimentos se convertían en oro al menor roce de sus dientes. Tampoco podía beber, ya que los líquidos escapaban de su boca como metal fundido. Muerto de hambre y de sed, le rogó a Dioniso que suprimiera aquel regalo pernicioso.

Dioniso accedió y restableció a Midas a su condición original, ya que éste demostró arrepentimiento. Pero Midas debería llevar a cabo un ritual de purificación, bañándose en el nacimiento del río Pactolo (Lidia). A partir de ese día la corriente del río empezó a arrastrar pepitas de oro.

Esta es la leyenda que cuenta Ovidio en “Las Metamorfósis”, sin embargo Midas fue un personaje real que se corresponde con uno de los primitivos monarcas de Frigia. Gobernó durante el último tercio de  siglo VIII a.C. y comienzos del VII a.C., etapa en la que los frigios (o brigios), alcanzaron su máximo esplendor, en una extensa zona de Asia Menor (actual Turquía).

En la localidad anatólica de Yazilikaya se alza esta fachada monumental llamada «tumba de Midas», 
del siglo VII a.C. En realidad, se trata de un templo dedicado a Cibeles.

El mito anterior está basado en la idea de aquella época de que los reyes frigios poseían enormes riquezas, pues tanto en Macedonia y Tracia, de donde procedían los frigios, como en las regiones de Asia Menor ocupadas por su estirpe hubo montes de los que era posible extraer oro, y corrientes fluviales que transportaban oro.

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          Credit card fraud websites shut down on three continents        

Three men have been arrested and 36 criminal websites selling credit card information and other personal data shut down as part of a two-year international anti-fraud operation, police have confirmed. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), working with the FBI and US Department of Justice, as well as authorities in Germany; the Netherlands; Ukraine; Australia and Romania, swooped after identifying the sites as specialising in selling card and bank details in bulk. The move comes as a blow to what is a growing black market for stolen financial data. Detectives estimated that the card information seized could have been used to extract more than £500m in total by fraudsters. SOCA claimed it has recovered more than two and a half million items of compromised personal and financial information over the past two years. “The authorities have shut down 36 websites but it is difficult to know how many other people had access to that data. They could spring back up somewhere else if a gang is not eradicated completely,” said Graham Cluley of internet security firm Sophos. He added: “This is big business and, just as in any legitimate company there are people who specialise in different things, so there are those who actually get their hands on the personal data and those who sell it on; they are not often the same person.” An investigation by The Independent last summer found that scammers were making a “comfortable living” getting their hands on sensitive information and selling it online. Card details were being offered for sale for between 4p and £60 per card – depending on the quality – according to one source in the business. Some cards would be sold with incomplete or unreliable information; others ready to use. Some of the card details for sale on the websites shut down by SOCA were being sold for as little as £2 each. Investigators said that the alleged fraudsters were using Automated Vending Carts, which allowed them to sell large quantities of stolen data. They are said to be a driver of the growth in banking fraud over the last 18 months because of the speed with which stolen data can be sold. Lee Miles, Head of Cyber Operations for SOCA said: “This operation is an excellent example of the level of international cooperation being focused on tackling online fraud. Our activities have saved business, online retailers and financial institutions potential fraud losses estimated at more than half a billion pounds, and at the same time protected thousands of individuals from the distress caused by being a victim of fraud or identity crime.” An alleged operator in Macedonia was one of those arrested, while two British men accused of buying the information were also detained. Britain’s Dedicated Cheque & Plastic Crime Unit also seized computers suspected of being used to commit fraud.

          Real Madrid. Real Madrid busca el sextete ante Manchester United en la …, Enlaces, Imágenes, Videos y Tweets        
Resumen: Real Madrid Vs Manchester United, Real Madrid Hoy. El Real Madrid de Zinedine Zidane y de Cristiano Ronaldo, vigente ganador de las dos últimas 'Champions', intentará revalidar la Supercopa de Europa ante el Mánchester de United de Jose Mourinho el martes en Skopje, capital de Macedonia (18h45 ...

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          NerdCast 510 - Alexandre, o grande, magno e da Macedonia        
Neste Podcast:  Entenda as guerras médicas, decore o nome do cavalo, aprenda as lições do seu tutor e não confunda Alexandre com Fábio Porchat! ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero ALURA Acesse: Nerdcast Especail: Nerdtech 02 - Programando no exterior: Confira todos os episódios aqui: NERDSTORE Acesse agora e aproveite! E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA
          The End of Religious Liberty?        
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25 ESV) The visit to Macedonia had gone well. Paul and company had arrived in Philippi days before and on the Sabbath had gone out to a place of prayer and met a gathering of…
          Tarta de queso y ciruelas        
Como bien sabéis, la fruta se puede consumir al natural, en macedonia o transformada en mermeladas, confituras u otros tipos de conserva y es un ingrediente fundamental para la preparación de numerosos dulces. 

