Halo Halo / Tiny Tips

Halo Halo

Who knows what goes on behind the closed doors of convents? Bitter Winter (19 April) reported that the French Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit were so aggrieved at the behaviour of one of their nuns that they asked the Vatican to send in one of its Gumshoes to investigate her. The Sister was then effectively fired. Displaying secular umbrage she then took herself off to a tribunal and got herself awarded two hundred thousand euros for false dismissal. The tribunal apparently found the investigation biased because the Cardinal in charge of it was ‘friendly’ with another nun known to be an opponent of the one in question’.

‘An influential traditional priest aged 63 has sparked outrage in Ghana by marrying a 12-year-old girl… During the ceremony, women speaking in the local language Ga told the girl to dress teasingly for her husband. They can also be heard advising her to be prepared for wifely duties and to use the perfumes they gifted her to boost her sexual appeal to her husband.’ Apparently, the girl (shouldn’t that be child?) ‘started the rites to become the priest’s wife six years ago, but the process did not interfere with her education.’ She will also be ‘educated’ in her ‘marital responsibilities such as childbearing’. An NGO reports that 19 percent of girls in Ghana are married before they reach eighteen and 5 percent get married before their fifteenth birthday (BBC 1 April).

Charlie Hebdo is a French Private Eye-type magazine. In 2006 the magazine reprinted twelve cartoons depicting the founder of Islam which the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten had published in 2005. This did not go down well in certain sections of society. In 2015 two Algerian brothers entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed twelve of the staff and wounded eleven more.

In 2022 Salmon Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses was attacked in New York. He was stabbed several times and as a result lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand.

In 2021, an educator in West Yorkshire was teaching religious studies. ‘The lesson that sparked the controversy was designed, ironically, to explore issues of blasphemy and free speech, and of appropriate ways of responding to religious disagreements’ (Guardian 31 March). What triggered the subsequent furore? He showed a cartoon which may have been one of those originally published by Jyllands-Posten. ‘The school immediately suspended the teacher, and ‘unequivocally apologised’ for using a totally inappropriate resource, promising to review the curriculum with “all the communities represented in our school”’.

The teacher was forced to leave his post and is apparently still in hiding.

Ain’t religion wonderful.


While Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was watching his team play Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, his watch was making headlines around the world. Guardiola was wearing an extravagant Richard Mille watch worth £1 million ($1.26 million) on his wrist at Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (CNN, tinyurl.com/2waj9bst).

Conspiracy theorists have for years now insisted that COVID-19 vaccines were the real killers, especially among young men — but a new study shows that there’s no data to back that up (Futurism, tinyurl.com/vbf3bdze).

Actual science is the great accomplishment of mankind. The antidote to ignorance, superstition, religious zealotry, and nonsensical beliefs in general. An eclipse exemplifies, to even the lay-est of laypeople, just how advanced modern science is. We were informed by astronomers, years in advance, exactly when and exactly where the eclipse would occur — down to the second, down to the meter — and everyone in the path of totality could literally see how exactly right those predictive calculations were. We should be celebrating and emphasizing this to laypeople, because these same scientists are the same people who’ve been telling us for decades that we’re destroying our climate with carbon emissions. So here’s my “by the way” retort to Montúfar’s aside: how many astronomers today — not in “ancient” times — are also astrologers? Spoiler: the answer is fucking zero (Daring Fireball, tinyurl.com/56cn5h4w).

…I am aware of the dishonesty and stupidity of choosing any side in any war, and I am aware that all wars are immoral exercises in folly and absurdity. The only real beneficiaries are politicians and weapons makers. The great masses of regular people on both sides of any conflict always have to pay the price. The unlucky individuals who get killed or come home from the pointless war with mangled bodies and fucked-up minds pay the biggest price. Furthermore, whatever outcomes result from a war, no matter which side “wins,” serve mainly to lay the groundwork for future conflicts and more wars (ICH, tinyurl.com/4z4mc3pn).

South Africa has undergone a nutritional transition over the past 30 years characterized by the triple burden of malnutrition: households are simultaneously experiencing undernutrition, hidden hunger, and overweight or obesity due to nutrient-poor diets. The results of the first in-depth, nationwide study into food and nutrition since 1994, the National Food and Nutrition Security Survey, found that almost half of South Africa’s adult population was overweight or obese. While there was sufficient food to feed everyone through domestic production and imports, many families and individuals went to bed on empty stomachs (Alliance for Science, tinyurl.com/yvpchnmd).

Thirty years after the former liberation movement won the first democratic elections, South Africa remains the world’s most unequal nation, suffering from high unemployment, rampant crime, widespread corruption and a stagnant economy (AFP, tinyurl.com/573acn33).

Rough sleeping increased in all regions of England between 2022 and 2023 despite a Conservative 2019 manifesto promise to end rough sleeping before the next general election. An estimated 3,898 people slept rough in 2023, an annual increase of 27% – the largest annual rise since 2015. The numbers are more than double (up 120%) those in 2010 (Guardian, tinyurl.com/58knkc77).

(These links are provided for information and don’t necessarily represent our point of view.)

Next article: Material World – Nation or class? ⮞

Leave a Reply