June 2007 Archives

Wrapping Up the Belgium Trip

June 29, 2007

Last travel entry, written on the 16th and finally typed up on the 29th...

Back stateside now, sitting for a while in Philadelphia. One of America's oldest cities, it clearly has nothing on Antwerp. But then again, maybe age isn't everything. Maybe the Liberty Bell, Constitutional Conventions, and the other historical features make this place every bit the equal — in broad, non-aesthetic terms — of Brussels, Antwerp, or Amsterdam. Speaking of Antwerp, I finally had a good look at the old city yesterday.

Response to "Is Religion Man-Made?"

June 26, 2007

Judging by everything I have read, in Stanley Fish's blog (NYT TimeSelect only) and elsewhere, about the 3 Atheists ' [Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris] arguments, it seems that most of their them pertain to ancient religious trends and do not necessarily address contemporary religion. So what if wheelbarrows might have been amazing to the (many) authors of the Bible? We humans still find existential consolation in many of their fine observations about our many natures (cf Ehrlich Human Natures). So humanity has progressed since that time. Likewise has religion progressed.

At the Feet of the Monk and the Sheikh

June 19, 2007

(This post was begun on the 13th and finished on the 16th, though not published till later...)

With the whole Global Council here [Antwerp] the past few days, the conversations and meetings have been longer and the time off consequently shorter. That doesn't necessarily mean more productive, mind you! More people always means more patience is required.

A Day in Amsterdam

June 14, 2007

On Saturday we had a break between the Global Staff and Global Council meetings: free time! So a few of us decided to spend two hours each way on a train to Amsterdam. First impression: vibrant, incredibly so. Second: old. Older than most of what I saw in Brussels. Older by far than anything I've seen in Antwerp (though both Belgian cities are technically just as old).

Photos from Brussels

June 10, 2007

We spent Friday afternoon in the city of Brussels (Bruxelles), capital of Belgium and of Europe. There we met with a diplomat from the European Commission at their swanky headquarters; noshed on small sandwiches, juice and champagne with a deputy mayor at a former palace; and were treated to a wonderful meal courtesy of a local Catholic priest and lumber-yard owner. In other words it was interesting being there (most of the time), but not so exciting to try to write about. So I'll just share some photos instead.

The Compassionate Response to Mosquitoes

June 8, 2007

I think I mentioned previously that Antwerp is very humid. The rooms in which we are staying are thus very warm; lacking air conditioning or fans, most of us initially opted to open our windows for the night. What we did not count on were the mosquitoes.

Frog Video; Interaction with Antwerp Police

June 6, 2007

Back in February I made allusion to a frog scraping out its stomach lining. A kind soul has finally found a video of this and I share that with you now. I'll admit its a bit gross, but it makes a great metaphor.

Yesterday was rather busy and I didn't have time to do anything worth blogging about. I did walk around the campus and take a few photos, drawing the curiosity of the Antwerp police as they happened to drive by. When I said that I only speak English and then stated that I was just a tourist who wanted to remember what Antwerp looked like, they went on their way and did not ask me to delete the photos or anything. Nevertheless I only took a few more, making sure not to get any private residences except one unoccupied house that was for sale.

Arrival in Belgium

June 5, 2007

now with photos! 2006-06-07

After managing to sleep a cumulative half hour or so overnight, I arrived in Belgium this morning at 8:30 local time. It was then that I knew my day would be pretty much shot.

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