Remembering that our Club is a Social and Golf Club I added this page to the web site to help us through the Corona Virus shutdown and to maintain the Club in our lives.
At the moment this page is being updated daily with new jokes or Club chit chat. But more of the chit chat needs to come from members. When you read this consider putting finger to keyboard and tell us something as your contribution.
Back on the 6th October there was a quote from Einstein as follows:.
"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
This re-aroused an interest I had about J. Robert Oppenheimer and his famous quotation from the Bhagavad Gita:
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
There is an extensive biography of Oppenheimer on Wikipedia describing his life and achievements plus to some extents his social views which were seen as 'communistic' and therefore completely against the USA ruling classes who use communism as their powerless enemy so they can protect the country from it by spending more and more on arms and organisations like the CIA.
I don't intend to plagerise or regurgitate that information, but rather to look at Oppenheimer's interaction with Hinduism.
As he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, a piece of Hindu scripture from the Bhagavad-Gita ran through Oppenheimer mind: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. This well-known line from the Bhagavad-Gita cannot be understood in isolation.
As director of the Los Alamos Laboratory he is rightly seen as the “father” of the atomic bomb (he was not the overall manager of the Manhattan project - this was Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). “We knew the world would not be the same,” he later recalled. “A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.” Oppenheimer, watching the fireball of the Trinity nuclear test, turned to Hinduism. While he never became a Hindu in the devotional sense, Oppenheimer looked to structure his life around the Hindu teachings. "He was obviously very attracted to this philosophy,” says Rev Dr Stephen Thompson. Oppenheimer’s interest in Hinduism was about more than a soundbite, it was a way of making sense of his actions.
The Bhagavad-Gita is 700-verse Hindu scripture centering on a dialogue between a warrior prince Arjuna and his charioteer Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. Facing an opposing army containing his friends and relatives, Arjuna is torn. But Krishna teaches him about a higher philosophy that will enable him to carry out his duties as a warrior irrespective of his personal concerns. This is known as the dharma, or holy duty. It is one of the four key lessons of the Bhagavad-Gita: desire or lust; wealth; the desire for righteousness or dharma; and the final state of total liberation, or moksha.
Seeking his counsel, Arjuna asks Krishna to reveal his universal form. Krishna obliges, and in verse twelve of the Gita he manifests as a sublime, terrifying being of many mouths and eyes. It is this moment that entered Oppenheimer’s mind in July 1945. “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one,” was Oppenheimer’s translation of that moment in the desert of New Mexico.
In Hinduism, which has a non-linear concept of time, the great god is not only involved in the creation, but also the dissolution. In verse thirty-two, Krishna speaks the line brought to global attention by Oppenheimer. "The quotation 'Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds', is literally the world-destroying time,” explains Thompson, adding that Oppenheimer’s Sanskrit teacher chose to translate “world-destroying time” as “death”, a common interpretation. Its meaning is simple: irrespective of what Arjuna does, everything is in the hands of the divine.
"Arjuna is a soldier, he has a duty to fight. Krishna not Arjuna will determine who lives and who dies and Arjuna should neither mourn nor rejoice over what fate has in store, but should be sublimely unattached to such results,” says Thompson. “And ultimately the most important thing is he should be devoted to Krishna. His faith will save Arjuna's soul." But Oppenheimer, seemingly, was never able to achieve this peace. "In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humour, no overstatements can quite extinguish," he said two years after the Trinity explosion, "the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.”
“He doesn't seem to believe that the soul is eternal, whereas Arjuna does,” says Thompson. “The fourth argument in the Gita is really that death is an illusion, that we're not born and we don't die. That's the philosophy really: that there's only one consciousness and that the whole of creation is a wonderful play.” Oppenheimer, it can be inferred, never believed that the people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not suffer. While he carried out his work dutifully, he could never accept that this could liberate him from the cycle of life and death. In stark contrast, Arjuna realises his error and decides to join the battle.
