Thursday, February 21, 2008

Evil Dudes and Blood Floods

Read an interesting book sometime back titled “The World’s Most Evil People” by an author called Rodney Castleden. It profiled 90 people who have done evil deeds, mainly destruction of human life, spanning through the ages, from the ancient times to the present day.


What is evil? According to the Oxford dictionary, evil is defined as morally bad, harmful or very unpleasant.

This basically means that evil depends on the level of morality of the people, in other words us.

Moral: concerned with right and wrong; virtuous

What a person will perceive as evil will depend on what they think as right and wrong. The problem is that different people has different ideas on what is right and wrong. What someone might consider as wrong might not be considered the same by someone else. Blame the way our brains are wired.

So evil appears and disappears according to the person’s viewpoint. The author of the book notes this as a moral paradox. A classic example of this is the decision by America to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. There are 3 viewpoints on this event. One is that it is a good thing, because it brought a quick end to the second world war, a necessary evil, because it stopped the war, but killed a large number of people in the process, or as an unequivocal evil, because the people killed were civilians, slaughtered in cold blood, and they should never have been considered as military targets.

Another point made in the book is that evil depends on the zeitgeist, or the spirit of the age. Taking a look back at history, there have been more evil people about in certain time periods than in others. The 20th century is one of them and so far the worst one. Worst because of the large number of human lives destroyed, thanks to technology and the industrialization of warfare.

The 20th century saw a blood-letting on a scale never seen before in human history. There were 20 wars (events) during the 20th century that involved more than 1 million deaths, some of them closely linked to each other. Collectively these events formed a single complex upheaval described as a Haemoclysm, or a blood flood, in which 155 million human lives were destroyed. Keep in mind that this was just these 20 events. Add to that the other skirmishes around the world and the death toll is much higher.

The list is as follows, ordered by the death tolls:

1. Second World War (Late 1930s – September 2, 1945 )– 50 million

2. Mao Zedong’s regime in China (In office 1945 – 1976 )– 48 million

3. Stalins regime in the Soviet Union (In Office April 3, 1922 – March 5, 1953 )– 20 million

4. The First world war, including the Armenian massacres (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918 ) – 15 million

5. Russian Civil War (1917-1923 ) – 8.8 million

6. Warlord and Nationalist era in China – 4 million

7. Congo under King Leopold of Belgium (17 December 1865 – 17 December 1909 ) – 3 million

8. Korean War (June 25, 1950 - present. Full-scale fighting until an armistice on July 27, 1953 )– 2.8 million

9. Second Indo China War – 2.7 million

10. Chinese Civil war (Full scale fighting lasted from April 1927 to December 1936, and clashes from January 1941 resuming full conflict from August 1945 to May 1950; war declared over by the ROC in 1991; [1] no legal document has been signed to end the war, technically continuing from 1927 until today )– 2.5 million

11. German expulsions after WWII2.1 million

12. Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 - 2005) – 1.9 million

13. Congolese Civil War (June 1997–December 1999)– 1.7 million

14. Cambodia Khmer Rouge Regime (1975 – 1979) – 1.7 million

15. Afghanistan Civil War (1978–conflict still ongoing )– 1.4 million

16. Ethiopian Civil War (1974-1991 )– 1.4 million

17. Mexican Revolution (1910)– 1.3 million

18. East Pakistan Massacres – 1.2 million

19. Iran – Iraq war (22 September 1980–20 August 1988 ) – 1 million

20. Nigeria Biafran War (1967–1970 )– 1 million

The total of all this: 155 million

Since the book was written sometime back the details maybe a bit outdated. Another dark event that can be added to the list is the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990’s, where the Rwandan genocide estimates 800,000 to 1 million deaths. The most recent and ongoing conflict is the war in Darfur , in Sudan, raging on since 2003. The estimated death toll is 200,000 to 400,000, with over 2.5 million displaced. However since there seems to be no end in sight, we can probably expect the death toll to rise as time goes by.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

