Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Problems in Egypt

This will definitely be the last post prior to Christmas. Mainly because I am appalled at the Egyptian government's decision to not allow Baha'is to possess the required citizen ID cards simply because they are Baha'is. They have to say that they are either Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. A few court cases have ensured this at this point. Baha'is are not even allowed to have a space on the card labelled "Other".

This is a very significant matter of concern as every Egyptian is required by law to have one of these ID cards, and the ID card must be correct in all aspects, so by this simple definition, a Baha'i must not be able to an Egyptian citizen...

Meaning, "Without such documentation, they cannot register births or receive essential government services such as health and education. Additionally, they cannot apply for jobs, buy property, open bank accounts, or register their children in school."

this means Baha'is have no access to health care, education

One blogs report on this issue is here.

Another news article states that, "The court's decision upholds government policy that denies Baha'is the right to receive identification cards, birth certificates, education and even medical care, unless they lie about their religious beliefs".

This article appears to be well researched as they seem to understand the conflict between Islam and Baha'i,
"The main conflict between Muslims and Bahais is in the idea that Mohammed is not the final prophet of god, which has led to Muslims distrusting Bahais." Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah is the manifestation of God for this age, but He will not be the last as God would never leave his children without guidance.

And one final news article which I must disclaim before as it states that the Baha'i Faith is an "offshoot" of Islam, which is incorrect. The Baha'i Faith is an offshoot of Islam in the same way that Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism. All four of the religions are complete and not offshoots, nor sects, nor 'isms.

If you have questions or anything, please do not hesitate to ask, or please click on this link. to learn what the Baha'i Faith is if you don't know anything, or you would like to know more.

Anyway, I thought that I would let people know that despite living in a so-called civilized age, ignorance and fear still drives policy.

One last post (maybe) before Christmas

Hello there everyone,

I thought that I might try to do one last post before Christmas falls upon us! I'd like to do another one, but can't be too sure on that as there's only a few days until.

Formalities: Baby, Bec and Alex are all doing well, Madison vomits more than I like, and I have gotten peed and pooed on more than I would like.... Much more than I would like. One night, I had to change all of my clothes (except undies, but including socks) because a fountain of poo rained on me. Bec laughed her eye off, I joined in as well because it was pretty funny... Late at night, changing a diaper, and then getting rained on.... Alex is being a bit naughty, but he'll get better...

Anyway though, this is another song that I wrote a while ago... The subject matter will become apparent upon listening to it, so I'm not really going to go into detail about it. Alright, you twisted my arm.... I wrote it shortly after my brother Christopher Ryan Amon died due to drug related issues which the whole family knew about. This foreknowledge leads invariably to guilt, like what could I have done, why didn't I do this or that, why didn't I..... the list goes on. Although I was (and am) in Australia, and he was in Canada, I still had guilt... Guilt knows no borders. The song is obviously from my perspective, being his older brother by 1 year and a few days, so we grew up together, and fought like cats and dogs, but we were still brothers and loved eachother as such. The song is a release from guilt, and comes from a Baha'i perspective of life and death (untimely).

It's a simple song, simple chords, no real hidden meanings as I'm not that clever to work in things like that, and I wouldn't really bother.

And as much as I hate to add disclaimers to things like this... This is still a work in progress. I plan on adding drums and some lead guitar work, with a drum track being the hardest part for me, mainly because I'm not a drummer so I rely on my drum machine which I have to program correctly... It takes me a little while to get that down though.... I actually played this song with another guitarist and my younger brother Phil a few years ago, and it sounded heaps better with drums (thanks Phil).... And once I get my SG for my b-day, I'll use her to do the lead guitar work... It'll be subtle though because again, I'm not that good. A word of warning before you listen though, I haven't tested the song out much, so you may have to adjust your eq's if you can.... Hopefully it'll sound good though...

Ok, I'll stop minimizing my efforts... I think you'll find that this is probably the best song you'll ever hear in your entire life. The arrangement is nothing short of a work of art, and I am already up for a Grammy despite it being a work in progress..

I lie, obviously.

I must run now, but I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Short but sweet

I just thought that I would post a really super short post to express my happiness etc that yesterday, I gave my supervisor a copy of my thesis. From cover to cover. Took a little while to print as its just under 300 pages, including title pages, appendix, and references... but it looks nice.

It will be submitted mid January, as that's when I expect to start work again. I will be doing a little bit at home, but not much. I want a break to enjoy my family!!!!

I'll try to post at least once before Christmas....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

#1 ... but better said

I was at a Feast (Baha'i equivalent of Church, but no priests or clergy) the other night when this was read out, it's official scriture outlineing the previous post, but said shorter and better, so I thought I would throw it in:

"The fourth teaching of Baha'u'llah is the agreement of religion and science. God has endowed man with intelligence and reason whereby he is required to determine the verity of questions and propositions. If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith and belief in it are impossible and there is no outcome but wavering and vacillation." -- 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith p 240.

I think that pretty much sums up that topic...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reason #1

I mentioned that I would be posting about this a little while ago, and while side tracked, I recently read of another's spiritual journey which inspired me to continue to write about this… Why I am a Báhá'í.

