Maximus Decimus

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Maximus Decimus last won the day on July 7

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    Ireland

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  1. Maximus Decimus

    UFC

    I think many hide behind the idea that it's just banter, but I think he's just an idiot. If he was a scouser and talking like that, I don't think he'd be nearly as popular but there is something about his being Irish that people think makes it likeable. Even someone like Tyson Fury gives it out but it's doesn't go far outside the boxing world. He has a go at their boxing ability and record, not their family or their country.
  2. Maximus Decimus

    Park Run

    When I first went to one in 2015, I thought it was a really positive thing that had sprung up organically. I must admit though, I doubted how long it would continue for, it almost seemed too good to be true. I went to one in early September this year and it was the third highest attended ever; there was no special occasion. On a personal note, I beat my record again yesterday and did it in just over 24 minutes. I'm not actually exactly sure because being tight, I never bought a proper barcode and realised as I was leaving I'd accidentally washed my paper copy. So my best time, that I may never beat (that's the pessimist in me!) is currently showing as 'unknown' on the Parkrun website.
  3. Maximus Decimus

    UFC

    Been interesting to see the fallout from this. Khabib has threatened to walk if they sack his team mate (cousin I think). Part of me wonders how long the UFC is going to be able to sustain its monopoly on MMA. As a boxing fan, the biggest attraction of the UFC is their ability to make sure that the fights that need to happen, happen. Look at McGregor-Khabib, there was no speculation or the bull that you get in boxing, it just happened. However, and I've heard this mentioned before, they are starting to lose some of their control as certain fighters get bigger. Khabib and McGregor are both huge draws and as such they realistically have no choice but to bow to their demands. They won't sack his teammate and if McGregor wants a rematch they'll give it him. This is despite pretty much everyone I've heard suggesting that he doesn't deserve one. It almost makes it inevitable that they'll reach a point where big names either play hard ball and leave or other stars get frustrated at a lack of opportunities and try to go elsewhere.
  4. Maximus Decimus

    children and religion

    I was on an RE course last week and they were demonstrating examples of artwork entered into a competition. One that they showcased was from a child doing it from a non religious perspective. This wasn't shared to make a point, instead it demonstrates just how undogmatic they are when it comes to children.
  5. Maximus Decimus

    children and religion

    This is of course true, but here is the issue. Religious schools insist on 10% of teaching time being dedicated to RE, this equates to around 2 hours and 15 minutes. In non-religious schools this is 30 minutes. In my particular catholic school, we've only ever been required to record one piece of work a week. This means a significant amount of this 2 hours 15 minutes is spent without the pressure to record. This week my class took part in a guided meditation, a values auction and planned their own rosary (which was introduced as a form of meditation). Assuming that state schools actually teach the 30 mins of RE. What do you think the other time is replaced with? I can tell you right now it will just be ordinary curriculum time ie writing, maths, topic etc. It certainly won't be lessons where the focus is on reflection and wellbeing in the same way. You could of course argue that state schools should organise the curriculum and dedicate time aside to philosophy, reflection etc. But it seems very unlikely and it would miss a crucial ingredient. 'God' or 'Jesus' provides a focus for the work that to a child gives it credence. You could compare it to santa. Saying be good because santa is watching is more motivation than be good because I said so. In the same way, saying you should be kind because it is what God wants for you is more credible than saying be kind because you should be. The reality is that in the same way people eventually reject santa, the vast majority in our society reject religion too. However, and I said I'm still undecided, there could be a longterm benefits to being taught this way.
  6. Maximus Decimus

    children and religion

    This is much closer to religious indoctrination but the lines get blurred when you factor in culture. This is sort of what I meant, many non-religious people like to present this sort of example as what religious upbringings are like when aside from a tiny minority this is not the case. As I said earlier, I had a strict religious upbringing. We said prayers on the way to school, I went to Mass 4 times a week as an altar server and Easter was hell. My dad was also a somewhat strict patriarch for me and my other 5 siblings. For all the bluster about child abuse, I genuinely don't think it has had any lasting effects on any of my siblings. We don't have hang ups about heaven and hell or any of those arguments that you often hear. By far the worst thing was that it was socially unconfortable in the late 20th/early 21st century to be religious. Then you can factor in whether it had any positive outcomes, I genuinely don't know. The net result anyway was 6 children, 4 of whom are outwardly non-religious and the other two are noncommittal and have nothing to do with the church. If this is attempted indoctrination then they need better tactics.
  7. Maximus Decimus

