William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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just a load of links and cars

During my current bout of some vague kind of lung infection, I've had the time to read a couple of books, one of which was The Da Vinci Code. (This link is to the author's website, where he'll gladly share his bibliography with you, like any respectable person would.)

A great book, and a work of fiction. But there's a lot of factual information in it, in the sense that you almost feel like an expert on religious symbology after you've finished it. Of course your feelings are dead wrong, unless you have more than four letters after your name. The movie will star Audrey Tautou (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain). This makes me happy.

What worries me is that a lot of Catholic and Sectarian websites have purchased a lot of Google AdWords, such that it puts a much greater burden on the searcher to find unbiased* information (click here to search Google for "The Da Vinci Code"). Sure, there are thousands of websites clamining to debunk the ideas presented in the book. Great! Unfortunately, they're virtually all made by Catholics and Sectarians. More unfortunately, you're usually encouraged to buy their book. An easy way to tell the difference between crock and science: Einstein never tried to sell Secrets of the Universe for $19.95. (One person I used to act with who has a better degree than I once told me that she thought science was a kind of religion. E-uh? (How else to type a Tim Taylor confused grunt?) I feel that's like saying rocks are a kind of liquid. But people believe this junk - look at this! Please, you can reclaim your lost birthright of understanding by taking responsibility for your own educations! You don't need to pay someone $27.95 to tell you to adapt your perception of the Universe to the lowest common denominator so that you'll understand like we "used to!" Bloody pseudoscience...)

* - Granted, this is a tough ideal to achieve. Sometimes it can be impractical. But there's usually a better alternative to asking a GM salesperson whether the Cavalier or the Corolla is the better buy, isn't there? Most people can pick up on this in "everyday life" - why not with science and religion?

* * *

That reminds me. I'd really like to have a car in the next few years. Ah, but how? (Czarek said I could buy a Fiat 126p for less than 200zł (about $80-$90). He was joking, of course (about me getting the car, not the price). The only problem would be getting it across the ocean and getting one sufficiently old enough to qualify as an antique and therefore bypass Canada's absurd car-import regulations. Seriously, if it wasn't for that ocean, we wouldn't have that rule.)

Small Fiats like this one (albeit without Momo steering wheels) used to be manufactured in Poland and they were practically all anyone drove. This has changed, but there are still a lot of these cars around. I rode in one once. It's an experience not to be missed. It's like driving in a motorized shopping cart. But they're cute and easy to park, although their fuel economy has been outdone by more modern tiny cars.

Czarek has a tall-ish acquaintance who drives a 126p. He got tired of scrunching himself up to drive the car (his knees would probably be touching the steering wheel at all times), so he simply took out the driver's seat, and now he drives from the back bench. I kid you not.
Tags: poland, poland 2005

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