Quintessence of the Loon

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Popery added 30 March 2000
I try to stay away from religious matters here at Quintessence of the Loon. The muckrakers along the corridor at The Millenium Project look after the bigots and faith healers, and the ones who sing and pray aren't usually much loonier than, say, a conclave of hog-belly futures traders. My attention was caught, however, when I saw Pope John Paul II on the television, apparently on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. (Oh, how I wish he had taken the logical path when succeeding Pope John Paul and taken the name "George Ringo".) He looked old and frail, but he didn't look dead. But if he is not dead, how can there be another Pope? Or two?

His Holiness Pope Gregory XVIIHis Holiness Pope Gregory XVII
This is a bit of a mystery to me. It seems that this pontiff was made Pope in 1978 on the death of Paul VI. It seems he is blind. Or was blind once. The site talks about how he died by crucifixion, but doesn't say when, where, or how much people had to pay to watch. The web site says it was last updated in 1980, but the web didn't exist until about 1994. Was this site created as a prophecy before there was even a web to look at it with in an attempt to establish a miracle and therefore qualify for canonisation? I can just imagine the Devil's Advocate (a much better title than "Promoter of the Faith") putting in his report: "I looked him up under "Popes" at Yahoo! and found his web site, but it has not been updated for many years. This is truly a great sin. And it is at Geocities, although one could argue that this is mere venial sin."

His Holiness Pope Pius XIIIHis Holiness Pope Pius XIII
This Pope was appointed (elected?) in October 1998, and succeeded Pius XII who died in 1958. Now I'm really confused. We appear to have a plethora of Popes here, all starting in the job at different times and all succeeding different other Popes, and at least two of them alive at the moment and the other one a possibility. What's a Catholic to do? I have to congratulate this Pope on the quality of his web site. It looks very good and appears to contain much dogma and matters of interest to the faithful, although I think just sneaking in a "by the way, I'm a Pope" link is being overly modest. I can't vouch for the theology on the site as there has been a formal rift between my family and the Holy See ever since my sainted grandmother physically threw a priest down her front steps.

The truth is way out there!Unarius Academy of Science added 26 March 2000
"The Unarius Educational Foundation provides information about the evolutionary design of life, the physics describing the mind and brain/body system, explaining the nature of consciousness substantiated by an interdimensional science of life." When I first read that, I didn't really understand what it meant. I cast my mind back to when I studied linguistics, trying to find the verbs. I considered the advice of those great philosophers, Plant and Page, who reminded us that "sometimes words have two meanings", but still the sense eluded me. I ran it back to Martian and then again into English using AltaVista's Babelfish translator, but all I got was a CokeŽ slogan and a voucher for 100 hours free Internet access. Remembering that I was born on an equinox a few months after a serious UFO sighting, I asked my mother what it meant but she just told me not to be silly and then looked wistfully into the distance. I felt alone, vulnerable, confused. But next year will be better. Then we will know the truth.

Loon of the Month

Selecting a Loon of the Month was difficult this month. I was originally drawn to one or other of the Popes, just because declaring yourself to be the spiritual leader of several hundred million people who already think they have a leader is a mark of true loonity. Most would just start a new religion. I liked the way the Unarians and the Qalabahians used language to get their points across. I decided the award just had to go to the anti-gravity theory because the patent has been accepted. Quintessential loons crave acceptance, and a patent trumps a self-published book any time.

Then I had a mental image of a field with people walking across it, each holding something in his hand. There is a loud noise, followed by faint plopping and splattering sounds. A blackened and twisted coathanger falls with a clatter near my feet, and a person next to me makes a mark on a clipboard and says: "Found another one".

Dowsing / Divining for Landmines using a Pendulum added 26 March 2000
What's your job like? Do you say to your wife "I'll be home a bit after five, dear, and another bit later and some more bits tomorrow"? Does everyone go down to the pub and get legless after work on Friday to relieve the stress? When the boss gives an order, do you hop to it? Does "banging your secretary" mean a form of harassment, an office romance, or staff training? Do you have part-time workers, and, if so, which parts of them come to work? I think I'll stick to the job I've got, thank you. It's better than sticking to all your workmates.

