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Saturday, January 03, 2009

"Thinking well is the greatest excellence and wisdom: to act and speak what is true, perceiving things according to their nature." - Heraclitus, on Truth


An article with very disturbing implications:

CJ Chan says courts' authority must be respected by all

"Singaporeans have been reminded by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong that justice can only be rendered according to the law and the courts' authority must be respected by all.

Opening the new legal year at the Supreme Court on Saturday, he stressed that this is fundamental to the Rule of Law and the just governance of the country.

"The law itself will not tolerate any attempt by any person to undermine public confidence in the courts by making false and scandalous allegations," he said.

Cited as political cases by Attorney-General Walter Woon in his address are the kangaroo T-shirt case, an email alleging accusations against a High Court Judge and a series of commentaries in a newspaper casting aspersions on the integrity and independence of the Singapore Judiciary.

He warned that the assault on the courts appeared to be part of a broader campaign to force a change in Singapore's laws by extra-legal means.

"If anybody has a political and ideological agenda, and starts pulling bricks from the foundation of our society, then it has got to be brought to the courts' attention and then the courts decide whether actions are necessary," AG Woon said.

Law Minister K Shanmugam also emphasised on Saturday that if someone wants a particular law to be changed, he should do so by getting elected into Parliament.

He said: "In the last few years, we have had people saying, 'I don't like this law and I don't like that law, and the way to change it is go out there and demonstrate and protest'. Sometimes, the whole purpose and meaning of the Rule of Law is gone. We have a constitutional system where laws are passed by Parliament and everyone obeys the law."

The opening of the new legal year is also an opportunity for the Supreme Court to take stock of its achievements in the previous year. CJ Chan said the Supreme Court has been able to clear nearly 85 per cent of writs which have been filed with the court.

This year is going to be a special year for the Supreme Court as well – it is opening its doors to the members of the public with an Open House in March."

Some worries:

1) What happens if you make un-false allegations (even if they are scandalous) which are intended to restore or build public confidence in the courts?

For example, assuming the PAP lost an election and an Evil Opposition Government packed the courts with corrupt judges, what avenues would we have to restore public confidence in the courts?

We all know of the case of Teh Cheang Wan: luckily our ever-efficient CPIB got wind of his perfidy and investigated him (and he did what an honourable oriental gentleman should have).

However, suppose this Evil Opposition Government managed to undermine even CPIB, rendering it impotent. The machinery of state would then kick in to unjustly convict and persecute a whistleblower attempting to unmask a 21st century equivalent of Teh Cheang Wan

Would the only resort to safeguard our fair land be a coup? But then, assuming the armed forces were similarly undermined, Singapore would then be on the way to destruction.

2) A newspaper reporting on an IBA (International Bar Association) report which even Singapore itself points to is considered to be a political case.

Why is no one going after the IBA itself and dealing them the justice that deserves to be dealt? Sue them, ban their top members from entering Singapore and impose other sanctions upon them!

Otherwise, it's like executing drug mules while ignoring (or even entertaining) drug lords: you are not dealing with the root of the problem.

3) What are "extra-legal means" and what qualifies as "pulling bricks from the foundation of our society"?

Equating the wearing of a T-shirt, writing of an email and writing of a newspaper article to "forc[ing] a change in Singapore's laws by extra-legal means" and "pulling bricks from the foundation of our society" makes it sound like they're plotting a coup, terrorist attack, or something equally dastardly.

It is true that, strictly speaking all of the actions mentioned are extra-legal. Yet, extra-legal may not the same as illegal: the implication of the intersection of both these personage's statements seems to be that the only legal means of getting laws changed is getting elected to parliament, which segues into the next point.

4) We are supposed to amend laws by getting elected into Parliament.

Once again, Singapore leads the world by forging ahead where others dare not go. With this philosophy, we are a pioneer in the concept of Direct Democracy (even though we nominally are a Representative Democracy); even the Romans and the Greeks (who invented Democracy) were not as bold.

