Old People News: the 50-Year Anniversary of the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Appearance | Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014 | (Yet) More Rob Ford | Bangladesh factory owners surrender after 2012 fire that killed 112 | Featured Article of the Week: The Olympics: A lie we all tell ourselves | Subway to remove chemical from bread | Industrial band Skinny Puppy demand $666,000 after music is used in Guantánamo torture | Iranian poet and peace campaigner Hashem Shaabani hanged for ‘waging war against God’ | Scientifically Accurate Flintstones | Woody Allen | Mandy Goes Ice Fishing | New Music: Guided By Voices | Sloe Gin | Moist, Gotye, and other forms of torture
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Although one can reasonably claim on historical evidence that stranger things have happened, it is nonetheless discomforting that across the world birds drop by the thousands from the sky and fish arrive dead to the shores. The adjective commonly invoked by these at-present inexplicable events is biblical — a word I saw in relation also to the Australian floods. (An aside: given the post-diluvian Noahic covenant, is not a contemporary flood better described as anti-biblical?) Add to this the many wars and rumours of war, the 1948 re-constitution of Israel, a resurgence of Twelver eschatology, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Mayan calendar — which I’m told ends on December 21, 2012 and, by this mere fact, apparently marks Doomsday — and the re-emergence of Harold Camping, and you have good material for End Times speculations. And this is only a partial list. Continue reading →