Your inner self displayed for all to see, like a fillet of broccoliAstroQab by Mallukh AHI added 19 March 2000
To be honest, I don't think I had ever heard of Qalabah before today. Then again, I get surprised every day by something I don't know, but maybe I had come across the concept before under a different name. You know how these New Agers are, spelling things differently all the time - "chi" one day and "qi" the next, for example. To show you what the site is about, consider this (from the page headed "Seed-Tree-Fruit): "The AHIH formula is basically the same as AHI, the only difference being that AHIH emphasises the cyclic nature of AHI. The final Ha (i.e. H2) of AHIH2 symbolises the husk from which the new generation of Aleph-seed is released for the next cycle of creation. In Hebrew the letter 'Ha' is spelled HA ~ that is, Ha-Aleph, showing us that Ha contains the emerging Aleph-inspiration that will impulse and empower the next round of creativity. So in effect the formula unfolds: HA-H-I-HA-H-I...etc." Now, who could argue with that? In the back of my mind I heard an emergence of Aleph-inspirations going HA-HA-HA, so maybe I did understand it after all.

Bill's telephone extension at MicrosoftBill Gates added 19 March 2000

We knew he was bad. Now we know how bad. You will probably not be able to see this site using Internet Explorer, such is the power of this man. Did I say "man"? Have you had a look at Windows 2000 yet? The security system requires you to have a little barcode on your forehead, the installation program says "Allow me to introduce myself", and then there's that smell when you open the CD cover. Brimstone, if I'm not mistaken.

An attractive thought? No, quite the opposite.Gravity is a PUSH! added 11 march 2000
Everyone has seen a wall where some wit has proudly written "Gravity sucks", as though nobody had ever thought of such cleverness before. Some people criticise graffiti artists for doing the same thing over and over repeatedly and therefore showing a lack of imagination, unlike, say Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or Claude Monet. Nobody could accuse the owner of this site of lack of imagination. He has thought up a refutation of 20th century physics. Not only that, but he has refuted the graffitists and given us a new slogan: "Gravity blows!" Well, he says "push" but I like the symmetry of "sucks/blows". Even people more skilled in physics than I (and there are lots of them) will be impressed by the intellectual quality of this patent which proposes a method of keeping satellites in orbit by using the push of the Earth's gravity. At least I think that's what it says. I was repelled by the maths, or maybe that was just gravity working.

(In case you think this is not real, you can check the US Patent Office. I did. Patent 5,377,936)

The cat sat on the WHAT?How to Toilet-Train Your Cat added 11 March 2000
Back in April 1999 I mentioned someone who was selling diapers for dogs. That's all very well, but wouldn't it be better if your companion animals could look after themselves without making a mess or needing human intervention? The Egyptians used to worship cats and thought they were royalty. You might not be able to make your cat into a king or a queen, but you can certainly get them up on the throne. When I suggested this to my cat she gave me one of those cat looks that let you know that they know that they know more than you. We are still working on it, but I am having difficulties teaching her how to flush the toilet and she is having trouble turning the tap on to wash her paws afterwards. At least I have stopped her trying to dig a little hole in the water first.

No, I don't believe it either.Jala Neti added 4 March 2000
OK, the picture gives it away. This is a site about nose irrigation. I didn't believe it at first, but then I thought about it for a while. Then I stopped thinking about it because I noticed that I had stopped breathing. The really fascinating thing about this site is trying to imagine how someone came up with the idea in the first place. Even if you thought it was a good idea, what would you have used before the little nose can had been invented? A watering can with the sprinkler taken off? A teapot? Surely not your colonic irrigator? No, it couldn't be that!

I wonder about the recommendation to use this technique for relaxation. I don't know about you, but I would find it a bit hard to relax with a couple of litres of sea water up my nose.

Unfortunately they don't sell the nose cans at this site any more, but you can get glass ones here.

Pagans and beer - a heady mix!Pagans at the Pub added 4 March 2000
Australian pagans? In a pub? Not possible, I hear you say. Well, let me tell you, I have seen the evidence. The pub these people meet in near my place is in a business district that is infested with advertising types and software people. If you go into the pub you can find people there who do not have earrings and are not wearing running shoes. Who are they if not pagans? Bank managers? School principals? Mormons? I think not. Even the Salvation Army lady puts Nikes on to go in and rattle the collection box on Friday nights, but nobody ever gives her any money or buys the War Cry. An evil place, and the beer isn't cold enough.

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