“Krishna is saying you have to simply do your duty as a warrior,” says Thompson. “If you were a priest you wouldn't have to do this, but you are a warrior and you have to perform it. In the larger scheme of things, presumably The Bomb represented the path of the battle against the forces of evil, which were epitomised by the forces of fascism.”
For Arjuna, it may have been comparatively easy to be indifferent to war because he believed the souls of his opponents would live on regardless. But Oppenheimer felt the consequences of the atomic bomb acutely. “He hadn't got that confidence that the destruction, ultimately, was an illusion,” says Thompson. Oppenheimer’s apparent inability to accept the idea of an immortal soul would always weigh heavy on his mind.
The information above was more or less copied from an article by James Temperton on the Wired web site.
I've also found a speech by Oppendheimer which I'm assessing for inclusion next month.
A bunch of engineers are sitting around at a party, discussing the nature of God.
The mechanical engineer argued that God must also be a mechanical engineer because "if you look at all the pulleys and levers that drive the body, how the tendons and muscles and bones all work together, well, it's just amazing.
The chemical engineer objected that God has to be a chemical engineer because "if you look at all the chemical processes that drive the body, how the hormones and the brain and the glands and everything else all interact, well, it's just astounding".
The electrical engineer further objected claiming God has to be an electrical engineer because , "if you look at the circuitry of the body, how the thousands upon millions of nerve cells transmit signals from one part to another, well, it boggles the mind.".
The civil engineer speaks up last of all and says, "well, you could all be right, God is definitely not a civil engineer, because "no civil engineer would run a sewer through a playground."
A woman went to a pet shop and immediately spotted a large, beautiful parrot.
There was a sign on the cage that said $20.00.
"Why so little?" she asked the pet store owner.
The owner looked at her and said, "Look, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a house of prostitution, and sometimes it says some pretty vulgar stuff".
The woman thought about this then decided she'd buy the bird anyway.
She took it home and hung the bird's cage up in her living room, and waited for it to say something.
The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, "New house, new madam".
When her two teenage daughters returned from school, the bird saw them and said, "New house, new madam, new girls."
The girls and the woman were a bit offended, but then they began to laugh about the situation considering how and where the parrot had been raised.
Moments later, the woman's husband, Keith, walked in. The bird looked at him and said,
"Hi Keith, so this is where you live."
I will never hear church bells ringing again without smiling. Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went straight to her grandparent's house to visit her 95 year-old grandmother and comfort her.
When she asked how her grandfather had died, her grandmother replied, "Many years ago, realising our advanced age, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would start to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous, simply in on the Ding and out on the Dong."
She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued,
"He'd still be alive if that ice cream truck hadn't come along."
Some time ago there were a couple of pages covering music with colours in the title. This time I've looked for 'green'. As it happens I did not find many of these in my personal collection, but a scrounge around the internet turned up some interesting additions.
If you listened to all these you reduced your boredom time by nearly 30 minutes.
While looking around the internet for quotes from Prince Phillip I found that some were too long to be considered as snippets.
In particular the following considerations of environmental issues deserves a page on its own. Looking through the the quotes from both Prince Phillip and Prince Charles shows both to be far more cognisant of issues affecting the earth than the press likes to paint them. It also puts a lie to the claims that the Royals have too much power as politicians around the world continue to ignore the environment in favour of "the economy".
The sheer weight of numbers of the human population, our habitations, our machinery and our ruthless exploitation of the living and organic resources of the earth; together these are changing our whole environment. This is what we call progress and much of this development is naturally to the direct and welcome benefit of mankind. However, we cannot at the same time ignore the awkward consequences and the most direct and menacing, but not the only consequence of this change, is pollution. Pollution is a direct outcome of man's ruthless exploitation of the earth's resources. Experience shows that the growth of successful organic populations is eventually balanced by the destruction of its own habitat.
The vast man-made deserts show that the human population started this process long ago. There are two important differences today. In the first place the process has gone from a walking pace to a breakneck gallop. Secondly we know exactly what is happening. If not exactly in all cases, we know enough to appreciate what is happening and the need to take care. Pollution is no longer a matter of local incidents, today it has the whole biosphere in its grip. The processes which devastated the Welsh valleys a hundred years ago are now at work, over, on and under the earth and the oceans.
