Devil’s Night / Angel’s Night

Halloween Eve is called Devil’s Night.

Devil’s Night is a name associated with October 30, the night before Halloween. It is related to the “Mischief night” practiced in other parts of the United States and the world, but is chiefly associated with the serious vandalism and arson seen in Detroit, Michigan from the 1970s to the 1990s, finally prompting the “Angels’ Night” community response.
Devil’s Night dates from as early as the 1930s. Traditionally, city youths engaged in a night of mischievous or petty criminal behavior, usually consisting of minor pranks or acts of mild vandalism (such as egging, soaping or waxing windows and doors, leaving rotten vegetables or flaming bags of animal feces on front porch stoops, or toilet papering trees and shrubs) which caused little or no property damage.
However, in the early 1970s, the vandalism escalated to more destructive acts such as arson. This primarily took place in the inner city, but surrounding suburbs were often affected as well.

Also, reference the movie The Crow.

Is This the End?…..

I had an interesting discussion the other day about the afterlife, or even if an afterlife even exists. I mean, it’s great to believe whether one does but how does one prove it? With no proof, then you are believing that it exists on blind faith. If blind faith, then the afterlife is no different than a religion? Did religion create the idea of the afterlife?
Now, if we have discussed this before, religion was created by man to serve man. Religion asks it’s followers for faith, in some cases blind faith.
It is a bit depressing to think that an afterlife does not exist, but what about theories such as recreation and reincarnation? Those are charming to believe as well. To think that the soul goes on. To think that there is a continuation. Ahh, immortality. We all want to chase immortality. Believe me, if I was 21 right now with the knowledge I know about the world still in my head, I would go completely berzerk trying to get through my day to day.
If you believe that there is no afterlife, then death is the final final end. Your remains, if buried, decay. Your remains, if cremated, become dust. Even in 2014, your remains can be shot into space. But that is just… the end.

It’s Istanbul, Not Constantinople…..

At any given moment in time, it could all be taken away.
Out of four previous trips to Turkey, I had not stayed in Istanbul once. Not once. I’ve layed over there and flown through, but I had never actually stayed in Istanbul and seen the city.
This trip around, my fifth trip to Turkey, I finally stayed an extra three days there. And leave it to me to pick a weird of weird times to stay there! It was the sacrifice holiday there, so imagine a city of 15 million people, and half of them are gone to spend the holiday with their families. Add back in another 3 million tourists from England, Saudi Arabia, and all over Europe, combined with the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar being closed, and it really was a surreal trip. With only three days, we chose not to have an itinerary and just take in the city as it comes. The mosques, temples, and museums were all open, so we took in the major sights.
If you go, you definitely have to do the Bosphorus Boat Tour, it’s a great way to see the city by sea.
Taksim is the downtown area, and that’s where you’ll find the two Starbucks, a Shake Shack, and other American influences on the city!
It’s amazing that all the stuff that I would have only read out of a textbook, I was seeing right before my eyes. The museums and temples had remnants there from 3000 BC! All of my highschool history books were coming to life before my eyes!
The shopping was also pretty crazy especially if you’re into Turkish towels and textiles. The deals were great and the dollar conversion is pretty favorable.
The food is always good, no matter where you go. Most everything is prepared fresh and the fish and meat are all insanely good.
All in all, I had a great time, but then again, Turkey has always treated me good. I have a good feeling I’ll be back again, but who knows for how much longer??

And remember, It’s Istanbul, not Constantinople!

Verona – City of Love…..?

At any given moment in time, it could all be taken away.
This would be my third time in Verona and still I’m finding new sights, new restaurants, and new ways to see the city. It helped that I was with two newcomers, so I really did get to see the city and the show from different eyes.
It is a small city and there definitely are limitations, but for a typical 4 day stint, the food is great, the people are great, and there really is still so much history to take in. One of these days I’m going to catch an opera there, trust me.

Seized from smugglers, the leather-bound ‘gospel’ which Iran claims will bring down Christianity and shake world politics

PUBLISHED: 17:18 GMT, 24 May 2012 | UPDATED: 14:02 GMT, 25 May 2012

The text, written on animal hide, is thought to be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas, one of Jesus’s disciples
‘Laughable’ Iranian report claims the book states that Jesus was never crucified and He predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad
It was discovered by Turkish authorities in 2000 during an anti-smuggling operation
The Vatican has made an official request to view the text

A leather-bound religious text, thought to date from the fifth century but discovered only 12 years ago, will cause the collapse of Christianity worldwide, claims Iran.
The book, written on animal hide, apparently states that Jesus was never crucified and that he himself predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, according to the the Iranian press.
Written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the gospel even predicts the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the report adds.

Turkish authorities believe it could be an authentic version of the Gospel by Jesus’s disciple Barnabas, and the Iranian press report has claimed that its contents will trigger Christianity’s downfall by proving that Islam is the final and righteous religion.
Others have dismissed the Iranian claims as ‘laughable’ anti-Christian propaganda.
The Basij Press claims the text was written in the 5th or 6th century and it predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad and the religion of Islam. It says the Christian world denies the existence of such a gospel.

Basij claims that Chapter 41 of the Gospel reads: ‘God has hidden himself as Archangel Michael ran them (Adam and Eve) out of heaven, (and) when Adam turned, he noticed that at top of the gateway to heaven, it was written “La elah ela Allah, Mohamad rasool Allah”,’ meaning Allah is the only God and Mohammad his prophet.
Turkish authorities seized the text in 2000 in a crackdown on a gang who were charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and the possession of explosives.

But excitement at the find only peaked in February this year, when it was reported that the Vatican had made an official request to view the book. It is not known whether the request was granted.
Its origins are unknown, but National Turk reported that the book had been kept in the Justice Palace in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and was being transferred under armed police guard to the city’s Ethnography Museum.

Phil Lawler, writing on the Catholic Culture website, described the claim as a ‘laughable Iranian challenge to Christianity’.
He said: ‘If the document was written in the 5th or 6th century, it couldn’t very well have been written by someone who was traveling with St. Paul about 400 years earlier.
‘It must have been written by someone claiming to represent St. Barnabas. Should we accept that claim? Another good question.
‘Keep in mind that the dating of the document is critical. By the 7th century it didn’t take much foresight to ‘predict’ the appearance of Mohammad.’
The Basij report suggests that the discovery is so immense that it will shake world politics.
‘The discovery of the original Barnabas Bible will now undermine the Christian Church and its authority and will revolutionize the religion in the world,” it states.
‘The most significant fact, though, is that this Bible has predicted the coming of Prophet Mohammad and in itself has verified the religion of Islam.’
Although Turkish authorities believe the text to be genuine, other observers have questioned its authenticity.
Erick Stakelbeck, a terrorism analyst and a close observer of Iranian affairs, told ‘The Iranian regime is committed to stamping out Christianity by any means necessary.
‘Whether that means executing Christian converts, burning Bibles or raiding underground churches.’
Phil Lawler, writing on the Catholic Culture website, described the claim as a ‘laughable Iranian challenge to Christianity’.