Rather Surprised That Very Pro-Catholic Sri Lankan President, Married To A Catholic, Is Permitting Sri Lanakan Cricket Team To Play On Christmas.
by Anura Guruge
I do not know this president on a personal basis. I actually can’t even remember his name. I knew two of the early presidents quite well: J.R. and Wijetunga. In my youth I had spent a fair amount of time at the later’s house — and my most vivid memories are stopping by there, on the way back from Kandy, after elections.
What I do know is that this president, who in my opinion, with his habitual red stole likes to look like a pope, is very pro-Catholic. He is good friends with Sri Lanka’s cardinal, the ‘Tanned Ratzinger‘. You can see that he met with the old pope.
So, I am kind of surprised that HE, who is no stranger to Christmas given that his wife is Catholic, permitted the Sri Lankan cricket team to play on Christmas Day. Possible that he didn’t know. From the little that I hear, he has a fair amount on his plate. To me this is very strange.
Growing up one of the most amazing things about life in Ceylon was our tolerance of other religions. My adopted family were Buddhists but I spent all my holidays and weekends with an Uncle, by marriage, who was a Burgher (Dutch descended, and hence white) and a Baptist. He didn’t have any children and he was a lawyer — actually the lawyer for the Ceylon Food Ministry. His wife, my adopted aunty, was the Assistant Principal at Royal College — Ceylon’s then largest and most prestigious boys school (which I didn’t attend). They were well off. They did a lavish, no expense spared Christmas lunch for the whole extended family. But, I stayed with them and got a ton of Christmas presents each Christmas. We celebrated all holidays. That Sri Lankans are acting like we, as a nation, don’t know anything about Christmas is insulting and demeaning.
Yes, I shouldn’t complain. I am not Sri Lankan. So, I probably don’t have the right. But, I was born there.
The President’s letter to the ‘Tanned Ratzinger‘ in 2012 for the cardinal’s birthday:
Royal Pardon Of Computer Science Pioneer Alan Turing Just Draws Unnecessary Attention To A Sin That Cannot Now Be Rectified.
by Anura Guruge
Of course it is good that his name is being cleared by a ‘Royal Pardon‘ but I agitate in that I worry that this just draws attention to something that cannot be reversed.
Given that I did my first computer degree from 1971 to 1974, when computer science as an academic field was still quite young, we did a lot of work on Turing theory and Turing machines. Yes, of course, we had Turing machine simulators and we had to write Turing machine code. I kind of enjoyed that. Had to do Turing coding again for my Master’s in 1978 – 1979. Then in 2002 while teaching post-grads at SNHU I got them doing some Turing coding.
[Try this Turing Machine simulator.]
I don’t ever recall, in the 1970s, being told or reading that Turning was gay. I might have but I can’t remember.
I think I only became aware of it last year when we were all celebrating the 100 year anniversary of his birth; dob: June 23, 1912.
I know it was important to the gay community but my own feeling is that we are drawing unnecessary attention to a facet of Alan Turing that is not germane to his brilliance.
What they did to him and his ‘suicide’ cannot be rectified. That is problem here. The pardon is just words. It is not like Obama pardoning Deval Patrick’s drug-dealing cousin. This pardon does not help Alan. He is gone.
Well, I, for one, will try to continue remembering Alan for his genius rather than for what happened or this Royal Pardon.
Merry Christmas to you All.
Very COOL, interactive Google Doodle for Alan’s 100th birthday June 23, 2013.
Click to not only access interactive Doodle but to also look at the pictures and write up.
Very cute, but 100% representative Turing Machine highlighting the ONLY 3 commands available, i.e., move tape left, move tape right & write/erase.
In theory this machine with those 3 commands is all powerful, though not much fun to program after the first few minutes of messing around.
by Anura Guruge
++++ For ‘Christmas’ related posts search ‘Christmas‘. There are lots of them. >>>>
++++ For ‘Christmas at Luther’ search ‘Luter’ >>>>
I recorded it on December 23rd and listened to bits of it.
I think PBS is showing it a few times over Christmas.
Try and catch it,
That it does, as its 2nd or 3rd set, a beautiful rendition of
‘Come All Ye Faithful‘ with a campanological preamble
made it even more special since that is my all time
favorite Christmas carol.
..by Anura Guruge
Google has done loads of these ‘Happy Holidays‘ Google Doodles,
all with a subtle Christmas touch [e.g., Candy Canes].