no room for argument – very little for vermouth

“Begin by assembling the following materials and a clean, white towel at your work space. Turn off the television and eliminate other distractions. John Coltranes’s First Meditations is appropriate music to work by. I cannot vouch for anything else.

A pair (2) of large, crystal martini glasses with a capacity of at least 7 ounce each. Only the classic sillhouette will do. No swirly or rose-colored stems or any other ornamentation is acceptable.

A sturdy, stainless-steel Martini shaker of the familiar shape and a generous size…”

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Navy approves first ever Satanist

The British Armed Forces has officially recognised its first registered Satanist, a newspaper reports.

Naval technician Chris Cranmer, 24, has been allowed to register by the captain of HMS Cumberland, based at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth.

The move will mean that he will now be allowed to perform Satanic rituals on board the vessel.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Cranmer realised he was a Satanist nine years ago.

Religious values

Mr Cranmer said that was when he stumbled across a copy of the Satanic Bible, written by Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey.

He said: ‘I then read more and more and came to realise I’d always been a Satanist, just simply never knew.’

Mr Cranmer, who is from Edinburgh, is now lobbying the Ministry of Defence to make Satanism a registered religion in the armed forces.

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe said she was ‘utterly shocked’ by the Royal Navy’s decision.

‘Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere, including the armed forces, are their own affair but I hope it doesn’t spread.’

She added: ‘The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships. ‘God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat.’

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: ‘We are an equal opportunities employer and we don’t stop anybody from having their own religious values.’

The path to Satan

The Church of Satan was established in San Francisco in 1966.

Mr LaVey was its high priest until his death in 1997.

Followers live by the Nine Satanic Statements, which include “Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence”, “Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek” and “Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification”.

Doug Harris, director of the Reachout Trust, an evangelical Christian ministry that “builds a bridge of reason” to those involved in cults and the occult, says the statements are “selfish”.

“Following such tenets and working them out practically in your life seems to produce a selfish person not a member of a team,” he said.

Original BBC Article:

Lunar Eclipse Wednesday to Have Easy Viewing Hours

John Roach

for National Geographic News

October 21, 2004

“Just in time for the Halloween season, the moon Wednesday will treat us to its most famous trick: changing from bright white to reddish as it passes deeply through Earth’s shadow.

This will be the last total lunar eclipse until March 3, 2007, and the last eclipse that will be easily viewed throughout the entire continental U.S. until February 21, 2008.

‘For North America, this particular eclipse I refer to as the prime-time eclipse,’ said Fred Espenak, an eclipse expert at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. ‘It’s ideally suited for casual observing.’ ”

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