In the Greek conception of Democracy, eligible citizens (i.e. adult, male, non-slave, metics [foreign talent]) would gather in the marketplace to debate Important Affairs. One could influence the polity merely by making a speech and by voting; one did not have to be elected to office.

The insistence that one has to get elected to Parliament is very bizarre. Do ordinary citizens have no right or say in changing their laws?

Even assuming they feel so strongly about one particular issue that they are willing to take the plunge and sacrifice themselves by standing for public office (and putting up the hefty deposit which stood at $13,500 in 2006 and might go up further next time), we currently have only 9 Single Member Constituencies. Presumably only a maximum of 9 laws could be tabled for change by individual citizens at each time (whether they could pass in a Parliament of 84 is another matter).

Mechanisms for ordinary citizens to influence politics in other, less advanced democracies include writing to or seeing your MP, signing a petition, writing a letter to the newspapers, making a speech in public, attending public forums, starting/joining a civil society organisation, writing to government agencies or holding a peaceful protest, but you know what they say: if you want something done right, do it yourself (instead of relying on your MP[s] to represent your interests).

Are weekly Meet the People sessions just for getting parking fines waived and appealing to qualify for Public Assistance? Is REACH just to let off steam and to niggle about trivial details of implementation?

We should apply this philosophy to other aspects of our lives.

If you are unsatisfied with the bus coming late, the proper thing to do is not to complain to the company or to write a letter to the Straits Times Forum, but to use your money to buy some shares in SBS Transit or SMRT and raise your concerns during the AGM (even if the people who own the other 99.9999% of the shares tell you to go and die)

If your child's teacher is incompetent, instead of calling him up for a chat, or writing a note to the Principal, you should quit your job and become a teacher, and do the job properly yourself (or even homeschool your kid)

Dogbert: You're always complaining about the management of your company so I decided to do something about it. I used my billions to buy your company!
Dilbert: You're going to fix management?
Dogbert: No, I just wanted to stop all the whining. You're fired.
"Naturam expellas furca tamen usque recurret"
"I look at what the phone company does and do the opposite." - Craig Newmark


Gifts to U.S. officials include jewels, pillows, Abs Exerciser - "The gifts range from the extravagant -- like the jewelry -- to the modest -- a $6 assortment of nuts and dried fruit given by the Dalai Lama to Laura Bush -- to the downright odd, like the Abs Exerciser given to President Bush by the prime minister of Singapore... Despite Russia's tensions with the United States over Georgia, U.S. Gen. Peter Pace, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, received a machine gun from his Russian counterpart."
A machine gun is more cool!

Winners cannot quit China's medal factory - "For nearly a decade, he has tried to quit canoeing, he told The New York Times during an interview at the training center. He said he would rather attend college or start a business, but acknowledged that he was ill-equipped to do either one... "I do not want to work as an athlete, but as an athlete here I have no freedom to choose my future," Yang said, speaking through the team's official interpreter. "As a child, I didn't learn anything but sport, and now what do I do? I can't do anything else. I have my own dreams, but it is very difficult. I don't have the foundation to make them come true." Officials refused to let Yang retire, even after he won Olympic gold in the C-2 500-meter race with Meng Guanliang at the Athens Games in 2004. He described how they had threatened to withhold his retirement payment if he did not compete through the Beijing Games. "It is not possible to survive without those benefits," said Yang, whose parents say he receives a monthly stipend of $230 and performance-based bonuses."
Ungrateful whiners! They should be sent to re-education camps!

Kudos for the contrarian - "The Queen, visiting the London School of Economics, wondered why the credit crisis and its evolution were not predicted... Shakespeare, traducing Richard III with the connivance of the first Queen Elizabeth, understood better than anyone that a good story is more compelling than the search for truth. The American political scientist, Philip Tetlock, has studied the prognostications of pundits over several decades. He finds that the better known the forecaster, the less accurate the forecast. Business people, politicians and journalists value clarity and certainty of view more highly than acknowledgement of the uncertainty of a complex world. But it is mostly people who appreciate that complexity who have worthwhile things to say about the future."

