Tag Archives: Cross

Sri Lankan Archbishop Emeritus, Oswald Gomis’ 2017 Christmas Greetings.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

arch_oswaldAs with posting the Catholic Press Photo, “Christmas Card,” posting Archbishop Oswald Gomis‘ Christmas card is an annual, honored and cherished privilege. 

He has been a good and valued friend for many years.

He and my adoptive father were roughly contemporaneous and firm friends though on many issues related to religion they were on opposite sides. But, that was the beauty and magic of WHAT WAS Ceylon in the 1950s and 1960s. Folks were still friends, relatives and neighbors irrespective of religion.

Father Gomis is a wonderful human being. And to I, that is all that matters. He is now 85-years old.


Thank YOU.

Merry Christmas.

Over the last few years he has been using the ‘+’ in front of his name.

That is not a plus sign. It is meant to be a CROSS. It is meant to connote a title assumed by clergy in the medieval times — that of a SINNER. So, the ‘+’ indicates that the Archbishop is signing himself, out of HUMILITY, as a ‘sinner’.

Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Gomis for other posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Happy St. Andrew’s Day 2017 — Thursday, November 30.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and browse here. From ‘scotland.org’.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Andrew%27s_Day. Note the ‘X’-shaped cross.

This is a BIG Holiday to us Scots — and my Scottish heritage, via adoption, is well documented here. Not as big as Hogmanay but close — and a warm-up for Hogmanay which will be but 31-days hence.

Patron Saint of Scotland — among others, BUT it is Scotland that counts. Other than Trump and Putin who really cares about Russia? {Smile}

St. Andrew is also, vicariously, a part of us British and his fame is immortalized in our GLORIOUS Union Jack.

So, with no further ado, let me please wish you a “Very Happy St. Andrew’s Day 2017”.


Related posts:
Search Scottish’.

by Anura Guruge

Why Don’t They Teach Our Kids “Proof by Nine” As A Part Of Math?

by Anura Guruge

“Proof by Nine” (I have always called it (possibly incorrectly) “Proof of Nine”) is a clever and totally foolproof way to check your multiplication — without having to rely on a calculator or an electronic device. I was taught it, in Ceylon, at school, probably when I was around 6 or 7, as an integral part of learning to do multiplication. We are talking the early 1960s. We did NOT, especially in Ceylon, have calculators or for that matter even slide rules. So “Proof of Nine” was the ONLY way we had — and even our teachers — of checking the correctness of multiplication.

The 3rd image below (albeit purely scanned) in its first paragraph spells out EVERYTHING as it pertained to I. I would do “Proof of Nine”, by rote, as soon as I did a multiplication by hand. I still do it TODAY, for the fun of it. I have tried to teach the kids but they don’t fully grasp it.

The two articles I show here try to explain it very well. I did this diagram to show you the basic mechanics AND I KNOW that most of you are going to say that it is totally confusing.

Shame that they don’t teach it in school. Because all of us would know how to do it.

PLEASE look it up. It is very neat and awfully handy if you don’t have any other means to check a multiplication.

prrofby9anuMy diagram. So I want to check whether 7826 x 43 = 336518.

I start by drawing the slanted ‘X’. The I come up with the two vertical numbers, in this case 5 & 7. I do that by repeatedly adding the digits until I have but one digit. I ALWAYS throw out any 9 I encounter — and even digits that together add up to nine.

I multiply 5 x 7. That is 35. Add the digits. 8.

I add up the digits in 336518. I notice two obvious pairings that come to 9. 3+6 & 1+8. I throw those out. Actually it will still work IF I didn’t throw them out! All comes out in the wash. Well it adds up to 8.

The same ‘8’ I got when I multiplied 5×7 and got 35. The two ‘8’s match. The multiplication was RIGHT.


First article. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original.

Click here to access original.


Second article. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original.

Click here to access original.


Related Posts:
++++ Search on ‘math‘ for other similar posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Today, Boxing Day, December 26, 2013 Would Have Been Comet ISON’s Closest Approach to Earth IF It Had Survived …

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
Anura Guruge

Related posts:
**** Search ‘ISON’ for multiple posts ****


Click to ENLARGE. Updated image from my 'ISON for Kids' book.

Click to ENLARGE. Updated image from my ‘ISON for Kids’ book.


Comet ISON Still Has One Surprise Left! A Ghostly Goodbye In Mid-January 2014. A Comet ISON Meteor Shower. The Last Hurrah.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Latest on ISON, post demise
>>Dec. 2, 2013.
**** Scroll down or do search, MULTIPLE ISON posts a day November 28 & November 29 ****

Click to ENLARGE. Updated image from my 'ISON for Kids' book.

Click to ENLARGE. Updated image from my ‘ISON for Kids’ book.

Just because it went POOF doesn’t mean it didn’t leave its mark.

It left millions and millions of miles of dust and debris in its wake
— along the path it followed towards its fateful
tryst with the Sun.

That it had a 20 – 30% chance of going POOF was always on the cards.

I had covered it, in my 5 possible perihelion scenarios,
in all my ISON books.

