Are they really out there?

From the moment the first X-Files episode was aired on Dutch television, I became a fan. An exciting TV-series in which Fox Mulder strongly believed in alien life forms visiting earth. Although I never became a conspiracy theorist, two recent news items may feed the believe of governments hiding aliens from the public. The Vatican Observatory issued a statement that the existence of alien life forms is not condradictory to the existence of God. In fact, if Aliens exist, they are also part of God’s creation.

On the same day, the opening of British secret UFO files was announced. Not that they contain evidence, but stories of sightings which were investigated. A true conspiracy theorist might start thinking that this is part of a carefully designed plan to prepare the public for the presentation of a pact with beings from outer space.

Songstory 3: Niet huilen, vrouw!

Er zijn van die liedjes, waarvan je de tekst inmiddels wel kent, maar waar je jaren later achterkomt wat er nu precies wordt gezegd. Dat geldt vooral voor liedjes in een andere dan je moerstaal en dan zeker als het ook nog eens in een bepaald accent of ‘slang’ wordt vertolkt.

No woman, no cry van Bob Marley was voor mij zo’n lied. Als klein jongetje, het engels slechts deels machtig, ooit in mijn hoofd vertaald als ‘geen vrouw, geen gehuil’. Ik kon het verder zo meezingen, zonder er bij na te denken. Tot zo’n rustig moment, als je beter thuis bent in de taal en de verschillende varianten, en ook nog eens goed gaat luisteren wat er verder wordt gezegd. Little darling, don’t shed no tears, is natuurlijk een goede hint. En dan is daar het Aha-moment. No woman, no cry! Nee vrouw, niet huilen. Hij zegt tegen een vrouw dat ze niet moet huilen. Ineens vallen de puzzelstukjes van de rest van de tekst in elkaar.

Running on Plus

Recently, on seperate occasions, both Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods conratulated me on my running achievements. Obviously not in person, but through the earphones of my brandnew iPod nano (iPod number 4 in our 2-person family). And both times, it felt good and encouraged me to run again soon. And that’s a good thing, since I just took up running (to reduce the slight overweight problem I’m having) and need encouragement. When I decided to go out running, of course I needed gear. In the local Nike shop (the closest sporting gear shop I could find), I saw a nice new gadget. So I bought the Nike + pack with a little transmitter for in the shoe and a receiver to connect to my iPod. Since this only works with the iPod Nano, and not with the Classic that I already have as a replacement for my Generation II iPod, I also bought the Nano and felt a little like stepping into a marketing bear-trap. Of course I also bought shoes, shorts and a shirt. And now I am a running regular. It feels good to get some excercise now and then, uploading my runs to my Nike + account and seeing my progress helps me a lot and of course, the encouragements of people like Lance and Tiger make me feel good. I wonder who will be next and can’t wait to put on my trainers and run again.

Every human has rights

Today is Liberation Day in The Netherlands, when we celebrate the ending of the second World War. Lately, it has become more symbolic and now the celebrations is more about one of the basic human rights: freedom. A good day for this post and to celebrate Human Rights. I’ve alway been a big fan of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And this year, it was 60 years ago that it was written down and signed by nations. Now you have the chance to sign it yourself. I think, in a time of globalization and different outbursts of Human Rights trampeling, it is a good time to do so. So go to the Every Human Has Rights website and join many others in undersigning this valuable document.