March 10, 2006

Fasting loophole

You wouldn't know it unless you were participating, but there is a convenient loophole in the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian's Lentin Fast. On normal days, believers are expected to fast until the mass ends, which is usually this is around 3:00 pm, at which point they can begin begin drinking and eating.

3:00 pm every day sounds pretty hardcore, I know. (Not to mention being deprived of meat and diary.) But you probably didn't know that the mass ends early in the morning on weekends, usually around 8:30 am at which point believers can indulge in orange juice, shiro wat, or whatever their desire, rather than having to wait for an afternoon lunch. What a trick. I thoroughly soaked it up last weekend, drinking a load of orange juice and eating bananas at 9:00 am.

Other than that trick, the fast has been quite challenging. Especially not having the dairy and meats (I seem to be able to manage not eating until the afternoon just fine.) Actually, the other day while in line at the Hilton lunch buffet, I happened to swipe a strawberry off a non-fasting desert plate that had cream covered pastries, a little bit of which happened to be on my strawberry. It was like heavan in my mouth. So rich, so full. Yum.

Sorry to be offline so many days. Workshop duties have called. In other news, I finished one of Michael Crichton's latest books, "State of Fear". I found it to be a pretty annoying, polemic affair. "State of Fear" is the author's attempt to present an alternative view to the general acceptance of global warming science. Although he places the story in a nice, action-filled housing of eco-terrorists bent on convincing the world of the urgency of global warming by creating natural disasters (lots of explosives and high technology), so many pages are devoted to lecturing, that by the end, you end up skipping over a lot of the pages with dialogue. And, what would have been the good stuff, the descriptions of the natural catastrophes carried out by the eco-terrorists (a la Tom Clancy), is never quite fulfilling because the protagonists alwaysfind the bad guys just before they carry out their attack.

All in all, quite a disappointing read from what is usually a very engaging author. I'd also be interested to know if any of you have good sources debunking the book because, despite the author's best efforts, I'm still a pretty strong believer in global warming.



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