    children and religion

    I do think this is genuinely a more difficult issue than it seems especially to the non-religious. I was brought up with a strict catholic upbringing before rejecting it in my teenage years and becoming very anti-religious. It was probably second only to my anti-Union feeling at the time! After becoming a teacher, I ended up back in a catholic school and that amongst other things has significantly softened many of my opinions. I genuinely think that many people who have never grown up with religion have little to no idea what a religious education/upbringing is actually like, especially in this country. As Bob8 has often said in other contexts, we are importing arguments from America that don't really apply over here. If you are worried about religion indoctrinating children then they are doing a spectacularly bad job of it over here. Perhaps not with Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus etc but Christian churches are failing miserably. When I became a teacher, I often heard it said by people that they liked Catholic schools because they have a nicer atmosphere than state schools. I initially thought this ridiculous but after teaching for more years than I'd like to state, I think it might not be as ridiculous a claim as first thought. I've often wondered how it could be, whether it is to do with the selective nature of the children or whether I have some subconscious bias or something else. Religious education is also not what people without experience would expect it to be. Bible stories (and even these are only really used as a moral lesson) are only one part. The rest is a mixture of discussion, meditation, art, philosophy, exploration, questioning etc. You'd be surprised how much doubt is encouraged and non-religious views valued. For instance, whilst the children might be learning about the Kingdom of God, they will spend much of this time exploring what values are important to them or studying people who have done inspirational things. It's not all Bible thumping and believe, believe, believe. I can't help but feel that this constant focus on positive stories, morals and telling the children they are loved could have a positive effect on a school. I've also challenged some of the opinions that are usually par for the course with being part of the non-religious community, many of whom assume that a world without religion would automatically be a better place. It seems so logical, after all there would be one less reason for conflict and we'd be leaving bronze age superstition behind. However, I'm not so sure. I know many people who are genuinely motivated to do good by their religion. Most of my friends and family are non-religious and decent people but none of them give up their time like many religious people I know including my own father before he died. I'm not saying this as an argument for faith schools or that the world would be better if religion increased, I'm just suggesting that things might not be quite so black and white and certainly not as harmful as many like to believe.
  8. Maximus Decimus

    UFC

    I was thinking this exact thing. Anyone familiar with Pro Wrestling will be aware of the term Kayfabe, which is the pretense that what goes on in the ring is real life so characters act outside as if their beef is real in real life too. Fans buy into this and are willing to suspend their rational judgement and pretend it is real. It's pretty much done now. Boxing/MMA certainly has a version of this. Fans are more than willing to believe that fighters hate each other even though logically we've seen fighters hugging after a fight 100s of times. Some fighters are better at it than others; Wilder/Fury was about as unconvincing as it gets. It's one of the reasons Mayweather was so big, his persona wasn't an act. He was an idiot and people tuned in wanting to see him knocked out. McGregor/Khabib is clearly real life beef which fight fans enjoy. Although I'm not sure McGregor will want it, the UFC will be desperate to make this fight again.
  9. Maximus Decimus

    UFC

    It'll be great for UFC. It's not going to put off fight fans and it's huge exposure. If there was a rematch, I'm sure it would be even bigger. I think it was a clash of cultures. As much as I can't stand McGregor, there is an element of understanding that it is banter and that he's selling the fight. Khabib obviously didn't agree and felt the things he said went way too far. I don't feel sorry for McGregor, maybe he'll think twice in future before acting like a pr*ck.
  10. Maximus Decimus

    Boxing

    I think Wilder's power is indisputable. There's knocking people out and then there's the way he's knocked people out. He makes people do this unusual kind of stagger where their legs lock out. Klitschko, Haye and other boxers have attested to his other worldly power in sparring. The problem he has is that his defensive side has never been tested by a top heavyweight. There are glimpses from the level of fighters he's fought previously that his chin isn't the best. He provides multiple opportunities for a fighter to catch him plush. On to Fury. I think Fury is underestimating his power and thinking he'll be able to avoid him easily enough for 12 rounds. I don't think he will. The Cunningham fight demonstrated that he's not Floyd Mayweather and does get caught. Fury can win but I think it's equally likely he'll be knocked out within 3 rounds.
  11. Maximus Decimus

    Boxing

    Well the Wilder-Fury press conferences were interesting... They were a bit embarrassingly false when it came to the argy-bargy. There weren't devoid of interest though, one take-away was that I honestly think Fury thinks he'll win. There was a suspicion beforehand that he was just taking a big pay day. He also made a couple of comments that I don't think went down well with Wilder's side. Firstly he questioned his record even having a go about his Luis Ortiz fight. Worst of all he insinuated that Wilder only took the fight because he thinks Fury is done. This is obviously the case but they tried to make out it is really because he's the best. The final embarrassing feature was how they tried to make out like this is the real fight to make out who the best heavyweight is yet needed to keep mentioning Joshuas name to drum up interest. The apparently successful attempt to paint AJ as the one ducking Wilder is beyond criminal.
  12. Maximus Decimus

    Boxing

    Wow, fair play to him!
  13. Maximus Decimus

    The Culture Wars

    Treated the same or treated as the same?
  14. Maximus Decimus

    The Culture Wars

    Anyway, here's my tuppence worth on the billboard debacle. It is a factual statement? Yes. Is that why it was put up? No. It's a bit like a theoretical anti-disabled charity putting up a poster like 'a human being has two arms and two legs,' and arguing they are just stating facts. That said, I find it interesting for two reasons. Firstly, whilst the lady is portrayed as the non-progressive bigot, I suspect that the vast majority of the public actually agree with her. It is perhaps the best example of politically correct talk; I don't think most people think a trans woman is really the same as a cis woman but they are unlikely to day it. I will admit that I don't think they are the same. It doesn't mean I don't respect them or treat them with dignity. Secondly, it was interesting that the woman was using feminist language and trying to claim that it was misogyny. It could certainly be argued that this is a significant problem with the rabbit hole of identity politics.
  15. Maximus Decimus

    The Culture Wars

    My only issue with the current debate around toilets is that they'll make them all gender neutral and we'll see the death of urinals. I say this as someone who works in a school where all toilets (children included) have been recently made gender neutral.