Inside Shackleton's polar refuge - "It was this final leg in the harshest of environments that defeated Shackleton a century ago. Dressed in threadbare clothing and constantly battling frostbite, his men trekked southwards but on 9 January 1909 Shackleton realised the game was up. With his three companions, he made one final march and planted the Union Jack at 88 degrees 23 minutes south, just 97 miles (156km) from the South Pole. Then with the wind behind them, they turned for home. The return journey became a race for survival, but all four men lived through the ordeal. Shackleton was knighted on his return to England and was reputed to have explained his decision to turn back by saying he knew his wife would prefer a "live donkey to a dead lion for a husband"."

Bacon Salt - "Bacon salt is a zero calorie, zero fat, vegetarian and kosher seasoning that makes everything taste like bacon"

Behind the Name - the Etymology and History of First Names

Police: Men tossed Molotov cocktail - "Two Chipley men have been arrested on arson and other charges after one tossed a Molotov cocktail at the other, and when it failed to explode, the second man threw it back at the first man's house... A Chipley police officer said the device did not work properly because Robinson made it out of a plastic bottle that did not break when it was thrown."

The Religious Condition: Answering And Explaining Christian Reasoning - "This part-philosophical, part-scientific overview explores the psychological and sociocultural influences that subtly provoke Christians to maintain their antiquated views of the universe. While billions of people around the world have merely assumed the solid validity of the Bible, The Religious Condition presents a series of profound questions regarding the implications of such premature assuredness. In addition to the conclusions from actual psychological studies that support these viewpoints, covered topics include the various ways that Christians approach scientific conflicts, the defense of a perfectly moral god who commits immoral acts, the illogical methods of argumentation that Christians invoke in the maintenance and defense of their beliefs, and disingenuous methods utilized by those who wish to defend the idea that religious beliefs are based on reason instead of faith. The Religious Condition answers actual reader responses to the previous works of Jason Long, a former Christian. His fresh experiences in the church and advanced levels of educational enlightenment make him the perfect individual to present this vehemently unpopular, yet undeniably appealing topic."
Exceprts; on the cosmological argument: "Quite the contrary to the claim that all effects require causes, the field of quantum mechanics is based on the principle of non-causality. Creation of strings, creation of matter and antimatter from a vacuum, and perhaps radioactive decay are three examples of processes that we currently believe do not necessarily require a cause."

Buried butter - "Since refrigerators did not exist in those days people had to rely on the peat to protect the butter from daytime heat stop it from growing mould. To help preserve the butter in earlier times, 5% or more salt was added to it. Then, before the butter could be eaten, slices of it were first soaked in water to reduce the salt content. If salt was scarce or unaffordable, the cold, anaerobic, antiseptic peat offered an alternative way to preserve butter through the autumn and winter. It also provided a way to preserve garlic butter, a special kind of butter made especially for use during Lent. Salt could not be used to preserve garlic butter because soaking in water before use would remove the garlic as well as the salt. Unfortunately, there are very few accounts of “bog buttering”, which might give an accurate picture of how it was actually buried in a way that would ensure preservation."

Josh Karpf: General Tso's Chicken - "Preliminary analysis of data confirms the expected correlation between high prices and placement in the peak real-estate strip of 8th Avenue. But, interestingly, there is no relative rise in price corresponding with the presence of the 2, 3, 4, 5, D, Q, N, R, and F subway stations, where higher commuter traffic would be expected to create a relatively captive audience of a greater number of patrons more willing to pay relatively high prices. The presence of greater numbers of Chinese restaurants in the regions of the subway stations cited supra may have created conditions of competition that stabilize the prices of General Tso's Chicken at a lower than expected level. Further analysis might cross-reference the prices of General Tso's Chicken with other menu offerings to test its suitability as an index for other common items, such as Beef with Black Bean Sauce, House Five Delicacies, or Shrimp Toast. Further analysis of data is pending completion of a related project, Kernel Placement: Frequency of Tiny Bits of Corn in Egg Drop Soup in Bensonhurst."

Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles - "A TRUFFLE by any other name may smell as sweet, but what if that name is 2,4-dithiapentane? All across the country, in restaurants great and small, the “truffle” flavor advertised on menus is increasingly being supplied by truffle oil. What those menus don’t say is that, unlike real truffles, the aroma of truffle oil is not born in the earth. Most commercial truffle oils are concocted by mixing olive oil with one or more compounds like 2,4-dithiapentane (the most prominent of the hundreds of aromatic molecules that make the flavor of white truffles so exciting) that have been created in a laboratory; their one-dimensional flavor is also changing common understanding of how a truffle should taste."

we are the new shit.: 20 Pose Ideas - "I am only going to show you the most common pictures of CUTE *AHEM* little common girls available almost anywhere nowadays.
(*While stocks last. Actually, these stocks will never run out. There are too many of them. Multiplying, replicating, cloning.) So you're inspired to become a bimbo as well? Actually, I'd love to see our readers and their attempt to look like one bimbo. Hehe, show us your pictures of you acting like a bimbo"
This is a good illustration for How Girls Waste Time, 39. b): In their friendster profiles, and whatever else profile they put up on the net as a lame excuse to put their picture up - always some doe-eyed, upward shot of their face staring up as if they're giving some sort of blowjob and the guy took a picture from up there while she's getting it on.
"Getting caught is the mother of invention." - Robert Byrne


London Review of Books · classified: Personals

"Yesterday I was a disgusting spectacle in end-stage alcoholism with a gambling problem and not a hope in the world. Today I am the author of this magnificent life-altering statement of yearning and desire. You are a woman to 55 with plenty of cash and very little self-respect. When you reply to this advert your life will never be the same again. My name is Bernard. Never call me Bernie."

"Not only will this advert win me the woman of my dreams (25, tall, brunette, fun, likes late nights, computer games and Pop Tarts), it also wins me a place at the grown-ups’ table. Errant son, 18, swapping Dad’s Hustler subscription for this crap for the last two years."

"Dear LRB, I have no money. Please run my advert for free. I want a woman who is 38. Let her know I’m really clever and good-looking. Thanks."

"I hate you all. I hate London. I hate books. I hate critics. I hate this magazine, I hate this column and I hate all the goons who appear in it. But if you have large breasts, are younger than 30 and don’t want to talk about the novel you’re ‘writing’ I’ll put all that aside for approximately two hours one Saturday afternoon in January. Man, 33."

"Everyone. My life is a mind-numbing cesspit of despair and self-loathing. Just fuck off. Or else write back and we’ll make love. Gentleman, 37."

"If you’re reading this hoping for a mini-biopic about battles with drugs, cancer and divorce, talk to the guy above. But if you want to know about historical battle sites in Scotland, talk to me. Alan, 45. Scottish historical battle expert and BDSM fetishist."

"I make my own sexual lubricant. The secret ingredient is Bovril. Man, 56. Congleton."

"I put the phrase ‘five-header bi-sexual orgy’ in this ad to increase my Google hits. Really I’m looking for someone who likes hearty soups and jigsaws of kittens. Woman, 62. Bury."

"Woman, 45, seeks crew for weekend sailing in Solent."
[Ed: Good to know she still has the stamina for a whole weekend with a "crew" at her age]

"Cobalt blue eyes, bronze hair and a heart of gold but also Nerves of steel! Legs of potassium! A forehead of lithium! All the most attractive elements than you could want or that your first Salter Science kit could ever have delivered from reactive lady (F. 31) seeking generous physics man to 35, who has at least seen a woman naked before, and won’t passively aggressively play muted classical music while I’m trying to read during quiet time. No Borons."

