Sunday 27 February 2000


Pic of the day: Finally, after years of waiting: A picture from inside the Chaos Node! Actually, a screenshot from Master of Magic, the now out of print strategy game by Simtex and the old MicroProse. This cult hit game featured among other things "chaos nodes", volcanic sites rich in magickal energy. Being one of my favorite games, it inspired the name of my site (along with the heaps of unsorted stuff in my apartment, and I might add, my wardrobe, my harddisk and my mind).

What the heck?

Finally slept in, and dreamt three dreams. In the first, I was in the wedding of a woman named Kari (a not uncommon name woman's here in Norway) and I realized that I loved her and had always done. (That's what you get for reading romance novels, I guess.) It was sort of emotional all of it, I think it's what people call "bittersweet". As that dream was closing, we were set upon by a criminal, who I finally overcame with magic. (That's what you get for playing Daggerfall, I guess.)

The next dream, I dreamt that I woke up (!) and a woman was sitting at the bedside. She told me that she was an online journal writer too, and we talked for a while. We talked in English, and it surprised me that she spoke it so well. Quebec is, after all, a mainly French speaking province. And she seemed to be among those who wanted independence for Quebec. She told me that she had come to Norway to talk to important people here about Quebec's situation. Not that I was among them, but she felt that she knew me after reading my journal. I pointed out Norway's history and how our independence from Sweden was accomplished peacefully, by building and using national institution and finally a referendum with overwhelming majority. The dream ended after we had talked a while.

The third dream, I was walking on the pavement when my attention was caught by the chubby rear of a woman. Actually there were two such rather generously insulated women with cameras, leaning forward to take pictures of (their?) small children who were prancing in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. Beside the women stood the men, who looked younger and were both tall and dark and handsome. Then they had to move aside, for a large building crane came and settled down on the place. It had with it a metal cylinder several meters long. A boy in his early teen sat in it, and it was raised by the end he sat in. At the top he bent completely double, his legs parallel to his upper body, and slid down through the cylinder with his rear first. It looked rather uncomfortable, but he was cheered by a waiting flock of teens his own age. The cylinder was tagged with spray paint, presumably by these people or others like them. And that was that.


In more real news, the Iceland volcano of Hekla has erupted, and is spewing forth lava and ashes. The eruption seems to be larger than the previous one, and we may see effects on the climate at least here in Northern Europe.

In the middle ages, people believed that Hekla was one of the portals to Hell. What with all the fire and sulphur, this was a reasonable assumption by simple and literal minds. So hard did this idea stick that some people started to use the name of the volcano as a (milder) synonym for Hell. This lingers in Norway today with the name "Hekkfjell", and possibly in the English "heck". ("I darn you to heck", in the words of the Prince of Insufficient Light.) The meaning was quite sinister enough originally, and looking at the volcano in full fire you can appreciate that it was a name to curse by.


Speaking of Hell and simple minds, I read that there is a renewed movement in the USA to post the 10 commandments in schools there. Now it probably doesn't do all that much harm ... Norway has had near compulsory education in "Christianity knowledge" for generations, including both the commandments and other stuff. Possibly as a result of this, Christianity has much less penetration in the Norwegian populace than in the USA. In particular, literal Christianity is very rare. And where it exists, it is normally peaceful and private in nature.

Even so, the idea that posting the 10 commandments should help against school shootings and such? That is just plain goofy. "We have to look to our past to see what works" says an active spokesman for the movement, Reverend Schenck. Yes? Perhaps so. In USA's past there was agreement that government should not help establish any religion, as far as I know. I propose they revert to that agreement at once. Unless the revered reverend plans to move further into the past and plunge into the Middle Ages. There sure were no school shootings back then, though they did burn some witches.

The funny thing is that the 10 commandments are not Christian. They are Jewish. We Christians don't even practice them. We live by the Golden Rule: "Do to others what you wish they would do to you." Well, in theory at least that's how we live. (In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.) One of the ten commandments forbids pictures, and in particular pictures of God. Even so, pictures of God are seen in some of the more famous Christian churches and few feel bad about it. So much for the effect of the 10 commandments, even on those who profess to live by them.

As a Christian, I am seriously worried that religious nuts may again commit some atrocity in Jesus' name. That would certainly help fulfill the prophecies about the world hating us for that name. But what a way to fulfill a prophecy. In the same vein, I'd be wary of letting anyone near weapons of mass destruction as long as they think of Armaggedon as a good thing. Having a volcano as big as heck blow out upwind of here is quite enough for now.

Rainy Sunday (!)

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