Swiss in a froth about a handshake

What could be more innocuous than a handshake? Not a special handshake, but a conventional handshake where the only contact is between the two hands. Well, using the pretext of being anti-Islamic, two Muslim brothers have objected to shaking the hand of their female teacher. 

This has resulted in numerous educational department rulings & reversals as this issue wends its way through officialdom and ultimately the Courts in Switzerland. 

Main picture: No handshake exemption for Muslim pupils, Swiss canton rules

Continue reading

The Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut

Summation:  The Engrossing Saga of a Reluctant & Unlikely Crusader

Rating: 5 out of 5

It was mere happenstance that I ordered the Director’s Cut rather than the Cinema Release Version. It is a stunning period epic bringing to life the Crusades told through a blacksmith – Balian – as portrayed by Orlando Bloom – who unbeknown to him is the son of a Knight. “Convinced” to join the Crusades to escape justice after killing the local Priest, who we later learn, is his brother. Unfortunately his father dies en route at Messina in Sicily from wounds sustained preventing the arrest of his son. Cast as a sullen person either due to the script writer’s lack of character portrayal ability or due to casting him as being initially distraught due to the death of his wife & child or alternatively being out of his depth in a strange new land with strange new values.

Continue reading