A No Go Zone for Vampires

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The Hill of Crosses is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the generations, not only crosses and crucifixes, but statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006.

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Over the generations, the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it faced throughout history. After the 3rd partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, Lithuania became part of the Russian Empire. Poles and Lithuanians unsuccessfully rebelled against Russian authorities in 1831 and 1863. These two uprisings are connected with the beginnings of the hill: as families could not locate bodies of perished rebels, they started putting up symbolic crosses in place of a former hill fort.

When the old political structure of Eastern Europe fell apart in 1918, Lithuania once again declared its independence. Throughout this time, the Hill of Crosses was used as a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, for their country, and for the loved ones they had lost during the Wars of Independence.

The site took on a special significance during the years 1944–1990, when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Continuing to travel to the hill and leave their tributes, Lithuanians used it to demonstrate their allegiance to their original identity, religion and heritage. It was a venue of peaceful resistance, although the Soviets worked hard to remove new crosses, and bulldozed the site at least three times (including attempts in 1963 and 1973). There were even rumors that the authorities planned to build a dam on the nearby Kulvė River, a tributary to Mūša, so that the hill would end up underwater.

On September 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice. In 2000 a Franciscan hermitage was opened nearby. The interior decoration draws links with La Verna, the mountain where St. Francis is said to have received his stigmata. The hill remains under nobody’s jurisdiction; therefore people are free to build crosses as they see fit.

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The vampires will be destroyed if they venture near this holy hill.

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Stewart MaClean boring crowds in heaven

Stuart MacLean puts lackadaisical inside of boredom wrapped in watching paint dry.  This guy is dry boring.  Stuart is a radio show phenom in senior citizen homes across Canada.  His show, The Vinyl Café, is on CBC radio every Sunday at noon.  I have tried to listen to it, but I fall asleep every time. The show is monotonous, tedious, irksome, tiresome, humdrum and so lacking in anything interesting that it should be bottled as a new super sedative.

The Vinyl Café is a complete rip-off of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, a show from south of the border.  Vinyl Café is all about Stuart’s storytelling.  Real fluff. An example is: Morley and Dave went grocery shopping, on the way Morley realized he forgot to put underwear on, Dave said that’s okay, I’ll give you mine, then a cat crossed under a step ladder and all hell broke loose. By all hell we mean Morley and Dave heard a siren in the distance. Morley said I sure hope that cute granny who lives in the red house didn’t do anything wrong.  This made Dave laugh so hard he shit his pants, thereby not allowing him to give Morley his shorts.

When Morley and Dave got home they realized they forgot laundry detergent. Morley said Dave you will have to wash those crappy shorts with toothpaste. As Morley said this Dave was taking a drink from his glass of milk, Dave burst into uncontrollable laughter causing him to regurgitate his milk through his nose.  This caused Morley to pass out. And so it goes. Boring insignificant blather.

How this show has remained popular is one of the great mysteries of the universe. Mind you the audiences that Stuart plays to are generally rural hicks who revere Don Knotts and the TV show Family Feud. No Jon Stewart crowd here. Stuart gets his biggest audiences in Yellowknife, Kamloops, Selkirk and Weyburn for example.  He isn’t too popular in the big cities. He has a country audience. The ruralites will stop combining during harvest to load up the family and drive to the parish hall to listen to Stuart’s gabble.

I wish CBC would fire Stuart and put on something else. Stuart could make a living reading story books to horses in labour. His soothing delivery would make the mares relax and have no trouble farting out the colt. I rest my case.

Don’t have to fire poor Stuart. He’s dead. This is rough for me to stay, but good riddance, this idiot was a super-wimp! I hate wimps.

 

‘Divine Cloud’ Appears Over Tonga

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A man living on the island of Tonga believes that he received a divine message in the form of an odd cloud that bears an uncanny resemblance to a divine figure.

Joey Mataele snapped a photo of the formation during a visit to his brother’s house and subsequently shared it on social media.

Mataele’s message with the image made his interpretation quite clear as he marveled, “this is an image that was unexpected and I know it’s a miracle in my life.”

The ‘identity’ of the ‘divine figure’ likely depends on one’s own proclivities as suggestions have included the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and an angel.

Skeptics who say that there is no such thing as a divine message argue that the ‘heavenly’ sight which stunned Mataela is simply just an ordinary cloud.

Clearly, the ultimate interpretation of what the wispy white ‘figure’ might mean, if anything, is a matter of faith.

 

While we’re at it. Below is a few more examples of divine intervention.

Jesus Christ is everywhere during Holy Week, but one Orlando woman thought she was going crazy when she saw his image in the bark of a dead tree in her front yard.

“It’s Treesus,” the homeowner, Kim, said on the eve of Resurrection Sunday. “I find it very odd. For me, it’s unmistakable, and I’m not particularly religious. So I don’t know what it means.”

The Orlando Sentinel agreed to withhold her full name and address because she fears her home would turn into a mecca of pilgrims wanting to see the image.

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Here the face of Jesus manifests as a stain on a bathroom wall.

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Grilled cheese sandwich, actually this one is the Virgin Mary I think.

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There are no photos of Jesus (okay maybe the Shroud of Turin) and nobody painted him.  So how did we determine that he looks like the guy on the Kit Kat chocolate bar?

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Potato chip

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The image seems to materialize in hot places

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Pizza slice

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Why? Why would the Lord and Saviour, King of Kings, put his face on a bloody banana?  He might only convert 2 or 3 people with this stunt.  He should manifest on a giant billboard in Times Square.

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Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.

There have been many instances of perceptions of religious imagery and themes, especially the faces of religious figures, in ordinary phenomena. Many involve images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the word Allah, or other religious phenomena: in September 2007 in Singapore, for example, a callus on a tree resembled a monkey, leading believers to pay homage to the “Monkey god” (either Sun Wukong or Hanuman) in the monkey tree phenomenon.

Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being face.

Oh wow Jesus, this is really going to help people quite smoking.

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