Some may feel uneasy about Alejandro Amenabar’s "Agora", a film about the Library and political chess piece of Alexandria circa 400 A.D. Oppressed Christians warped into intolerant persecutors, enforced by radical Taliban-like zealots called parabolanis, overthrow the elitist intellectual pagans, and then turn on the Jews. Caught in the maelstrom is beautiful Roman philosopher Hypatia, a 4th- and 5th-century mathematician and astronomer who, centuries before Galileo, deduced that the Earth cannot be the center of the universe.
The parallels to militant Islam are obvious when actual teachings of Jesus are twisted for the subjugation of women, which was so unconsciously and universally accepted then. Contemporary accounts recorded that Hypathia was condemned a heretic, the mob scraped off all her flesh with oyster shells while she was still alive, her mutilated body was dragged through the streets.
Faced with the ultimatum to be baptized or risk death, her response to the Roman government official is awe inspiring:
"Synecious, you don't question what you believe. You cannot. I must."
It is a lesson for us to dare to separate the chaff from the oats, instead of blindly swallowing a daily litany of lies and untruths.
TODAY reader Tan Kok Tim has diplomatically debunked the latest propaganda: A study concluded that for every year a person works beyond the age of 55, he lives an average of 2 years less. University of Alberta's Dr Ephrem Cheng (Siao Chung) did an actuarial study of lifespan versus age at retirement, based on the number of pension cheques sent to Boeing Aerospace retirees. It found that staff who retire at the age of 50 had an average lifespan of 86. Those who retire at the age of 65 live to an average age of just 66.8, consistent with the finding of Japanese Nobel Laureate Dr Leo Esaki that many who retired at 65 usually die within 2 years of retirement. Furthermore, Dr. Esaki indicated that the peak creativity of most scientists occurred around the age range of 20 to 30 years. As one gets older, the experience increases but the creativity decreases steadily with age ("Optimum Strategies for Creativity and Longevity", Dr Sing Lin, Ph.D. 林星雄 博士). So the 86 year old drawing a hefty paycheck has to be a dole bludger.