We also knew that the Earth would cross Comet ISON’s INBOUND trail in mid-January 2014.

That will still happen.

That should produce a meteor shower of some form.

That is a given. Laws of physics.

We will cut across the dust and debris it left behind.

Nearly all meteor showers have to do with Earth crossing the debris trail left behind by a comet.
We have talked about that before. So this is NOT magic.

I will, of course, keep you appraised as we get closer and closer.


Comet ISON, C/2012 S1: Upcoming Dates & Viewing Opportunities.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Comet ISON presentation —
>> Oct. 22, 2013.

>> Comet ISON looking good —
>> Oct. 21, 2013.

>> Comet ISON over NH —
>> Oct. 16, 2013.
Search on ‘Comet ISON’ on sidebar for other posts >>>>
**** Check my ISON blog.

Click to ENLARGE. From NASA - Hubble.

Click to ENLARGE. From NASA – Hubble.

Comet ISON prospects, quite literally, are getting brighter by the day.

It is intact and is becoming more ‘active’, i.e., spewing out more gas and dust which is what leads to the coma and tail, by the minute.

Right now it is travelling at more than 10 miles PER SECOND. That is in excess of 38,000 miles per hours. So it is getting closer to the Sun at a very fast clip.

Ameteur astronomers using backyard telescopes are capturing some amazing pictures. Check this one from October 5, from Austria (that is in Europe).

On November 2, 2013, i.e., next week, it will cross Earth’s orbit for the first time, i.e., inbound (towards Sun) crossing. Check this post for orbital diagram.

But, on that day Earth is way off to the right — 112 MILLION miles away, that is 1.2 x the Earth-Sun distance.

So, we will not be able to see Comet ISON, naked eye, on November 2.

The EARLIEST possibility for a potential glimpse is November 17 — some of this also having to do with moonlight getting in the way.

Closer to the 17th, as things become more clear, I will post an update.


It might not be the ‘Comet of the Century’, but it is still on track to be one heck of a comet.



Have YOU Noticed That Your Property Insurance Is Going Up? GEICO Is Only ‘Cheap’ For Auto.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Click to access.

Click to access.

Click to access original article.

Click to access original article.

Our insurances, auto and property (combined), comes up for renewal towards the end of this month.

We had been with Hanover, through our local Alton agents at Cross, for a number of years. We have not made any claims during that period. But, when I got my renewal papers all my rates had gone up — in particular the rates for the property (i.e., house) insurance. Did not make sense to me. Then I had a chat with our, always delightful, agent. She tells me it is because of the glut of ‘recent’ natural disasters around the country — and even in our backyard (and I do mean our backyard) in terms of the 2008 (or was in 2009) tornado. But, it irks me. So on principle I am terminating my policy with Hanover.

Checked out GEICO. Their auto insurance is a TAD, and I really do mean a ‘tad’, cheaper. But, they don’t themselves write property insurance. They go to another underwriter. Their property insurance rates are HIGH and they knew it. Together, with all of the bundlings discounts, it is still MORE EXPENSIVE than what I am being quoted by Hanover. So much for GEICO. You have to be careful with them. ALL they really want to do is to get a bank account number or credit card so that they can start billing you ASAP. I was not impressed.

I can’t get hold of a Progressive Insurance Agent! I would pay MORE to have insurance with Progressive because I love their ads. So I am willing to pay, say $40 a year more, just so that I can feel proud when the Ads come on. But we don’t seem to have any local Progressive Agents.

Yes, my agent has found me another firm which is fractionally cheaper — provided I write her a check close to $2,000 to cover the whole year! [My 21 year old son, who likes to speed (like his dad he claims), is on our policy. That explains about $400 of that premium.]

But, just a heads up. Check your insurance rates.

Pope Francis’ GOLD Pallium Pins Strain The Credibility Of The Pope’s Supposed Commitment Towards Helping The Poor.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Pope Francis’ 100 days in office … — June 19, 2013.
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for other pope related posts >>>>

Pope Francis in Brazil, for 'World Youth Day', July 25, 2013, where his theme was the dangers of money and the need to help the poor. Click image to ENLARGE. Click link below to access 'news.com.au' article which carried this picture.

Pope Francis in Brazil, for ‘World Youth Day’, July 25, 2013, where his theme was the dangers of money and the need to help the poor. Click image to ENLARGE. Click link below to access ‘news.com.au’ article which carried this picture.

Click to access original article with picture.

I like this pope. I said that from day. Plus, unlike all the other ‘Johnny come latelies‘ I had him, in print, in my ‘Next Pope 2011‘ book, in 2010 as a papabili. So, don’t even think about trying to give me any grief about going after this pope.

I happened to see, yesterday, on TV, the Pope, in Brazil, talking about the evils of money, wearing a pallium. I immediately checked to see what kinds of pins he was wearing. They looked like gold but I wasn’t going to jump to conclusions. I wanted to be sure. So this morning I went checking for photographs. He is using gold pallium pins. They could actually be those that his extremely vain predecessor, the noted dandy, had designed with jewel heads.

I am nothing but consistent when it comes to this issue of pope’s dripping gold (like … (and you can substitute your favorite euphemism)).

