Sunday, 29 June 2008

Don't Worry 9 - Be Thankful in All Circumstances

Here's another suggestion for avoiding worry.

9. Be thankful in all circumstances

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. ... Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:17-20)

If I'm worrying then it's unlikely that I'm being thankful to God for his gracious gifts to me.  On the other hand, being thankful will help to drive out worry.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Monopoly Cards

A couple of days ago I searched the internet in vain for a complete list of the cards used in the traditional London version of the Monopoly board game. So, as a service to the public, here they are:

Community Chest Cards

Advance to "Go"
Go back to Old Kent Road
Go to jail. Move directly to jail. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect £200

Taxes, Fines, etc.
Pay hospital £100
Doctor's fee. Pay £50
Pay your insurance premium £50

Bank error in your favour. Collect £200
Annuity matures. Collect £100
You inherit £100
From sale of stock you get £50
Receive interest on 7% preference shares: £25
Income tax refund. Collect £20
You have won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect £10
It is your birthday. Collect £10 from each player

Get out of jail free. This card may be kept until needed or sold
Pay a £10 fine or take a "Chance"

Chance Cards

Advance to "Go"
Go to jail. Move directly to jail. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect £200
Advance to Pall Mall. If you pass "Go" collection £200
Take a trip to Marylebone Station and if you pass "Go" collect £200
Advance to Trafalgar Square. If you pass "Go" collect £200
Advance to Mayfair
Go back three spaces

Taxes, Fines, etc.
Make general repairs on all of your houses. For each house pay £25. For each hotel pay £100
You are assessed for street repairs: £40 per house, £115 per hotel
Pay school fees of £150
"Drunk in charge" fine £20
Speeding fine £15

Your building loan matures. Receive £150
You have won a crossword competition. Collect £100
Bank pays you dividend of £50

Get out of jail free. This card may be kept until needed or sold

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Stem Cells

I have rather belatedly come across this perceptive post about the recent debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

This week, Britain's Labour Party made remarkable progress in securing the country's reputation as the most scientifically illiterate and morally obtuse hamlet in the Western world. At the urging of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, both houses of Parliament defeated amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would have outlawed the creation of "chimerical embryos."

... Whether from honest ignorance or blatant dishonesty, Brown attempts to convince the public that chimerical research is not only necessary but vital for biomedical research.

Since adult stem cells are "already being used in treatments for conditions including leukemia and heart disease," explains the Prime Minister, "scientists are close to the breakthroughs that will allow embryonic stem cells to be used to treat a much wider range of conditions, especially those affecting the brain and nervous system."

While it is true that adult stem cells have been used in treatments for over 70 diseases and [conditions], it is patently false that "scientists are close" to breakthroughs using embryonic stem cells. The question, as framed by Professor Sherley [from the Program in Regenerative Biology and Cancer, Boston], is not "How soon could human embryonic stem cells be used for cures?" but rather, "Could human embryonic stem cells ever be used for cures?"

Answer: "When the errant biological properties of human embryonic stem cells are considered, it is difficult to foresee them ever being used directly as cures in children or adults...figuring out how to use human embryonic stem cells directly by transplantation into patients is tantamount to solving the cancer problem."

In other words, embryonic stem cell research will start producing cures as soon as we figure out how to cure cancer.

And stem cells derived from cloned embryos are even less useful. Even the New England Journal of Medicine backhandedly admits that such research is likely to be fruitless, because the "technical difficulties and ethical complexities of this approach [cloned human embryonic stem cells] were always likely to render it impractical."

... In clinging to their willful ignorance, Brown and his Labour Party are attempting to deny the reality of bioethics and bioscience. But as Aldous Huxley once observed, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

The full article is here.