The Diary Of John
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? - Gandhi
Saturday, January 08, 2005


I just came across a couple of links for blogging stuff and thought id post them up here..

Wholinkstome - A site to track people linking to your site

Squarespace - A new blogging site?

I'll try to check them out next week as soon as i get some time free from teaching VIP.

posted at 1:51 PM by john |  

Friday, January 07, 2005


Its a little boring here this morning, theres nothing going on and i'm waiting for Roberta to arrive from downtown. I was going to get a dvd to watch but i cant be bothered to wallk there in the hot sun. Outside at the moment its really warming up right now, I'll just go outside when Roberta arrives so we can go get some ice cream i think :-)

I'm talking with my friend Odara about the new beta version of Messenger, there is apparently a way to handwrite in the message box but it doesnt appear in my version. I think its because of the win2000 admin or something. I wonder how people are supposed to use that, with a light pen or something? Cant be easy to use with a mouse, right?

I'm still waiting for Sbs to deliver my book, im just curious to see how long its going to take for them to arrive with it so i can see whether its worth me using this delivery service alot. I think it'll come in handy though when my students have to get their lit books as i can order them straight off the internet and not have to carry loads of books around with me. Maybe they will have some cheap posters there too, i'll check the site out later and then show the available posters to Roberta to see if she can create something similar hehehe!!

Accuradio is working today, they always have alot of british music on their channels, i will try to get my students to listen to it so they can experience more English music without having to pay R$50+ for a cd here. Well most people just buy pirate cds in the streets as its alot better. You can buy movies here on svcd that cost just R$5 (one english pound). We got Blade Trinity the other day and also The Icredibles too for just R$10 and they work just fine, apart from when a couple of people stand up during the movies hahaha!

posted at 9:23 AM by john |  

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I've been reading in the news online about how there is a new Freedom Of Info act in the Uk and i was curious to see what all the fuss was about and visited the National Achives website to have a look see. Unfortunately its not all that it seems, for a start there isnt really any easy way to access anything as you have to pay 10 pounds even if you wanna have a pdf copy. Not that there will be much of interest there i think, after all before this act came into power the government wiped hundreds of thousands of emails from the computers so they couldnt be read. Now theres going to be some old boys network investigation which will do practially nothing. Funny when in the UK we hear so much bullshit about freedom of information but to actually find this we have to look at countries like the USA. Strange as it says people can view online but everyone i tried just took mwe to a page where i could request to see the document or pay ten pounds. A shining example of how it should all work is the Clinton Presidential Center. Everything i tried reading there came out onscreen straight away with no asking for cash, I havent checked out the other presidential libraries yet to see if they are the same but i'm guessing that they are. I guess they are charging people for the new or more interesting stuff. Old stuff seems to work but not the newest stuff they mention in the report, perhaps they are trying to skim some money off this new information?

The other day i decided to try out ordering some stuff from the SBS website. It was actuaslly quite easy with many easy ways to make payments and with online tracking of the order too. I'm waiting now to see how long it will take them to deliver to my house. Last semester i must have been to their store 5 times but never thought to use their website to order stuff. Thats because when u buy stuff online in the UK its common people can only use credit cards whereas here in Brasil you have many choices of payments including payment slips for the banks etc. For me this is good as i dont like the idea of giving any bank details out online and this way is alot better. There are some things in Brasil that i find alot better than in the UK, these way of having many types of payments for example is great. I guess its so that all people can find a way to pay for something and not everyone has credit cards (i dont for example hahaha!) If everything goes well itll be great for me to order books for both Roberta and I and my students too as i wont have to slog all the way to their store whenever i want something. I didnt bother using Sedex though as it added R$17 to the price of the book, looks like the postie will have to carry it instead ;-)

I'm online with my friend Arllena from the other school now, i forgot to pick up my times for my groups there and shes asking the secretary for them now. I was a little nervous the day i went to the school and didnt remember them hehehe! I think i got mostly teenager groups which'll be alot of fun, hopefully they will be animated as i like groups that tend to like to have alot of fun and stuff.

Hmmm i must have left my mp3 cd in the house, let me go get it..

Thats better, nothing like rock music to get the afternoon flying by!! At the moment we have Van Halen - Jump.

My messenger is going crazy here at the moment, plus this computer is soooo slow that it takes ages to switch bewteen the screens.