"This personal ad represents its owner through the sequentialised content of his newly activated ‘SPAM’ filter: Important security notice. Register your unique IP address. Positive news about Vegas opportunity. Your Free Money! Important security notice. Banking Alert! Banking Alert! Banking Alert! Joolia is born. Wassil my hununga. I don’t think the last two are crucially important clues as to what happened next but if you know better (and you probably do), please write to widower M. 62, currently fire walled into his study by offspring."

"Pineapple seeks cheese with own stick. F, 26, London."
[Ed: ??? I don't get it]

"You like walking barefoot on cold beaches in the winter, movies that make you cry and baking cookies that you have no intention of eating. I like defending my home against the government forces that are trying to destroy me and knitting carpet samples from fibre remnants found in the back of the dryers at my local launderette. Are we fools to think it could ever work? Moron and amateur carpet sample enthusiast (M, 35)."

"Billie Piper fantasist. You’re Belle de Jour. I’m not Christopher Eccleston in Doctor Who (unless you have glaucoma, in which case I’m 6’2”, very well built, and have a classically handsome nose). Man, 67."

"The finest mind in the academic world conceived this ad, but it was his secretary who took two and half hours out of her day to collate his angst-ridden ramblings, phone the LRB and pay for it on her own credit card. He’s basically looking for an affair with a twenty something idiot tart who needs good grades. I’m looking for a better job, a decent pension package, and a man to 50 who’s great in bed and doesn’t make condescending comments about every damn book I read. Man, 57. Or his secretary, 43."

"I’m everything you ever wanted in a woman. Assuming you’re into fat 47-year old moody bitches who really don’t enjoy the mornings. Stop talking and pour the bloody marys at.."

"I am Mr Right! You are Miss Distinct Possibility. Your parents are Mr and Mrs Obscenely Rich. Your Uncle is Mr Expert Tax Lawyer. Your cousin is Ms Spare Apartment On A Caribbean Hideaway That She Rarely Uses. Your brother is Mr Can Fix You Up A Fake Passport For A Small Fee. Man, 51."

"Every time you read this ad, tax rebates are levied via an ingenious but complex carousel fraud passing through Calais, Zebrug and Ostend. In responding you agree to import at value splus 17.5 per cent for goods which may or may not arrive, may or may not exceed your romantic expectations and possibly may be delivered in a alternative form to the equal value should the authorities intervene. Currently your up either a one former financial journalist and remaindered author (M. 72) or two F-16s and a Chieftain Tank. Please forward to 20 credible people or just hold me."

MFM: I suspect they accept only the witty ones.
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"Television is for appearing on - not for looking at." - Noel Coward


HWMNBN: bitching is like sex, revenge, bacon, alcohol, butter and porn. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS ENOUGH

HWMNBN: housewives have falling sex drive
housework is almost as bad as work

Me: so much for desperate housewives

HWMNBN: most desperate housewives have maids
tai tais and th elike

most housewives actually being dragged down with domestic work aren't promiscuous
(execpt for bad tvb or romance soap operas when some guy wnats to take them away from it all)

Me: [NUS stipend for] phd is like 2.3
WAH LAO. more than some jobs lor

Someone: but your life is shit

it's just... 24/7
no break really
even on break you're working

and you become (or already are!) alienated from everyone else

it's not that much worse from masters

it's abt the same
just a higher level of weirdness I think

Me: weirdness? o_0

Someone: yeah, you know, that interest called 'research interest' which only you and 5 other weirdos care about?

2 of the 5 weirdos are your markers

Someone else: All business students/graduates should go to GL [Ed: Geylang].
See how they do business.

Me: haha
case study

Someone else: Yup.

Too bad i am not required to write a final year report on business. I'll definitely pick GL.

Confirm get A.

Me: hehe

what do you learn?

Someone else: one example.