A este grupo pertenece el postre que traigo hoy: TARTA DE CIRUELAS

Para esta receta se pueden utilizar cualquier tipo de ciruelas, así como también melocotones, nectarinas, etc. En esta ocasión, la hice con  prunos, que es una variedad de ciruelas silvestres, y este año abundan muchísimo.

Cualquiera que sea la fruta que elijáis, el resultado será exquisito igualmente. La receta es supersencilla, yo diría para principiantes, así que aprovechar ahora, que los prunos (si decidís utilizarlos)  pronto se terminan. Aquí os la dejo: 

Ingredientes para la pasta brisa:
-250 g de harina
-125 g de mantequilla
-20 ml de agua
-1 huevo
-Una pizca de sal
-Una cucharadita de azúcar

Ingredientes para la tarta:
-500 g de fruta: prunos, ciruelas, nectarina, albaricoques,  etc. ¡La que más os guste!
-500 g de queso fresco batido
-100 g de azúcar
-100 g de harina fina de maíz
-400 ml de nata líquida
-100 g de mantequilla
-6 huevos
-1 sobre de levadura
-El zumo de medio limón

1.-Comenzamos haciendo la pasta brisa y para ello mezclamos en un bol todos los ingredientes (el huevo se echa entero sin batir) amasamos muy bien y dejamos reposar 45 minutos. Pasado ese tiempo forramos con ella el fondo de un molde desmontable que previamente untamos con mantequilla, enharinamos y reservamos.

2.-Batimos el queso con el azúcar y los huevos. Añadimos la mantequilla fundida, la harina fina de maíz, la levadura, la nata y el zumo de limón y seguimos batiendo hasta lograr una mezcla homogénea y la vertemos sobre el molde que tenemos forrado con la masa.

3.-Lavamos la fruta elegida, la cortamos por la mitad, retiramos el hueso y la vamos colocando boca abajo sobre la crema que tenemos en el molde. La introducimos al horno previamente calentado a 180º durante 30/40 minutos aproximadamente.

4.-Dejamos enfriar, desmoldamos y espolvoreamos con azúcar glas.

          Where to find England vs. Spain on US TV and streaming        

If you’re trying to find out how you can watch England vs. Spain, you’ve come to the right place. After England’s victory against Scotland and Spain’s win against Macedonia, both countries will meet each other in a friendly live from Wembley Stadium in London. For England, it’s a chance for interim coach Gareth Southgate to prove his worth of being the full-time permanent head coach. Here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming: Match: England vs. Spain Genre: Sports Looking to watch England vs. Spain online from your office, home

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          Immobile rescues Italy as Spain cruise        

Paris (AFP) – Lazio striker Ciro Immobile grabbed an injury-time winner as four-time champions Italy snatched a 3-2 comeback win at Macedonia on Sunday, narrowly avoiding a World Cup qualifying embarrassment. Italy, who had needed a late penalty to salvage a point against Group G rivals Spain on Thursday, were staring at a shock defeat in Skopje against a Macedonia side ranked a lowly 146 in the world. Torino striker Andrea Belotti had given Italy a 24th-minute lead just four minutes after Palermo marksman Ilija Nestorokvski had crashed a drive off the crossbar for the hosts. But Nestorokvski levelled just

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          Ð¡Ð°Ð»Ñ„етки одноразовые Tento 15 шт.        
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          Face the Ancestors: Fayum Portraits ... #EgyptRemembers        

FACE the Ancestors:

............ Fayum Portraits


Wael Nawara

Artistic Discontinuity

Humanity has witnessed a sad interruption in the progress of human sciences and arts starting around the forth century A.D. This gap of almost a thousand years mainly started as a result of the restrictive nature of the Roman or Byzantine Empire which ruled much of the world in the middle ages. By the 3rd Century A.D., man was standing on the verge of unlocking the great mysteries of the universe surrounding him. Greco-Egyptian scientists in Alexandria had theorized significant scientific frameworks to mathematics, geometry, physics and astronomy. Philosophy, art, literature, drama and religion had also reached new heights with the marriage of Greek philosophy and the vast body of Egyptian knowledge accumulated and stored by Egyptian monks and scholars over 4,000 years of tedious progress on the banks of the Nile.