I'm listening to a group called Bride, well i think they are called this hehehe! My friend made me a cd full of mp3s the other day, all rock and lots of old stuff too. I love using this stuff with my students instead of the boring crap that they usually give to me. My students hate Britney Spears!! Theres also some Rush on the cd too, my fav song of theirs is called The spirit of radio. The lyrics are below:

The Spirit Of Radio

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Off on your way, hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact in your happy solitude

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah
Your honesty
One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity


For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen

all of the worlds best music is rock, no matter what other styles there are that come and go there will always be rock, especially from the 80's. I dont know why so many people listen to rock, for me i just cant stand hip hop or that techno zombie dance shite thats always in the clubs and discos etc. for me real music is played on instruments not with a sequencer and disks. Van Halen, WASP, Meatloaf etc, they still keep rocking the real world when all the plastic Britneys are long gone!
posted at 9:29 AM by john |  

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


This computer is really slow this morning, i could pee faster than this connection hahaha!! Right clicking takes around 7 seconds for the menu to appear, maybe the bosses should think about upgrading a little. Hmmm i dont think that will happen though, they usually just swap around all the old stuff to try to keep things ticking over here. My old pentium 166+ was probably as fast as this computer is right now hehe!

Well i started to give class to my Vip student yesterday, i have around one month to get him to the end of his course before the new semester starts. This'll pay for my new playstation :-) Although its alot faster to do this way i prefer the other way as its sometimes very fast and the students struggle to keep up. With the normal way they can have alot more contact with the language and stuff in their classes. I have the photocopy stuff all ready for him so that we can go a little faster than the schedule allows to give more time for him to do the exercises and other stuff he needs to complete before the mid and final exams. Ive only taught this book once before in a month, should be interesting to see if i can do it again and if he passes the tests with a good grade as well.

I'm trying to get onto Accuradio's website but its not loading, says the site is unavailable. Shit, i like listening to this online radio station alot!! They always have loads of stuff to choose from. Maybe they are doing some upgrades or stuff? I'll try later.

I'm finding it interesting reading in the news about turkey joining the EU. I think itll be good for Europe to have a large muslim country joining it. The UK is mianly not very religious, regardless of all the pomp you see on special days many people dont go to church and i think it would be nice for the UK and other countries to have access to other religions, i would prefer something more like Bhuddism myself to become the main UK religion :-) I read there is alot of opposition to Turkey becoming part of the EU, this i dont understand though apart from the Christians wanting to keep their little exclusive club. I say let them in, lets have some new stuff in our boring Europe. We could always throw out the french to make some extra room for Turkey. After all, they are just a bunch of yellow cowards who need to get a spine implant and spend most of their time protecting their money in dirt poor countries they've been exploiting. I'll be glad to see some changes, i think it'll be good for the UK, but only time will tell i guess.

I'm becoming quite good at cooking some basic Brasilian foods and stuff. My ex-wife never bothered showing me this but Roberta loves to cook so i get to experiment alot now in the kitchen. I prefer foods that are quick to cook though as usually i dont have alot of free time, so any veggies that cook fast are good and we usually prepare bulk amounts of rice so i dont have to spend every five minutes making it. As Roberta will be arriving for lunch tomorrow i'll see if i can rustle something up that doesnt taste too bad hahaha!

Oh a new search engine has emerged at a site called with a download that it says you can use to search by clicking on any document etc. Looks good, i'll install it on the pc here later :-)

Also the amount of people using blogs has increased to over 27,000,000, man thats alot but still Blog or Blogging isnt a household word. Hmm strange but true. I have had mine for around 2yrs come march time, it started just as a bit of fun because i was bored as my exwife always left me in the house alone alot so she could piss about with her uni friends (who are actually quite boring) and i sort of carried on with it. I know some of the students read it for fun, dont you guys?? hahaha!!

Im reading yet another Dan Brown novel, The Digital fortress. Its as good as all his other books. The main story is about a new type of encryption and features many interesting things that you can find in real life, just as in the other novels he's written. People like the NSA and EFF and others appear, i like the idea of being able to read about something in a book and then actually finding more information online too. I'll let you know how the book goes in a couple of days, thats how long it'll take me to read it and start another hehehe!

Okay i gotta go eat here, my stomach is protesting about the lack of food inside it..

posted at 10:48 AM by john |  

Monday, January 03, 2005


Well now xmas and new years is all over its back to the grindstone again, although i am still on vacation until the end of this month. I am quite looking forward to teaching at the new school, i think it'll be alot of fun to try out some stuff there i have never had the chance to do at any of the other schools yet. A few books i read have really given me some nice ideas for different parts of the CCAA methodology especially where the reading text part fails. Most students hate reading alound in front of the rest of the class and now i have some different ideas to try out with them, even if it doesnt make all the students happy i think for most it'll work out just fine. By the start of the next semester at the end of Feb i'll have quite a list of stuff to experiment with :-)

I had to go downtown this morning to return something to Pontifrio, we managed to find a blender with 40% discount and scatched it up for R$30 but it had a sort of intermittent power problem and sometimes it wouldnt work and I exchanged it easily enough for another one. I nearly left my book in the store and had to go running back to get it as it would have really pissed me off to have not finished the story and found out who the killer is hehehe! - Also i had to visit the Receita Federal to see about getting a replacement Cpf card, man i hate having to deal with all these paper pushing things. After visiting the bank here and them telling me that they couldnt deal with me as i am a foreigner and walking all the way there to the offices i find out that they had to process me first before i could go to their offices. As you can see they arent a big believer in training people here hahaha! I finally managed to get it sorted out in the end, i have to go back to their offices now just to get it all finished off. I'll get Roberta to go with me so we can spend the day in the city and get a movie of something.