Even if we bury all this waste underground there still remains the risk that toxic materials through chemical reactions will be washed out and into underground water courses.
If ever there was an area of research more closely related to human welfare it is the problem of the safe disposal of waste and effluents... The fact is that we have got to make a choice between human prosperity on the one hand and the total well-being of the planet Earth on the other. Even then it is hardly a choice because if we only look for human prosperity we shall certainly destroy by pollution the earth and the human population which has existed on it for millions of years.
If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment it is as certain as anything can be that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time. The situation can be controlled and even reversed but it demands co-operation on a scale and intensity beyond anything achieved so far. I realise that there are any number of vital causes to be fought for, I sympathise with people who work up a passionate concern about the all too many examples of inhumanity, injustice, and unfairness, but behind all this hangs a really deadly cloud. Still largely unnoticed and unrecognised, the process of destroying our natural environment is gathering speed and momentum. If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance..
Why then be concerned about the conservation of wildlife when for all practical purposes we would be much better off if humans and their domestic animals and pets were the only living creatures on the face of the earth? There is no obvious and demolishing answer to this rather doubtful logic although in practice the destruction of all wild animals would certainly bring devastating changes to our existence on this planet as we know it today.
The trouble is that everything in nature is completely interdependent. Tinker with one part of it and the repercussions ripple out in all directions. Wildlife — and that includes everything from microbes to blue whales and from a fungus to a redwood tree — has been so much part of life on the earth that we are inclined to take its continued existence for granted. Yet the wildlife of the world is disappearing, not because of a malicious and deliberate policy of slaughter and extermination, but simply because of a general and widespread ignorance and neglect.
Like me Ron Wells in a fan of Banjo Patterson. Ron suggested "In Droving days" so here it is.
I've sort of opened a set of Australian themes recently with Ned Kelly and other Australian self-helpers (i.e. Politicians). The following is clearly a call for mutual recognition implemented through a ‘Commission’. When you read it, if you are like me you will be disgusted at the painting of these words by our politicians and news media. What is actually says is entirely different from the image I'd received from the media. Einstein had already made his comment.
The Statement was publicly presented by Professor Megan Davis, a member of the Referendum Council, at the First Nations Convention in 2017.
Unlike the preceding political speeches this statement is quite short and to the point.
The last two days have covered speeches by possibly the best prime ministers from each of their respective parties, Curtin and Menzies. It led me to think about Billy Hughes a prime minister about whom I know virtually nothing other than that he wanted conscription in WW1. So a bit of research and here is one of his election speeches delivered at Bendigo, Vic, October 30th, 1919.
The election was held on 13 December, 1919. The Nationalist Party led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes defeated the Labor Party led by Frank Tudor. Hughes won a strong victory for his party, with the Nationalists winning 37 seats and the Labor Party 26 seats in the House of Representatives.
The Country Party contested their first election and won the balance of power. In the half Senate election the Nationalist Party won 35 seats and Labor 1 seat.
William Morris Hughes was born 25 September, 1862 in England and died 28 October, 1952. Hughes was the Prime Minister of Australia 27 October, 1915 to 9 February, 1923. Throughout his parliamentary career he was a member of the Labor Party 1901 to 1916, National Labor Party 1916 to 1917, Nationalist Party 1917 to 1929, Australian Party 1929 to 1931, United Australia Party 1931 to 1944 and Liberal Party 1944 to 1952. He represented the electorates of West Sydney, NSW 1901 to 1917, Bendigo, Vic 1917 to 1922, North Sydney, NSW 1922 to 1949 and Bradfield, NSW 1949 to 1952.
1917, 1919, and 1922.
Once again, this is a long speech, why do politicians take so long to say so little?
Could you imagine an audience of sub 30 year olds having the needed attention span to hear all of this?