The Fayum portraits stand witness to the validity of the artistic side of this argument. The Fayum portraits date back to 1st to 3rd Centuries A.D. They represent a development of the Egyptian funerary tradition which had manifested itself before in wall carvings, masks, ornaments and artifacts found in tombs of ancient Egyptians. But the portraits are so advanced in their artistic style, that can only be compared to paintings of the masters who came 1,500 years later! ''It is not until 15 centuries later, in the faces painted by Titian or Rembrandt's depiction of his own features as he saw them reflected in the mirror, that the same artistry that characterizes many of the anonymous painters of the Fayum is witnessed again,'' Euphrosyne C. Doxiadis, a Greek artist and author of ''The Mysterious Fayum Portraits,'' wrote in an essay in the catalogue accompanying an international show for the Mummy Portraits titled ''Ancient Faces'' in 1997. So, how, when and why did the art of painting stood still, indeed seemed to be "forgotten"?

Sinful Art

I believe that it had to do with restrictive and fanatic religious beliefs of monotheistic religions which soon swept the Middle East, indeed the world, coming out of the Middle East. At first it was the Roman or Byzantine Empire which employed Christianity probably as the only "official religion of the Empire". In 391, Christian Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and the Christian Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria complied with this request.

Socrates Scholasticus provides the following account of the destruction of the temples in Alexandria in the fifth book of his Historia Ecclesiastica, written around 440:

" At the solicitation of Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, the Emperor issued an order at this time for the demolition of the heathen temples in that city; commanding also that it should be put in execution under the direction of Theophilus. Seizing this opportunity, Theophilus exerted himself to the utmost to expose the pagan mysteries to contempt."

Colorless Centuries

The effect of this decree which banned the building of temples and the carving of images and sacred hieroglyphs was catastrophic on Egyptian arts which until that moment were connected to Egyptian religions and related rituals. The new religion came with its own set of rituals relating to death restricting Egyptian funerary traditions. The religious hysteria also had some serious implications on the progress of science and arts. Hypatia of Alexandria, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in Mathematics, Philosophy and science, was assassinated by an angry Christian mob. One day in March 415CE, during the season of Lent, her chariot was waylaid on her route home by a Christian mob. She was stripped naked and dragged through the streets to the newly Christianized Caesareum church and killed. Some reports suggest she was flayed with oyster shells and burned.

Islamic rulers, who governed Egypt soon after the Arab invasion in 639-641 A.D. also took a hostile attitude towards painting of human and animal images. This is why Islamic arts widely employed plants and geometrical shapes, avoiding depiction of human faces and figures to avoid revival of the worship of idols. The world was well into the dark ages. Almost ten colorless centuries had to pass before such art could be revived during the renaissance.

Resurrection of the Last Painter

How did the "last painter" feel, knowing that there are no more apprentices to carry forward this artistic tradition? I can only begin to imagine the tremendous grief of this last talented man, knowing that with his death, his craftsmanship will soon be forgotten. But with the discovery of Fayum Portraits, these painters were summoned from the death and given a new life. The world today recognizes their art and talent some 1,600 years after their death and celebrates their works in major museums around the world. And after centuries of forgetfulness and artistic amnesia, we now pay tribute to those anonymous artists and salute their craft. The works of their "sinful" brushes are now "sacred" artifacts to many art lovers around the world.

The Artists

Back to painters of Fayum Portraits, there has been some controversy on the identity of the artists. Some researchers believe that those artists were Greco-Romans. This is somehow, in my opinion due to racial bias of the historians of the 19th and 20th centuries who adopted a Euro-centrist approach to the origins of classical civilizations and culture. Martin Bernal, in his trilogy, "Black Athena", which might just as well have been titled "Egyptian Athena", describes this bias and ascertains that much of the achievements of these classical civilizations should be credited to the Ancient Egyptians and People of the Levant. Why would Greco-Roman artists be found in such abundance in Fayum of all places? It only makes sense that these artists were Egyptian, and that their art is the natural progress of Egyptian arts depicted on the walls of tombs and temples for several thousands of years.

The Faces

Not only did the painters were Greco-Romans, some historians claim that the persons, the deceased depicted in those portraits also represent Greek settlers in Egypt. Those historians provide their theory that "It is estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population of Fayum was Greek during the Ptolemaic period, with the rest being native Egyptians." But, why would Greeks be concentrated in Fayum of all places, and why would they adopt these funerary traditions evidently Egyptian in origin and spirit? Examining the faces, they appear to be typically Egyptian, faces you would still see today walking the streets of towns and villages of Egypt.

Mummy portraits have been found in all parts of Egypt, but they are especially common in the Fayum area, particularly from Hawara and Antinoopolis and this is why they acquired this common name. "Fayum Portraits" should, therefore, be thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description [3].

