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small green square Some final notes on Islam:

  • Since 1987 Saudi Arabia has restricted hajj (or haj or hadj) attendance to .1% of each country's Muslim population
  • A bit more on the Kaaba (or Ka'aba or Ka'bah), the big black block (photo):
  • The counter-clockwise circuit the pilgrim makes is the Tawaf, or circumambulation
  • The English word "cube" is said to come from "kaaba" - but the real one's not quite cubic
  • one dictionary says it's an empty "stone building believed to be the world's first sanctuary dedicated to the worship of one God"
  • Some accounts say it contains the Black Stone, but that's actually attached to an outer, vertical edge
  • The Prophet Muhammad (or Mohammed, or Mahomet) is associated with the miracle of the Splitting of the Moon. It happened at Mina (picture)
In the name of Allah, most Gracious and most Merciful, I now turn away from Mecca.

small red square On a tape from the memorial service held in his home town of Hoboken, I finally heard it this morning - not even Frank, but some imposter braying out "My Way" to the assembled throng. I switched off the radio.

small yellow square Long-time readers of this Journal may recall my promoting Barry Sears' "Zone" diet some months back. Alas, I have fallen by the wayside; I'm eating french bread right now. I apologize to my body; but it's just so tasty! I get a baguette on the way home, and eat up about 2/3 that evening, saving the rest for breakfast the next morning (even though by then it's total crunch). I have sandwiches in the evening, with cheese, or sliced meat - even smoked salmon, like tonight. Or just butter - with fruit preserves; my Euro-traveling staple. I've been through the German city Ulm three times now, but have yet to visit the Museum of Bread there - next time for sure.

small purple square Politics is the business of who gets what, when and where.

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