I've got the hump — over the two humps recently mounted in Polson St outside the Castlecliff School. I appreciate they were put there to slow speeding motorists and provide extra safety for children.
My gripe is that they seem a little bit higher than what I perceive to be the normal hump and play havoc with most vehicles' suspension. Also, the humps seem too close together.
I drive an older car and, even driving over the humps at 15km, it feels as though the undercarriage is going to part company. Perhaps the humps should be sponsored by repair firms who specialise in repairing or replacing shock-absorbers and suspension, as I'm sure they would have noticed an increase in business since the humps arrived.
Is there a recommended speed to drive over a hump? I'm beginning to understand how Humpty Dumpty felt, and he wasn't even in a car.
Pell call disappoints
The Victorian Supreme Court decision to disallow the appeal of Cardinal George Pell is disappointing — his conviction was a travesty.
His trial in a Melbourne court is reminiscent of the Communist show trials of Cardinals Joseph Mindzenty and Aloysius Stepinac.
Pell has, according to many, including secular journalists who had observed the proceedings, not had a fair trial. The media in Victoria have conducted a campaign against the Catholic Church and Pell for 20 years.
The action of the Victorian police in 2013 in setting up a task force to seek complaints from the public to lay charges against him before any complaints had been made is highly questionable. It is unbelievable that a jury would convict Pell of five charges of vile child abuse 22 years ago against two choir boys on the word of one single accuser, with no witnesses and not a shred of corroborating physical evidence or testimony.
The defence had more than 20 "unanswerable" witnesses testify on behalf of Pell's impeccable character and the physical impossibility of him doing what he was accused of doing.
I ask why the daily "Thought for today" is highlighted in the "Opinion" page when its content is usually stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless repetition.
Why daily, and not weekly — giving its contributors time to assemble something beyond mere cant? Why does it appear that anything from a pastor or other religious office is accepted without review? Are these daily "thoughts" needed to sustain readers' faith?
While not suggesting they shouldn't preach, I do suggest they consistently miss an essential feature and the core of any rational belief system — sustainability.
I cannot put this clearer than Lloyd Geering ONZ (theologian, 1918 -): "I believe with Catholic priest Thomas Berry [theologian, 1914-2009] that 'We must move beyond a spirituality focused simply on the divine and the human, to a wider concern with the survival of the natural world in its full splendour, fertility and its integral wellbeing ..'."
Well done, Max Warburton, for actually looking at Creation.com. However, had you read some of the articles there on geology, you would know that from the 1800s there were two schools of geological thinking, uniformitarian and catastrophic.
The uniformitarian school assumed everything happened slowly over thousands or millions of years, and the catastrophic assumed massive catastrophic events rapidly laid down many layers of soil (as we see with volcanic eruptions and in large-scale floods).
The evidence favours the latter school of thought since wholesale fossilisation of many thousands of creatures is not something we see or can imagine happening today. Fossils are made when creatures are rapidly buried.
Long ages claimed as fact are used to circularly reason millions of years, even though erosion and deposition can and do happen rapidly where extreme events occur.
Radioisotope dating is no help, since we have no starting point to know how much of each element was present at the starting point, and cannot therefore date rocks based on their current content. We also do not know what extreme events they may have been subject to since being formed.
Therefore geological history, like biological history, is determined based on the assumptions of each scientist, not on proven facts. Creationists assume a supernatural designer, atheists assume only natural processes. Both have presuppositions and biases based on belief.
•Send your letters to: Letters, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org