This is from Christmas day 2011 — and look at the pins.

Click to access at my 'popes and papacy' blog.

Click to access at my ‘popes and papacy’ blog.

For those of you who are not familiar with palliums and the 5 pins, let me tell you about the irony of using gold pins — a fashion started by the vainglorious German pope.

The 5 pins are supposed to represent the five rusted nails used to crucify Jesus on the cross!

With all due respect and all humility that I can muster, there is nothing that this pope can tell me or teach me about charity. I know charity from both sides of the divide.

Wearing unnecessary gold ornaments and then getting on your high horse to talk about the evils of money does not impress me.

Yes, it is possible that this pope was waylaid with these pins, i.e., he was told, at the last minute, that that as all they had. But, I don’t buy that. If this pope was genuine he could have used 5 safety pins and pocketed the five gold pins. Then he should have called out, during Mass, for 5 people running charitable orphanages or dispensaries.  Yes, they have them in Brazil. He should have then given each one one of these. That would have been real class.

I have talked about this before. So far, this pope has been all words, little action. Words are cheap. Actions are more difficult. Here is a simple test. I will contend that I have given more to the poor, in terms of tangible physical goods, than this pope has! We are not talking words, gestures and kissing babies. We are talking chattels, shekels and dollars. Driving around in a Ford Focus is very nice, but did he sell the fleet of German luxury cars owned by the Vatican and give it to the poor? I have yet to hear of this pope, as pope, as an individual, giving anything tangible to the poor.

I have said that this pope, if he really means what he says, should have a yard sale in St. Peter’s Square. The biggest yard sale in the history of man. A real bonfire of the vanities. Some Catholics took exception, but they can’t articulate why? I will, if given a chance, discuss this with the pope directly.

OK. Some of you are going to get mad. But, I am noted for my straight talk even if it is to do with popes. This is a good pope. I like him. But, I do not think he is the smartest pope by a long chalk or one who is savvy. John Paul II (#265) was incredibly savvy. He was street smart. Don’t let anyone kid you. John XXIII (#262) was very, very smart. He knew exactly what he was doing. Benedict XVI (#266) was intellectual in an academic kind of way but was not street smart — and furthermore did not care about being street smart. He, like popes from yore, did not see a need to related to the plebs on Earth. This pope is very genuine. He is sincere but seems rather naive and simple. Not bad traits, but traits nonetheless.

So that is where we are. Yes, I would rather have this pope than the prior one. I just wish this pope would match his words, especially when it comes to looking after the poor, with actions.

Enough said.

NH (Lakes Region) Earthquake Of October 16: Foundation Cracks & Earthquake Insurance?

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
1/ Did We Just Have An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH at 7:12pm?post at 7:25pm, Oct. 16, 2012 (about 13 minutes AFTER the trembler).
2/ Yes, It Was Indeed An Earthquake In The Lakes Region, NH; 4.5 Off Portland MaineOct. 16, 2012.

This, per my neighbor who knows construction stuff, is a fresh crack in my foundation post last night’s earthquake! Click to ENLARGE.

Never even occurred to me to check anything (though Teischan (6) had cutely asked me to put on the outside lights, open the front door and check outside to see if all was copacetic.

Ours is a new (2006), fairly well constructed house, albeit with large expanses of concrete foundation because it is built on the grade.

Today was Teischan’s ‘bring a loved one to lunch’ day at Alton Central School (ACS). So, of course, I attended. One of her classmates insisted, thrice, that their house fell down from the earthquake and that they were staying at a hotel! I could not get that story confirmed.

I got home around 2:15 pm. My neighbor across the road was waiting for me and had this greeting: ‘did you suffer any damage last night?’ For a second I wasn’t even sure what he was talking about!

He takes me for a tour of my foundation and finds all these fresh, hair line cracks.

Now, having lived in NH for 27 years I had always thought that small foundation cracks are a way of life in NH, like the black flies. I have owned 6 houses in NH and never had any foundation leaks. Now, my neighbor is getting me worried.

Yes, I am a great believer in liberal applications of water proofing liquids and compounds. So, I now have NO CHOICE. I will have to go patch all of those pesky cracks.

I called up my insurance agents: Wainwright Insurance in Alton (603-875-1211). They are a part of Cross from Maine. I have had coverage with them for about 15 months, but never had to make a claim. They are friendly friendly, but I really don’t know how good or bad they are.

I was surprised to hear that they had not received a single call re. the earthquake.

Then, they shocked me, by saying I did NOT have earthquake insurance.

I, quite correctly, told them that that was their fault. I am NOT joking. I am thinking that I might have a case against them. I had never even heard of earthquake insurance. It was incumbent upon them to tell me about it. So, if I don’t have coverage it has to be their fault. Right? This is America. [UPDATE: They tell me that they told me in writing that I don’t have earthquake or flood insurance. I haven’t looked hard, but I haven’t found the letter as yet. They say they have a copy. That doesn’t mean that they ever mailed it!]

So, please feel free to use this as a forum for discussing earthquake related damage and earthquake insurance. Hope it helps.