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Friday, 01 January 2010
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Is there any word in modern usage as telling as "hardwired?" We are now bring informed that we are evolutionary machines "hardwired" for religion. See reviews of Nicholas Wade's new book, "The Faith Instinct" here and here. Love is just an evolutionary trick to get us to bond and take care of our children, you see. Religious experience is just an illusion to foster altruism, thus benefitting group selection. Morality must be some kind of evolutionary trick as well.

And this is where modern secularism meets fatalism: I can't help it, I'm just wired that way. We are only our bodies and our bodies are only machines.

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Posted on 01/01/2010 2:46 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 01 January 2010
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this website brought Eight Bells of Dunmow, the head of one maid and two cows. A bit short in the milkmaid department but pub signs are not an equal opportunities employer. Shepherds, sailors, men on horses in plenty, only one Milkmaid Tavern in the whole country to the best of my knowledge, that was in Willingham Cambridge but I am not 100% certain it is still trading as a pub.
I wonder if the Jolie Laitière, the ladies clothing emporium of Paris in Arnold Bennett's novel Imperial Palace, had a sign?
I do not personally know the Eight Bells in Dunmow - that is one of my husband's contributions to the project. It is all wrought metal but so far as he can recall the bells don't ring which is a shame.  Again it may be an ecclesiatical connection. St Mary's Church in Dunmow has a peal of eight bells; but in England you can never forget the maritime connections of eight bells and the watch system. 
The Maids Head a pub and hotel just outside the Cathedral Close in Norwich. It is several old buildings converted into one hotel. The door beneath the sign bears the date 1595 but I think the sign itself, set in the wall is Victorian mock gothic/neo Tudor.
Cow or something cow is a common pub name, although not as common as bulls (not an equal opportunity employer as I said - bulls are very macho, as are boars). The Brown Cow in York used to be a nice pub but I have not been in there for over 20 years. I will photograph the Spotted Cow in Waltham Abbey when I am there next, probably over the summer.
So bottom left is the Old Red Cow opposite Smithfield meat Market in London, and bottom left the Dun Cow (does lovely food) at Salthouse on the North Norfolk coast, and showing signs of wind and salt damage.

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Posted on 01/01/2010 2:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Listen here. On the upper right, in Russian, is more about this singer, so famous in pre-Revolutionary Russia and, especially, in the White emigration.
From Wikiepedia:  The Basmachi movement (Russian: Basmachestvo) or Basmachi Revolt was a Muslim and largely Turkic uprising against Russian Empire

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Excerpted from The New York Times:  Russian Medals Sale The New York Sale A cross, top, and a “Badge for the Crushing Defeat of the
Congratulations to David Towery of Virginia for being the first to correctly finish December's devilishly difficult crossword puzzle. He will receive

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Nay, lass, it's all in perfect working order. A brief (geddit?) Hogmanay interlude:
by Hugh Fitzgerald (January 2010) In remarks published at this site recently, the Iranian-American exile, Amil Imani, a fearless apostate, and a

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I, and my partner R-------, am in the North of Scotland for this New Year. It took us over twenty hours to drive here through the snow-bound chaos that

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Watch, and listen, here.
Watch, and listen here.

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From an article here: Abdurrahman Wahid Arguably the most signi?cant development after Rabin's visit to Jakarta in October 1993 was the visit of Indonesia's
From The Wall Street Journal:  Indonesian Leader Resisted Extremists By TOM WRIGHT Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid was a key religious

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Those who understand Farsi can watch, and listen here. But evreyone who knows English can  read the many comments critical of Abdolkarim Sorroush,

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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (January 2010) One Christmas when I was a child I watched a television programme where a kindly looking man told the story
by Ares Demertzis (January 2010)   (i) It was an arranged marriage. His father having died when he was three, a solicitous uncle performed

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by Jack Dixon (January 2009) My topic is simply the question of word division-- mostly in English, but with a diplomatic glance at French. My title
by David Hamilton (January 2010) Our high traditions of sacred and imaginative Art have nearly died with the decline of religion and the spiritual

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