And now we're back at work. Says here it's National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day -- fat chance! -- but while I try, I'm going to turn over most of today's Daily Bulletin to two interesting letters I received on Friday, commenting on matters in previous Bulletins.
I noticed that you referred to this holy month as the "month of self-denial". I would like to clear up this misconception. Ramadhan is not a month of self-denial. On the contrary, it is the month of mercy, love and enjoyment.
It is the month of mercy because in this month, God (Allah) forgives our sins and listens to our prayers. He bestows upon us love, kindness, good health and prosperity. He also encourages us to show the same virtues to all of mankind. It is a month of enjoyment because Allah encourages us to give to the poor and share our wealth and pray and break our fasts with family and friends.
Muslims are privileged to have this opportunity to gain God's mercy and guidance and all they are required in return is to stay away from evil deeds and to treat mankind with kindness. Staying away from food and water during daylight hours is not even a sacrifice. It is an act of the cleansing of the soul and body. It also helps us appreciate how people in the third world countries feel without food, and so, in this month, we are encouraged to give to charity. Any good act done in this month counts as 70 such acts in other months.
Lastly, it was in this month that the holy book The Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad through Gabriel. The book is our constant guide. So you see, Ramadhan is a blessing not a chore, and when it ends, Muslims feel a degree of sadness, because we have to wait another 11 months for another "shot of the good stuff".
I made some inquiries as to the correct name of the machine that was excavating beside Biology I. I spoke to Mr. William Galawray of Wm. Galawray Construction Ltd. of Waterloo who was familiar with the machine working on campus.
Today the machine is called a hydraulic crawler excavator but back in the 1970's it was called a Hy-Hoe. ( I called four different excavator companies to get the correct spelling.) Mr. Galawray used to have one. It is called a crawler because it moves on tractor treads instead of wheels.
In recent years the Construction Industry has been investing heavily in research and development to produce more efficient, ergonomically and environmentally friendly equipment. I have been following the industry, on the Internet, for over a year, at a link called Construction Monthly Online. It has everything you wanted to know about construction. It is fascinating and it is a great lunch hour getaway from my everyday work.
On a lighter note, in a quick search for information on Hy-Hoes, I located an excavator for sale "that represents one of the most astounding bargains we have ever seen in the thirty-plus years of selling equipment. It is one of the finest machines we have ever seen, and clearly the finest bargain we have ever had the opportunity to sell". You can purchase this 3,360,000 lb (working weight) Dragline Excavator for only $28,000,000, "with a two year wait for delivery". Imagine something like that sitting in your yard!
Library workshops for the winter term have begun -- you can find the full schedule in UWevents or through the Electronic Library. Tomorrow at 12:30 in the Davis Centre Library: a workshop on "World Wide Web Resources and Search Strategies".
Tonight the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents "Under the Shadow of War: Growing Up in the North of Ireland". It's described as "a presentation with Irish youth and Sinn Fein youth members discussing discrimination, police violence, poverty and unemployment, access to education and the Irish Peace Initiative". The event starts at 7:30 in Davis Centre room 1302.
January 12, 1959: Affiliation agreements are signed linking the Associate Faculties, later to be UW, with Waterloo College and St. Jerome's College. January 12, 1975: Mike Moser, star centre of the basketball Warriors, dies suddenly at St. Petersburg, Florida.
January 13, 1980: Donald M'Timkulu, retired professor of sociology, is formally made a Professor Emeritus by Renison College.
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