Friday, 22 May 2009

Fabulous female occultists

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Nonconformist pioneers

First women ministers

Gertrude von Petzold was the first woman to be ordained as a Unitarian minister in England, in 1904. She also campaigned for women's suffrage.

Olympia Brown was the first woman Universalist minister, in 1863.
In the United States, the Congregationalists ordained Antoinette Brown as a minister in 1853, while the Universalists ordained Olympia Brown in 1863. In Australia, Martha Turner was appointed minister to the Melbourne Unitarian church in 1873, and, in Scotland, the Glasgow Universalists ordained Caroline Soule in 1880.
(from an article by Keith Gilley)
First gay ministers
1969 September—LaForet, CO—The Reverend James L. Stoll publicly declares himself to be homosexual at Student Religious Liberals (SRL) Conference.

1979 The Reverend Douglas Morgan Strong called to serve All Souls Church, Augusta, Maine, thus becoming the first out gay man in the UU ministry to be called to serve a congregation.

from History of UU involvement in & support of LGBT issues
Further reading

Monday, 18 May 2009

What Fun!

Here is a new toy known as Wolfram Alpha that us gels can horse around with. A computational wizard that can calulate many interesting things such as answers to mathematical, geographical and scientific queries....

If for example, one inputs the question 'what is the meaning of life?' the answer is displayed as '42'.

On the day I was born, (12077 days ago) there was a waning crescent moon, the sun rose at 5:49 and set at 20:47 ....

However, it wasn't much cop at topics such as 'Chicken Breeding' or 'Famous Roses'....

With gleefulness

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The fabulous Joanna Lumley

I have always admired Joanna Lumley and regarded her as a bit of an intellectual as well as a fab actress - but now she is the people's heroine as well.

I think it should be completely obvious to the government that they should let all the Gurkhas stay - as someone said, if someone is prepared to die for this country they should certainly be allowed to live here (and the same applies to any other overseas soldiers).  And I think Ms Lumley is doing a great job of getting that across.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I propose a toast:  please be upstanding for the magnificent Ms Lumley, Bluestocking of the Week.  And here's a toast to the Gurkhas too.  Please sign the petition to let them stay in the UK.

And I've just discovered that Camilla Parker-Bowles supports Ms Lumley's campaign too - so I nominate her to be a Bluestocking too.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

centenarian bluestockings

Happy birthday to a truly great bluestocking:
"ROME – Rita Levi Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said Saturday that even though she is about to turn 100, her mind is sharper than it was she when she was 20.

Levi Montalcini, who also serves as a senator for life in Italy, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday, and she spoke at a ceremony held in her honor by the European Brain Research Institute.

She shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs.

"At 100, I have a mind that is superior — thanks to experience — than when I was 20," she told the party, complete with a large cake for her.

The Turin-born Levi Montalcini recounted how the anti-Jewish laws of the 1930s under Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime forced her to quit university and do research in an improvised laboratory in her bedroom at home.

"Above all, don't fear difficult moments," she said. "The best comes from them."

"I should thank Mussolini for having declared me to be of an inferior race. This led me to the joy of working, not any more unfortunately, in university institutes but in a bedroom," the scientist said."
Meanwhile, Margaret Caldwell, who is 102, has expressed interest in Wicca - there must be something about the wisdom of experience that makes one willing to explore new avenues...
An old crone, my dears, is a wise, old woman, one of the four aspects of Mother Earth, young and innocent in the Springs, full of seed and motherly in the Summer, ripe and bursting with produce in the Fall and wise and knowing in the fullness of Winter.