No dumping!


As a student we had one of those ‘no dumping’ signs in our toilet which amused us no end. However it seems in Japan going for your daily constitutional could be hazardous, with a toilet manufacturer offering free repairs after some of their products have caught fire. Brings a whole new meaning to ‘a burning sensation while unrinating’… Not only is there a ‘World Toilet Summit’ every year – must create havoc in the sewer systems – but there is a World Toilet Day – so make sure you remember that next November 19!
Continuing the toilet theme this japanese toilet training cartoon is good for a laugh

I spent the weekend in the alien surroundings of Greenmount Agricultural College. Not often city boys like myself make it to farming school. I must admit it was pretty beautiful. I’m off to Peru for a month this summer with a bunch of students, going to work with my IFES counterparts in Lima and to build a community centre in one of the poor areas. Greenmount was the site of our orientation from the amazing folk at LatinLink. I was stunned to hear that there are 8 million people in Lima, living under a perpetual blanket of smog. Its one of those cities constantly growing as more people come from the countryside looking for work. I spent a month in Bolivia a couple of years ago, at an amazing place called IBSJ in Sucre. Bolivia is a stunningly beautiful country. We visited the mines in Potosi where miners still work in the conditions they worked hundreds of years ago. Bolivia, more famous for its President Evo Morales (and his jumpers) recently, is the poorest country in South America. It wasn’t always that way. Potosi used to be one of the richest cities in the world, and supplied two thirds of the Spanish Empire’s silver. It was one of those moments that I felt incredibly guilty for being European, as I realised just how much Europeans had raped and exploited what are now some of the poorest countries in the world.

You’ll be glad to hear the great fundraising drive begins soon, so expect to hear from me looking some sponsorship for running a leg in the Belfast Marathon Relay. Which reminds me I should get out pounding the streets again…

On an entirely different note i’m off to hear one of Zoomtard‘s heroes this weekend and looking forward to having my brain exercised (by Zoomtard and his wife-unit as well as the venerable McGrath on faith and science). I’m sure you’re aware of the hoo-hah around Richard Dawkins book – the God Delusion. I’ve just started McGrath’s response – the Dawkins delusion, although feel slightly lacking in integrity as I haven’t read Dawkins original. As a God-follower you’d expect me to not be the biggest fan of Dawkins, although i’m not alone as various atheists, Guardian columists and even the magazine that voted Dawkins one of the worlds 3 leading intellectuals have reservations about the God Delusion. McGrath is someone who you should take notice of – especially if you’re appalled by some of the shocking science from some of the louder Christian voices currently opening museums. Maynooth – the place to be this weekend.

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