Fifth Dimension

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Archive for June, 2007

What’s Your Retirement Plan?

Posted by fifthdimension on June 27, 2007

If you’re planning for a retirement home, you might reconsider after reading e-lores nmd knowing all those who have chosen to cruise away their old age! That’s right. There are many people who chose a Holiday Inn or a Super 8 motel over a Nursing Home, but the ones opting for cruiseliners are growing by leaps and bounds.

It might sound weird, but many retired couples have sold off their properties to live on cruise ships for the rest of their life. 82 year old Bea Muller is one of the more popular ladies of the sea.

As per BBC reports on Radio 4, she’s decided to spend the rest of her life on the Queen Elizabeth 2 rather than in a retirement home. You can listen to her plans here.  After her hubby’s death while they were on a world cruise in 2000 , this American woman worked out that the cost of living aboard the luxury liner was the same as taking up residence in Florida.  So she goes!

Interestingly, she’s the only permanent resident on board the QE2.With a small window-less 10×10 foot cabin, that hardly fits a bed and a bathroom smaller than an average closet, Muller’s accommodation may be awfully cramped. But she’s perhaps one of the  happeist persons on earth.  She has full-time maid service, nice dining rooms, doctors, medical center (where she volunteers), spa, beauty salon, computer center, entertainment, dancing and bridge . For seniors who love to travel, this can be a fascinating adventure that would last till the last breath!  

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Posted in Journeys, Life, Perceptions, Society, Travel | 1 Comment »

Naming your Child: Can you use Numerals Instead of Alphabets?

Posted by fifthdimension on June 25, 2007

If you’re thinking of keeping a fancy name for your child starting with numerals, you better get this approved by the local registrar. According to a report released by AP on June 21, New Zealand authorities have turned down a couple’s request to officially name their new son “4real”!! Their logic is that numerals are not allowed.

So, when Pat and Sheena Wheaton thought of keeping such a fancy name for their baby, they were shocked by New Zealand authorities! I don’t know if there’s any such law existing in any other part of the world.  

AP quoted the couple as saying “For most of us, when we try to figure out what our names mean, we have to look it up in a babies book and … there’s no direct link between the meaning and the name…With this name, everyone knows what it means.”

However, the government office has started negotiations with the parents about the name under the policy that there must be case-by-cae consideration for all unusual names. 

Hence, the name at this stage been not been altogether rejected. Other proposed names to be declined are Satan and Adolf Hitler! 

Posted in Media and Culture, Perceptions, Society | Leave a Comment »

Overriding Article 51 of the UN Charter: Pre-Emptive Self-Defence

Posted by fifthdimension on June 20, 2007

Any bumping into Article 51 of the UN Charter for the first time will be positive about the UN’s commitment to world peace. However, looking back at the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive self defence, one is convinced that peace is at stake and there is no law at all.

Article 51 clearly states: “nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”, which means that the right of self-defence comes to the fore and is legitimate only on event of an external aggression, i.e. an attack occuring before the use of force in self-defence. However, this is not simple as it might seem.

Analysts have interpreted this in several ways. Since the interpretation of Article 51 has been left up to the principal bodies of the UN, especially the Security Council, this has led to a certain amount of flexibilty. The UN itself have granted some leeway in form of the reading “where there is very clear evidence that an armed attack, having not yet occurred, is nevertheless imminent and would be overwhelming, and would make the awaiting of the armed attack disastrous for the attacked country…”.

True, there must be some flexibility, for the international scenario is very delicate and developments couldn’t be foreseen in 1945.

Everyone will agree on a rational interpretation of Article 51. One must not forget that the primary intention of the article is to protect the sovereignty and independence of the state. So, on any event if a state felt its sovereignty and independence is under threat due to the actions of another country, it might be allowed to use force against that country, even if the country’s hostile actions had not yet risen to the level of an actual armed attack.Experts point out that the language of Article 51 have granted an “inherent right” of self-defence to nations, which has been held by many to imply that the right to self-defence, which existed in traditional international law prior to 1945 might still apply.  

Taking into account the “Caroline criteria”, traditional law did recognize a “limited” right of pre-emptive self-defence. This dates back to an incident in 1837, during a rebellion against British rule in Canada, when British troops attacked the ship, Caroline, which was used by private US citizens to transport supplies to the rebels. It was agreed upon that “a necessity of self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation” and the action taken must not be “unreasonable or excessive”.But going by the incidents that led to the invasion of Iraq, it’s clear that the US had no reason to take pre-emptive action.

In absence of concrete evidence, how could one bomb and destroy a nation, or push it’s own sons and daughters to a quagmire? The topic might be a hackneyed one, but given the kind excesses going on in Iraq and the clouds of war looming large over Iran and Syria, it’s important to review charters and articles, which might prevent further bloodshed. Is there a law at all?     

Posted in News, Politics, Reviews, Society | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Detachment: A Way to Nirvana

Posted by fifthdimension on June 14, 2007

“Oh, if only I could have bought a new house, I’d be the happiest person on earth!” No doubt, such expressions fall into our ears everyday. But given a chance to reflect on this, I’d say that true solace rests  in one’s innner world.

I won’t say that I’m free from all  trappings of the external world. But to be free, it’s very important for us to turn inwards, where alone we’ll find perfect bliss. In order to achieve this, we must detach ourselves from the external world, whose attractions always play with our senses, tempts and allures us.

So, what we need here is a paradigm shift from the body consciousness to the consciousness of the soul. But how do we make this happen? The only way is to develop and get in with our thoughts that the physical self, which is stuck in the materialist pursuits and the trappings of consumerism,  is not the real self. Our physical existence is not the only sphere of our existence, rather it’s just a veneer to our subtle existence on another dimension. We exist at a different level, which is much deeper and subtler than our ordinary mundane existence.

So, detachment from this outer self is the first step towards nirvana. Next, is our detachment from external relationships and bondings. The final step is the detachment from the very idea of salvation.  When we’re detached, we’re totally free and then only we shall have the ticket to the free world.    

Posted in Afterglow, Life, Perceptions, Philosophy, Society | 2 Comments »

Trashed Mountains

Posted by fifthdimension on June 13, 2007

Our quest to climb the highest mountains, the desire to be on top of the world and the firm determination to accomplish have enabled us to subdue the highest peaks. Those who achieved those feats were never turned off by the difficulties inherent. They’ve braved the most fearful snow storms, the widest crevices, and the coldest glaciers. Flags are seen fluttering over the vanquished mountains. But what next?

What’s concerning is that our love of adventure has reduced the foothills into mountains of trash. The most threatening part is that many of these mountains have been reduced to dumping grounds.

Take for instance, Mount Fuji, Japan. If you look down those graceful volcanic slopes, you’ll be shocked by the disposed microwave ovens, construction debris, broken office furniture, rusting refrigerators and tons of other urban waste.

According to members of Wakamura’s Fujisan Club, the club alone has  collected 187,000 pounds of illegally dumped garbage from the mountain’s slopes in 12 months through March.

This is one of the most potent symbols of the general environmental destruction wreaked by industrialization worldwide. Like Fuji, environmentalists believe that even a hostile mountain like Everest, which requires special gear for climbers,  has over 50 tons of trash on its slopes. 

It takes a lot of sweat to undo the damage which has already been done.  However, we don’t need much effortb to help prevent this mindless destruction of nature!   

Posted in Environment, News, Reviews, Society, Travel | 2 Comments »