Sunday, November 09, 2008

The End Of The World As We Know It

You may have heard people talk about 2012. Some people say it is the year when the world will end.

By Steve Andrews & CJ Stone

The Power of the Light

CJ Stone tries an alternative therapy that is set to cleanse his soul and aura. The question is: is he evolved enough to step into the light...?

Hair Pie

Crosby Stills Nash and Young sang a song about it. In those days hair was a revolutionary statement. But what's its purpose? That's the question on CJ Stone's mind.

You Can Write To King Arthur

King Arthur is this ex-biker, ex-soldier, ex-builder (not necessarily in that order) who had a brainstorm back in the eighties and decided he was King Arthur, after which he donned a white frock and a circlet, and has been causing various kinds of trouble ever since.

I wrote a book with him once.

LSD Refugees

I've just taken LSD. For the first time in 25 years. That little brown drop of liquid, placed on the end of my finger and ingested some 30 minutes ago, is about to play havoc with my sense of self...

Columns III: War and Asylum

In the controversy surrounding the issue of asylum seekers, we tend to forget some of the very real human stories that lie behind it. It's too easy to see it as an "issue" and to forget that these people are human beings, with mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers who love them, with hopes and aspirations just like ours, who suffer just like us, who laugh just like us, who dream just like us, and who die just like us.

Baghdad Girl

She is fifteen years old and she has just finished her exams. She likes cats. She has a blog which consists almost entirely of pictures of cute little kittens rolling about on well-tended lawns, or relaxing, stretching and yawning, or playing with balls of wool. She is like most teenage girls the whole world over.

Her name is Raghda Zaid and she lives in the United Arab Emirates. She used to live in Baghdad.

Columns IV: Welcome to the Future

These days we seem to be under the quaint illusion that the progress of civilisation is the same as technological innovation.

Every day there are hundreds of new products on the market; from mobile phones that take your picture, to palm-top computers the size of cigarette packets; from cars without pistons, to video streaming; from vacuum cleaners without dust bags, to "Blue Tooth" technology that allows you to use your computer in any location. All of this is seen as "progressive", as if the accumulation of more and more gadgets was really the measure of human worth.

Computer Troubles

I’m very worried about my computer. It’s been doing some very odd things of late. I tell it to do one thing and it does something else. It’s like a recalcitrant teenager throwing a permanent paddy, stamping its foot and going off in a virtual sulk.


...for these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable… Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others…

With these words, from the dialogue of Timaeus, written in about 360 BC, the philosopher Plato would unwittingly launch a deluge of speculation, investigation, argument and counter-argument, that has lasted the better part of 2,500 years.

Samhain and Cider

Samhain. Halloween. The season of darkness. Grim clouds scutter like thin grey rags under a sombre sky. This is the time of the ancestors, the time of the ancients, when spirits roam the land. The time of the dark awakening.

Vlad the Impaler

“Tepes” means “Impaler”. He got his name because impaling was his preferred method of execution. This is how it was done. The victim had his legs yanked apart, by horses attached to ropes, and then a sharpened stake about the size of a fist was inserted between the buttocks, up the anus. The stake was greased with pig-fat to allow ease of inserting, and to stop the body shock that might cause the victim to die too quickly....

Angels of New York

We came in on the George Washington Bridge on the Interstate, but you could see the city long before that, from deep inside New Jersey somewhere, the jagged line of skyscrapers flashing between the hills and trees...