The evidence, however, shows that when the dental morphology [1] of the Roman-period Fayum mummies was compared with that of earlier Egyptian populations, it was found to be "much more closely akin" to that of dynastic Egyptians than to Greeks or other European populations. So much for the subjects of these portraits being Greek! One can start to question the alleged Greek identity of the painters as well!

The Art

In an attempt to downplay the artistic value of these portraits, some analysts suggest that the Portraits were sort of mass produced. That they followed some sort of repetitive "templates" which the artists adapted to the specific faces of the subjects. Although there exists common features between certain portraits, many of the Fayum Portraits discovered, however, show unique captivating features which strike you with the depth of the Character of each person. We cannot imagine how this could have been possible using such mass-production techniques. And even if in some cases such mass-production techniques were used, it can only take place when art is well-developed on the hands of Masters, such that less famous painters can imitate and mass-produce such authentic and genuine artistic advances. But according to Walker [2], "C.A.T. scans of all the complete mummies represented reveal a correspondence of age and, in suitable cases, sex between mummy and image, confirming that the paintings were made at the time of death. In addition, some portraits were painted directly onto the coffin; for example, on a shroud or another part." This further shows that the portraits were in fact individually painted and limits the validity of the mass-production claims.

The dry weather of Egypt undoubtedly helped these paintings to survive centuries of neglect such that we can see them today almost intact and in such excellent condition which allows us to appreciate the art and beauty of these works. Together with the surviving frescoes and objects from Pompeii and Herculaneum, and tomb frescoes in Macedonia, Fayum portraits are the best preserved paintings from ancient times and are renowned for their remarkable naturalism.

Many museums around the world have fine examples of Fayum mummy portraits on display, notably the British Museum, the Royal Museum of Scotland, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.


So, why then are these portraits not famous? How come we never heard about them before in Egypt? I believe that religious sentiments prevented these masterpieces from becoming local heroes at home and subsequently worldwide. The Portraits date back to what is known in Egypt as the "Coptic Period", to approximately mean the time when Egypt was predominantly Christian. This period is viewed with hostility by the authorities which prefer to connect Egypt more with its Islamic, rather than Christian heritage. But this is quite unfair for a number of reasons. First, we have not seen any Christian icons or symbols worn by the subjects. These portraits date back to the period between 1st and 3rd Centuries A.D. Egypt was then divided between old religions such as the Isis Cult, Hermetic traditions, Gnosticism and Christianity. And because of the funerary traditions observed in the mummies, it is unlikely that the subjects were indeed Christians. In fact, the title "Coptic" simply means Egyptian, derived from the Greek word describing Egypt "aiguptios", a word then modified by the Arabs to "Copts" which they used to refer to native Egyptians. On the other hand, until when can we ignore this "Coptic" period? We believe it is time Egyptians make peace with their past in its entirety.

Face the Ancestors

So, here they are, faces of the Ancestors, looking at us from centuries long-past, they are denied their Egyptian Identities by the Europeans, and denied resurrection by their own countrymen. But we believe that they deserve resurrection. They deserve recognition. And if we owe the living respect, we owe nothing to the dead but the truth.


Wael Nawara

First Published in Turath Magazine


This Video shows the repetitive faces in question where common features suggest mass-production. I have no doubt that some form of imitation or mass-production did exist, but it would not have been possible without the existence of genuine masters.
Also, See This Video



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Afghan man wearing a pakol
Boy wearing a clock, boots, and kausia.
Terracotta, made in Athens, 300 BCE
This evening, I was reading an Osprey text about the armies of Macedonia after the death of Alexander the Great, when I saw artists' images showing Macedonian army members wearing an odd kind of beret.  

I thought I recognized the beret.  It looked like a hat J. Peterman was selling in its upscale catalog back in the 1990s, which it labeled an "Afghan hat."  Nowadays, you can buy similar hats today on the Internet for as low as $9.99 USD; and Ebay sell such hats from various suppliers for prices ranging from about $15 USD to $30 USD.

When I attempted to find material on the Internet to confirm, or refute, my recollection, I came upon this Wikipedia article about a modern Afghan hat called a "pakol." Included with the article were two photographs from Wikimedia Commons (both featured here), one of a modern pakol, and one of an ancient Greek sculpture, showing a boy wearing a visually identical hat, which the Greeks and Macedonians called a kausia.  This style of hat originally was made as a woolen bag, with a bottom just a bit larger in circumference than the top. The bag is then rolled up until the hat is the right depth to sit comfortably on the head, and the larger bottom forms a kind of brim that lies above th