I have launched a new blog, with a completely different theme. This is my first post for the new blog, I hope you will enjoy reading the new blog at least as much as you’ve enjoyed the old one. Thank you all!
Michael Afanasyev, a.k.a. Doctor Spaghetti
Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Michael Afanasyev. I live in the Netherlands, I am married (with children), and I am an engineer (geohydrologist to be specific).I am also a priest in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We call ourselves Pastafarians. Pastafarianism is perhaps not the most well-known faith, but it is certainly one of the most fun ones. In case you’ve never heard of us, check out the main website of our Church – www.venganza.org.
Since Pastafarianism is a relatively unknown religion, we are often met with suspicion and I feel we’re not being treated fairly. A common example are the official pictures everyone has to take for use on driving licenses and ID-cards. Most people have their picture taken bare-headed. However, if you are wearing some religiousheadgear, like the Sikh tulband or the Muslim…
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Four years ago, as Gibraltar became a member of UEFA, I welcomed it as the newest European country. In that post, I’ve tried my hand at predicting the next political entity to become a European country by passing the UEFA membership test. Since then, Kosovo joined UEFA in May 2016, becoming the newest small European country. Scotland almost made it, but the Scottish independence referendum flopped. Maybe in the Brexit fallout Scotland will have another chance. However, since Scotland already is a member of UEFA, I count it as an independent country, so as far as I’m concerned Scottish independence vote would not change much.
The cross at the top of the Canigou is decorated with the Catalan flag. Guess in which country the Canigou is?
Europe would not be what it is without a constant resurrection of ancient political rivalries. And yesterday, Catalonia, another potential newest country on my to-watch list, declared independence. Back in 2013 I guessed Catalonia would not dare make the run for freedom, but the chicken game the Catalan independence movement has been playing with Madrid has apparently forced both sides to call each other’s bluff. Whether Catalonia will indeed gain the ultimate recognition (UEFA membership) remains to be seen. But if I was the PM of Belgium, the next country on my list to split into smaller independent entities, I’d be very, very worried.