This is why I quit drinking alcohol despite it not being disruptive to my life, (Phil and Tamara, no comment please, my family reads this!), and I thank the friends around me at that time for their support, again thanks P and T, love ya muchly!

I guess simply put, it all made sense. I am a scientist, (geek may be another word for this… ) so I like to be able to understand what I say I believe in. And while, as with any of God's religions, I don't believe that any man can fully understand all that there is to know about any religion, I understand to the best of my abilities, and it makes good sense. Pretty much all of the central themes within the Báhá'í Faith are centered on Unity.. As all religions are as well. What I see as different in the Báhá'í Faith, are the means and principles explicitly detailed to attain global unity. And not just through the "simple" and well established believing that everyone is equal (race and gender), but through other principles designed to take this belief, and apply it, or bring it about.

I know that this topic may not interest some (all) of you, but hey, my blog, my posts!! Also, there is no possible way for me to get out all that I would like to say in one post, so it'll be scattered between a few, non-consecutive posts. But it may give you an opportunity to know what goes in my head, and my reference points. Please leave comments if or whatever if you have arguments for or against what I say. But besides the principles themselves, the expounding texts are my own thoughts on the basic principles.

I guess, in keeping with my scientist bit, as a Báhá'í, I believe that true religion and true science will always agree. This sounds simple. But it's not. This little principle has important ramifications. Firstly, truth is truth. The Earth can't be the center of the universe in religion and rotate around the sun in science. Which one's true? The problem, as well all know, was a misinterpretation, or holding on to certain dogmas. This incident highlighted the fact that either the science was wrong, or that specific religious belief was wrong. Although we like to think of ourselves as modern, this could (and likely still does, Google "Flying Spaghetti Monster") happen, where science and religion disagree, while both insist upon their being right. What should happen, is that both religious and scientific scholars (?) should sit with open minds, and re-examine BOTH their experimental results, AND the scriptural interpretations to see if another explanation can be found to place everything in agreement. No blind acceptance… the results would obviously be tested as is any theory and subsequently proven right or wrong, until the correct theory is eventually put forth. Imagine the possible advancement of a society where religion and science worked together, hand-in-hand, free of ego. I'm a geek; that got me excited… This would not only further science, but religion as well. While religion could aid science, science could also help rid religion of ritual beliefs resulting from scriptural misinterpretations which no one will deny occur. A book I read by someone I can't remember (sorry) pointed out that no one can understand all the levels of meaning written in any religious scripture, so any form of interpretation is open to error. I really wish I could reference that… But I don't think that any religious leader would argue the infinite meaning found in the Bible (Old or New Testament), the Koran, of Báhá'í literature to name a few.

Even the simple precept of science and religious truths being the same has significant implications on society as a whole. This is one of the reasons I am a Báhá'í. There is a well-defined logic, consistency of purpose (unity) and it says science is good J.

Also, the Báhá'í Faith has many prophetic technological breakthroughs (from over 150 yrs ago) which are predicted for the future, and knowing what some of them are, and that the theory has recently been laid down for their eventual reality, has just been further confirmation for me that I should be a Báhá'í.

Introductions... pt 2

Sorry about the lag in posts... a bit busy, but here you go. Some of the first pics of Madison. Firstly, a picture of my beloved family, with me, Bec, and Alex holding Madison, a few hours after her birth. The second is a picture of Madison happy to be spending her first night at home.

Rebecca was discharged from the hospital about 24 h after Madison was born, which everyone was happy about. No more being woken up by beeping of stuff in the middle of the night at the hospital etc.... Was a rough night though.

Mads had a tummy ache, which we soon found out was due to a lot of number 2 built up requiring some form of release. ABout 2 h of intermittent crying to get it all out. 2am found me with a ... rather unpleasant job of cleaning it! Thanks, I owe you one... Last night was great though, and tonight appears to be about the same. Bec is trying to force a 4 h feeding cycle which seems to be working pretty good. We don't really want her drinking alll day long. Bec's breastfeeding (too much info?.. Na) so you might be able to see why the 4h cycle is appealing!

Alex, he is enjoying being a brother. He has helped us bath her for two-thirds of all the baths she's ever taken (tonight and last night). But he does get bored of her... I mean she doesn't really do anything! Besides drink, poo, pee on me when I change her, and cry a bit. I think it was Bec's brother Ryan who threatened to take her home with him, but Alex told him he couldn't because she doesn't have any teeth. Interesting logic I thought!

Alex was utterly DISGUSTED at her belly button. It was a great look on his face, that will remain burned in my mind forever, and unfortunatley, there's no picture. But it was classic. Kind of like when he learned where the milk came from... He's 4, old enough to undrstand what we're telling him, inquisitive enough to ask good questions, but not quite asking the "How does it come out" ones, or at least accepting the half answers he's been getting.

But anyway, things are nice and going well. We are all happy, smiling, and healthy. I may try to get another pic or two up tomorrow, but really, don't count on it. I still have a bunch of things I need to get done.... Rebecca may fix things though up on her site, I'll pester her about it.