Most of the chinese merchandise were dressed to kill. One or two stood out by dressing like the girl next door.

Differentiate yourself ftrom the competition.


one hotel nearby advertised the following room rates: 1 hour/$10, 2 hour/$15, 3 hours/$20, until morning/$40. This is to cater for the different needs of customers.

They know what their target market is and they attacked the sector.

Good marketing.

Be on good terms with the local law. They exist to protect local interests. If your business is a bit 'off the beaten track', it pays to keep a low profile. The fuzz only picks on people who make a nuisance of themselves.

The effective management of stakeholders is crucial for success.

Another example (i believe that the fish tanks can benefi from my advice):

Be more respectful to your prospects. Don't rush them, make them feel at home (in this case, not too 'at home') Let them look at the merchandise. No rush.

Me: no one goes to fish tanks anymore

now it's all the streetwalkers

Someone else: On the contrary, the fish tanks continue to exist. The 'turnover' rate the professionals operate is swift.

Fish tanks = solid business.

The goods are segregated according to the country of origin and quality. Easier for the prospects to select. This has the added benefit of effective control. Being in a mangerial position, handlers need to do POLC (plan, organize, lead and control). This is not possible without establsihed rules and operational procedures.

As lower level managers, handlers need to be expert especially in technical skills (they must know the rules of the trades etc). human skills are necessary for all managerial levels. Effective netwoking, communication will allow handlers to excel in their business endeavors. They must be able to relate to the needs of their employees and manage stakeholders.

To first get into this line, candicates must have certain attributes: personality/job fit; ability/job fit etc.
On a non-related note, GL industries support the Yellow Ribbon campaign. Many of the fish tank managers had done their time in various correction institutes.
As one well versed in economics, what methods can you think of that will maximize the benefits of price vs demand? How would you do your pricing according to the current economy and other variables?

I am quite fascinated with reagrds to this case study and it'll be nice to have a peer-review.

Someone: dunno la, i just thought hwa chong had a very sucky sch admin

starting from foisting a sudden merger on us
and the name change
and we only found out on the 9pm news

and basically schools run on chinese (confucianist?) philosophies suck

Me: hahahaha nanyang primary sucked

Someone: see what i mean

Someone else: my girlfriend has to do full body checkup on male patients
her conclusion is that singaporean men have small penises

east asian guys are small mah
wait who is she comparing to?

Someone else: i dunno who is she comparing too

maybe cucumbers and bananas

Someone: i'm looking at ***'s job prospects. given his interests, govt seems like the way to go

Me: they soak up arts grads like malaysia soaks up criminals

Someone: depends what kind of criminals ok. msia gets petty thieves and violent crims. singapore gets the white collar and money laundering ones (if gossip regarding burmese and indon money is to be believed)

Someone else: my classmate is

- a PAP youth wing member
- a very devout christian [and so anti-sex too]

when i am in his presence, i feel neutered as a human being
"Oregano is the spice of life." - Henry J. Tillman


Baltics trip
Day 14 - 29th May - Tallinn, Estonia
(Part 3)

I saw a girl in a kiddy outfit holding a giant pacifier. The guy beside her held a giant toy mouse. Perhaps this was the Tallinn chapter of the group from the previous day.

"This is your brain on alcohol"

Old Tallinn map on wall


I then hiked up the town hall tower.

Neat tower features: at 77m there was a toilet hole for the tower guard, a quick-pull mechanism for someone at the tower's base to ring the bells and part of the staircase could be destroyed for easy defence.

Loo hole

Removable wooden flooring

Quick pull mechanism

View from top of tower

Square from tower top


Me. I couldn't get the background to show up properly.

I considered hiking up St Olaf's also but my knees probably wouldn't take kindly to more than 1 hike a day, so.

Coquettish horse

"Voorimehe (Coachman) street is one of the oldest streets... Obviously it got such a name after a bunch of horsemen, who used to stand besides the horse-drowns on the Time Hall square."