I'm hungry, gotta go get something to eat here..

posted at 11:38 AM by john |  


Faiths ask of quake: "Why did you do this, God?"

It is one of the oldest, most profound questions, posed by some of the most learned minds of every faith throughout the course of human history.

It was put eloquently this week by an old woman in a devastated village in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. "Why did you do this to us, God?" she wailed. "What did we do to upset you?"

Perhaps no event in living memory has confronted so many of the world's great religions with such a basic test of faith as this week's tsunami, which indiscriminately slaughtered Indonesian Muslims, Indian Hindus, Thai and Sri Lankan Buddhists and tourists who were Christians and Jews.

In temples, mosques, churches and synagogues across the globe, clerics are being called upon to explain: How could a benevolent god visit such horror on ordinary people?

Traditionalists of diverse faiths described the destruction as part of god's plan, proof of his power and punishment for human sins.

"This is an expression of God's great ire with the world," Israeli chief rabbi Shlomo Amar told Reuters. "The world is being punished for wrongdoing -- be it people's needless hatred of each other, lack of charity, moral turpitude."

Pandit Harikrishna Shastri, a priest of New Delhi's huge marble and sandstone Birla Hindu temple, told Reuters the disaster was caused by a "huge amount of pent-up man-made evil on earth" and driven by the positions of the planets.

Azizan Abdul Razak, a Muslim cleric and vice president of Malaysia's Islamic opposition party, Parti Islam se-Malaysia, said the disaster was a reminder from god that "he created the world and can destroy the world".

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, a leading British Muslim cleric from Leicester in England said: "We believe that God has ultimate controlling power over his entire creation. We have a responsibility to try and attract god's kindness and mercy and not do anything that would attract his anger."


Many faiths believe that disasters foretell the end of time or the coming of a Messiah. Some Christians expect chaos and destruction as foretold in the Bible's final book, Revelations.

Maria, a 32-year-old Jehovah's Witness in Cyprus who believes that the apocalypse is coming said people who once slammed the door in her face were stopping to listen.

"It is a sign of the last days," she said.

But for others, such calamities can prompt a repudiation of faith. Secularist Martin Kettle wrote in Britain's Guardian newspaper that the tsunamis should force people to "ask if the God can exist that can do such things?" -- or if there is no God, just nature.

"This poses no problem for the scientific belief system. Here, it says, was a mindless natural event which destroyed Muslim and Hindu alike," he wrote. "A non-scientific belief system, especially one that is based on any kind of notion of a divine order, has some explaining to do, however."

It is a question that clergy have to deal with nearly every day, not just at times of great catastrophe but when providing consolation for the daily sorrows of life, said U.S. Rabbi Daniel Isaak, of Congregation Neveh Shalom, in Portland, Oregon.

"It is really difficult to believe in a God that not only creates a tsunami that kills 50 or 60 thousand people, but that puts birth defects in children," he said. "Often the first question people ask on an individual basis is that question that that Indian woman asked. Why is God doing this to me?"

In one modern view, he said, God does not interfere in the affairs of his creation. Disasters like the tsunami occur for the natural reasons scientists say they do.

"This is not something that God has done. God hasn't picked out a certain group of people in a certain area of the world and said: 'I am going to punish them,'" he said.

"The world has certain imperfections built into the natural order, and we have to live with them. The issue isn't 'Why did God do this to us?' but 'How do we human beings care for one another?'"

Greek Orthodox Theologian Costas Kyriakides in Cyprus expressed a similar view.

"I personally don't attach any theological significance to this -- I listen to what the scientists say," he said. "God is always the fall guy. We incriminate Him completely unjustly."

What do we see here? Just another attempt by religions to try to frighten people into joining their money making churches by telling them the end of the world is coming, i wonder how much money they will ask from people now to pray for their sins? Alot, you can bet on it. We know the real truth, we are screwing up thwe world and it cant heal itself now and we create disaster after disaster as we chop down more trees and forests. Priests!!! They will exploit anything they can to get a few more dollars, you never see poor priests, even if they look poor you can count on it that they have all your cash stashed away somewhere for a rainy day, or when they wanna retire to some sun soaked tax haven for the rest of their days.I think that religion and its priests must be taken to hand for the things they say in public, after all if we advertized this bullshit for our companies we would be prosecuted and fined or slapped in prison but if you say GOD anywhere its like an imunity from the law. Explains why it works so well here in Brasil i guess, everyone here is always quoting something they say GOD said to them or is in the bible. Maybe people are just going to have to open their eyes to the truth about people and the state of the planet and stop blaming it on the revenge of God and more on ourselves and letting greedy people, companies and religions exploit everything..


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