Bye bye my adoring fans, and thanks for all the nice comments on the last post!

Monday, December 04, 2006 1

Well first of all, I would like to officially welcome Madison Leigh Amon into the world. Yes, she was born this afternoon, 1:30pm on Monday, December 4, 2006. She weighed 6lb14" (3.1 kg), and was 50-51 cm long. Her head was/is smaller than Alex's, so Bec was happy about that.. But not happy that she could not take ANY pain relief.

The story, because it should be documented.... Contractions began at about 2am. This woke her up, but she went back to sleep and then dreamed about an upset tummy! 5am she woke though to contractions about 3min apart.. but weak ones. We called her sister to come and get Alex.. ANd at 8:30am we were at Campbelltown hospital. The contractions slowed down very much... and the mid-wife was saying that she will just check to see if Bec was dilated and then we could go home and wait until she really entered labour.... Then she found that Bec was 3cm dilated.... to which she says "that changes things." Long story shortened, they broke Bec's water, we walked around a bit, then she started having some stronger contractions. And stronger... And stronger at about 5 min apart (or more). The mid-wife checked on Bec, gave her some NO2 (gas) and then left the room to come back later. a minute or two later she had to come back because they could hear Bec in the halls...

30-40 min later (or so), with many scratches on my arm, sorry Bec, had to say it! we have a beautiful little girl. Bec and the baby are both well. Bec's sore, and I don't think that you could pay her enough to have another one! But she's fine, in good spirits, and looking forward to coming home.

Alex is happy and excited that the baby isn't in mommy's tummy anymore, and that he is a big brother, and has a sister. So ya, I have a little girl, which brought tears to my eyes.

Bec did great, the baby did great, and the camera is still at the hospital. I will post pictures tomorrow in Introductions... pt2. Sorry about that, I am not happy either (about the lack of pics here).

Doesn't get much better does it?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nintendo Wii

Well, I have been looking at this machine for a little bit now. Due out for release here in Oz on Dec 7th I think.... I have to say that I have not been impressed with any of the recent game systems. All they tend to be are improvements on graphics/resolution and speed. Not so much on games. I still like Asteroids from Atari. Ya, old school!!! What can I say, it's addictive. Simple, turn, shoot the asteroids. Don't get hit by them. But I do like the look of the Nintendo Wii. Intuitive motion sensing. I don't really care about improved graphics, I think that of the Playstation 2 and Xbox were fine. While I am impressed with the great graphics of Xbox 360, the games themselves did nothing for me. But with Wii, they have sooo much of a back catalogue. I used to love playing Zelda. ANd the new one looks pretty cool.

If I had 400 bucks to blow on something, the Wii might be it. Also because I know that Rebecca would probably play it too. She doesnt' really like the multi-button game-pads out now (with the 3 directional joysticks/buttons, 4 other right thumb button, 2 triggers, L1, L2, R1 and R3) they just seem a bit too much to learn when all you want to do is have mindless fun. The Wii is supposed to be (and reviewed to be) very intuitive. So, maybe when they drop to an affordable price, I'll write a review on them!!! But for now, I will marvel from afar!!!

If anyone of my readers gets one, let me know if they match up to the hype though, you might speed my purchase up!!!

A Baby is born!!!!!

Somewhere, this statement rings true, and to that new family, my best wishes. For us though, the stork has yet to arive. I just wanted to get a few people's blood rushing with excitement. Mom and Dad though, you should not have been fooled by this... You would (will) be called well before I am anywhere near a computer... I am starting to enjoy blogging again, but it will never replace genuine contact.

we have had a few little pre-contractions or whatever you might want to call them, but nothing of consequence. Bec can't wait. this last month has not been pleasant for her. Her back hurts, extremities are swelling, the car keeps breaking down. The last time in the middle of a "round-a-bout". No joke, that's the genuine name for a "rotary," except they actually work properly here. But Bec was driving Alex to speech therapy, and then in the middle of the round-a-bout, the car wouldn't accelerate. And slowed to a stop fortunatley just after the round-a-bout on the side of the road out of harm's way. Then Alex says he has to poo. I laughed too.... The fuel pump broke, so in we got towed to a garage who is very experienced at ripping me off, so they could do it to me one last time. When I say we, I mean Bec and Alex, I ran there, at 36degrees or maybe a little hotter, but too hot. Not fun. Not cheap. Last time oh garage who ripped me off for the last time.

So, using your deductive reasoning, not much has happened down here. Life is continuing, but I have been thinking a lot about posting a bit on why I am a Baha'i. There are several well-defined reasons, as I strongly believe there should be when someone follows a certain religion. But Fireguy's post a little while ago got me thinking again about religion in general. Long time readers may know that I used to get Mormon's over, we talked and met regularly, then they stopped coming...Shortly after they read "Some Answered Questions." I really like that book, it answers many questions about a great variety. If you know a Baha'i, borrow it from them, read it. It's written simply, but don't let that fool you. If you think about the implications and what is actually being said. A lot of things will open up and become clear...

I have to go now though to have a nice ice-cream with my wife and son!