Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
8 March 2007

One day they will have full democracy too…

MPs in the British House of Commons yesterday delivered a historic vote in favour of a wholly-elected House of Lords, setting themselves up for a confrontation with peers that could lead to the most radical change to the upper house for 96 years.

It is by far not certain that this plan will actually be implemented, so Britain may still be stuck with an unelected upper house of Parliament for years to come. If Zimbabwe had such a constitutional arrangements, everyone and his aunty would have had a fit. But of course, Britain is seen as “civilised” (why that would be, I cannot tell), so having an unelected house of Parliament is not seen as undemocratic.

A few years ago when the Commons voted to lower the age of consent for same sex sexual activity to bring it in line with heterosexual sex the Lords vetoed the Act, so it is not as if they have no power or never use their power. But then, what does one expect of a country whose leader has been a cheerleader for George W Bush?

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