Vale George Makeri

1.Sad news. One of our regulars, George, has died. A lovely, well spoken man who will be missed.

George Makeri (1939-2016)

George Makeri

This scribe never found George to be nasty, or even argumentative. He was a likeable, amiable man.

Steve Maxwell explains: Ten years ago when George joined in the on the fun of soapbox watching he instantly recovered from being depressed. He never spoke from a soapbox, but joined in on the conversation. He loved to talk about politics and religion.
His attendance on the Sydney Domain was only interrupted by a trip back to his native Lebanon.
He was born in the midst of World War Two. As a young man he travel extensively. Finally he emigrated to Australia in the 1950’s where he began one of the first Lebanese restaurants in Sydney. He will be fondly remembered for his outgoing personality and his amazing travel stories of his youth.

This is for you, George:

(The singer is Israel “IZ” kamakawiwo’ole. He died in 1997 and it’s his ashes being released from the boat.)

2. The question was asked: ‘What percentage of atheist adults are susceptible to becoming Christians?’
After a little thought, Mr B said, ‘99%’. Helmut was adamant that Mr B was very wrong, and that the figure should be 99.999999%. That means, of course, that Mr B was castigated for being less than 1% off the ‘correct’ answer.

He’s a hard task-master, that Helmut.

In this video, magician and atheist Derren Brown converts atheists into Christians.

3. When the group began talking about the origin of the universe, the unassuming Helmut Cerncic helpfully intervened and explained in his reticent way how the universe has always existed in the form of light. That was like a red flag to the scientific Mr B, who would have won the argument had he not confused the three laws of thermodynamics with Newton’s three laws of motion. The less said about that the better.

4. Socrates the vegetarian gave Mr B a big hug. That prompted Tony to ask Mr B if he were gay. Oh, Tony.

5. For Mr B’s sake we feel compelled to explain the three laws of thermodynamics.
Courtesy of Peter:
1st Law: At best you can only break even.
2nd Law: You can only break even at Absolute Zero.
3rd Law: We can’t reach Absolute Zero.

Courtesy of Helmut:
Ist Law: Energy in its totality is conserved.
2nd Law: There’s entropy. Anything which has initial disorder over the course of time, that disorder will increase.
3rd Law: Entropy decreases the closer we get to Absolute Zero.

Courtesy of Mirko:
1st Law: Without a beginning you can’t go backwards.
2nd law: Mother Nature.
3rd Law: You don’t know what you’re talking about.

That will clear it up for Mr B.

6. We also talked about consciousness, and somehow it was linked with the origin of the universe, migratory birds, and Mr B’s camera, for goodness sake. It was even claimed that trees have consciousness. Holy moly.
Despite such foolishness, this scribe happens to find this meme appropriate for the discussion.

Be humble

7. Other topics discussed:
Steve Maxwell:
– quoted from Ian Lowe’s recent book, “Lucky Country”
– talked about reinventing Australia.
– Steve believes that in the future we will have a dystopia of high-rise covering the Sydney basin. Where billons will be made from construction.

Mr B discussed:
– The man who had a prostate cancer operation cancelled for the third time, having already waited nine months.
– Do lawyers manipulate jurors’ emotions?
– The non-existence of Leprechauns.
– Emotional beliefs, with astrology as an example. (Here is a horoscope with a message, even!)