Voorimehe (Coachman) street

I then proceeded to the Estonian History Museum housed in the Great Guild building.

Great Guild plaque. Liszt also performed here.

Museum entrance. Note what look to be removed ettic stones.

Upper part of museum building

Door knocker on entrance

The museum was great. Even the toilet was interesting:

Toilet wall tile with cute dragon

Once again, they were very honest about history, with a section dedicated to historiography. What a self-aware country!:

"Every era views its’s past from a different angle, emphasizing things that later generations might find odd, uncomprehensible, repelling or just plain wrong.

In the early 19th century, the artist Ludwig von Maydell was convinced, that the history of the Baltic nations did not begin until the arrival of the first German merchant. His attitude is well-reflected by his depictions of ancient Livonians, Latgallians and Estonians as half-crazed savages.

After the creation of the independent Estonian state, the view on the same events became exactly the opposite. The prehistoric times were considered to be Estonians “own” history, as opposed to the Middle and Modern Ages spent under foreign rule.
Under the Soviet occupation the emphasis moved to the relations of the ancient Estonians and Russians — it was postulated, that the ,,historical destiny” of the Estonians has always been to remain in the Russia’s sphere of influence.

Now, when Estonia has regained it’s independence and entered the community of the European nations, the political situation has changed again and we are creating another version of those crucial events of the Estonian history."

They even provided extracts from different historical sources to illustrate this point:

"Regardless of the fact that this land was populated long before the Western colonization, we find it lacking any true history until then, because the history gives no notice to the aimless wanderings of the hordes of barbarians" - Foreword to Ludwig von Maydell's album of prints "Fifty Scenes from the History of the German Baltic Provinces of Russia", 1839

"The Ancient Struggle for Freedom, ending with defeat for our nation was a political catastrophe, which has left a major imprint to our history. The prospects of development in all facets of life of our nation were cut off and smothered...
History of Estonia I, 1935"

"But fifteen years of war had left the land devastated and the men few. It was clear that alone there will be no hope to resist the crusaders. For that the elected elders of the people were sent with pleas of help to Pskov and Novorod, where the Russians gave them horses and weapons and treated them like brethren. The Russians were glad to extend a helping hand.
From the historical novel "Meelis" by E.Kippel, 1941."

The Burning Crusade:

"The crusaders attacked peaceful villages, murdering and burning until the knights and their horses collapsed from exhaustion... The Estonions who escaped the massacres, were forced to accept Christianity. So was Estonia baptized - by sword and fire.
“Stories from the Past of our Homeland” History schoolbook for the 4th grade, 1978"

The above was interesting because, as in one other place I'd been to (Greece?!), they were obviously pissed off at being converted by the sword, yet to denounce their conversion too loudly would be to repudiate their current religion (which they were committed to the truth of).

Looking back on the past

Globalisation: the Greek Orthodox Catholic (hah!) and Roman Catholic churches competing for mindshare

Some Princes and other political leaders put off conversion to Christianity because marriage would lead to a lasting alliance. It took only 50 years to convert Hungary, Poland, Denmark and Sweden.

There was also a sandbox for kids to pretend to be archaeologists:

A great bedtime story:

"The baptisms performed in Estonia during the years 1208-1227 by Germans and Danes
were primarily a ritual symbolizing the subjugation and submission of Estonians. A
chieftain from Northern-Estonian county of Virumaa, Tabelinus, was baptized by Germans on three different occasions and as his lands were situated in the disputed area, Tabelinus was later executed by Danes for accepting the “wrong” German baptism. As a counter-ritual of defiance, the Estonians used to "wash off" their baptisms with plain water as a sign of breaking off from the Christian rule."

Battle axes

Spear heads


Lots of coins

Map of Estonia, 1774, with Double-Headed Eagle

Siege scene

The Late Iron Age (11th-13th century) i.e. forced conversion


Crusader kit

Hunting knife, 16th c.
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