John Lennon 1940-1980

Monday, February 18, 2008

…And what a Bloody Valentine it was

A malevolent little spirit
Known to all as Cupid
Lies atop an alter of stone
Life slowly draining away
A tiny little heart
Cut out from his chest
A river of Red
Seeping into holy ground…

And where did it all end up? At the most rocking valentine event, which went by the name My Bloody valentine? For the clueless, MBV was held yesterday (Sunday) night @ the Zetter with 3 awesome Sri Lankan metal bands rocking the heads off local metal heads. The bands were Swords of the Spirit, Paranoid Earthling and the great Stigmata.

SOS did the first set followed by PE, with mostly their originals with some covers thrown in. however the night was ruled by Stigmata. They had the crowd head banging like there’s no tomorrow.

Anyways it was a superb show. I mean if your ears are still ringing the next morning, it had to be good eh? A big shout out to all the bands, for some excellent performances. Hopefully there will be more events like this in the future.


Sword of the Spirit

Paranoid Earthling


Thursday, February 14, 2008

February 14th

Before you bang your head against a wall, let me tell you that this is NOT another dreaded Valentine’s Day post. The blogosphere is already inundated with more than enough lovers prattling on about the great V-Day. Instead I’m going to share some other things that happened on February 14th, sourced from the great online Oracle, Wikipedia :D

1849 - In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken. (...and the first paparazzi was born)

1855 - Texas linked by telegraph with the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas. (...a time before the mobile phone)

1859 - Oregon admitted as the 33rd U.S. state.

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray. (...can anyone imagine a world without the telephone today.)

1886 - First trainload of oranges left Los Angeles via the transcontinental railroad. (Oranges??? didn't they have anything better to send?)

1899 - Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.

1900 - Second Boer War: In South Africa, 20,000 British troops invade the Orange Free State. (Does the Brits have something against Free Oranges?)

1912 - Arizona admitted as the 48th U.S. state.

1912 - In Groton, Connecticut, the first diesel-powered submarine is commissioned.

1919 - The Polish-Soviet War begins.

1920 - The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago, Illinois.

1924 - The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is founded. ( Me thinks we should have IBM day instead…)

1929 - St. Valentine's Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago, Illinois. (Must have been fun :P)

1942 - Battle of Pasir Panjang contributes to the fall of Singapore.

1949 - The Knesset (Israeli parliament) first convenes.

1961 - Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.

1979 - In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.

1990 - 92 people are killed aboard Indian Airlines Flight 605 at Bangalore, India.

2005 - Lebanon's former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, is assassinated, prompting the country to fall into chaos and devisions.

2005 - Seven people were killed and 151 wounded in a series of bombings by suspected Al-Qaeda-linked militants that hit the Philippines' Makati financial district in Metro Manila, Davao City, and General Santos City.

The most obvious one of course is the death of St. Valentine around 270 AD

Shocker aint it. The world doesn’t stop on Valentine’s day :P

This is just a selection of events. For the complete list visit here.

All are welcome to add any interesting events that happened on the 14th, in Sri Lanka or anywhere around the world.

If you are looking for a Valentines on the dark side, this might just be it. “My Bloody Valentine” on the 17th of February, Sunday from 5pm to 9pm @ the Zetter, featuring three superbly excellent local metal bands, Stigmata, Paranoid Earthling and Swords of the Spirit.

Check Theena’s blog for the poster

Cheers y’all


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Udurawana Goes Online

That great Sri Lankan citizen Mr. Udurawana has stepped into future by starting his own site. After all this is the virtual age :D. Drop by and give him a shout out.

Happy Chinese New Year

February 7, 2008 marks the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. It is the most important of all the traditional Chinese holidays.

The start of the Chinese New Year is the first day of the New Year containing a new moon. This means that the day varies in each year of the Gregorian calendar. In 2007 the date was 18th of February, and in 2009, it will fall on the 26th of January. The celebrations last for 14 days and ends with the Lantern Festival.

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