• Politics - Religion

    Opportunity International

    Yesterday we attended Kenmore Baptist Church, a local church in our area. The sermon was by a woman who is a director of development for Opportunity International. It’s a Christian organisation that provides ‘micro-finance’ assistance for people in developing countries. That means things like loaning a women in India $100…

  • Musings

    Writing, Hands and Brains

    I was listening to the Book Program on the ABC this morning and they were discussing writers who also paint or produce other kinds of visual arts1. Kurt Vonnegut was talking about his paintings, and quoted Max Ernst, who said that what he liked about sculpture was that he got…

  • General

    The Terror Trap

    Bruce Grant, writing in The Age, gets it exactly right about terrorism and why the GWOT is exactly the wrong response: http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/bruce-grant/2008/03/25/1206207099537.html

  • Bike Stuff

    Patience 2

    I wrote a post about patience, and used Guns ‘n’ Roses’ song of the same name, about two years ago. But this particular one is categorised under ‘Bike Stuff’ for reasons that will become obvious. After all the polling and canvassing of opinions, after all the ideas and discussions and…

  • Bike Stuff

    Which bike?

    You may want to check out the photos and discussion in this thread I started on the William Gibson Board and then weigh in here. Have to admit, at the moment I’m really tossing up between these two, the Suzuki VStrom 650: and the Suzuki Bandit 1200S No particular preference…

  • General

    Fun With Words

    Reading a student’s confirmation document (PhD students are confirmed as candidates after a year of their programs if they can show that they’re ready to start their research) over the weekend for a meeting today. He’s writing about Christian schools and how they retain their distinctive values over time. He…

  • Personal

    The Potion

    Sue had been swearing by a health food drink she’s been using. It’s pretty simple – two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of cider vinegar (the good cloudy stuff, not that wimpy clear filtered stuff) in a glass of distilled water. Have to admit I’d been sneering at it…

  • General

    Don’t Leave Your Boots Outside

    ‘cos I did, and there was one of these babies in one of my boots! Left my old lawnmowing boots outside the door, and as I went to put them on noticed some webs on them. Shook them and nothing came out, but I wasn’t satisfied so I put my…

  • Religion

    Syncretism and the Myth of Purity

    ‘Syncretism’ just means the process through which religions absorb into themselves parts of other religions, and also of the surrounding culture. Christianity’s embrace and re-imagining of the old pagan festivals that used to happen at Christmas time is one example. It’s usually thought of as a bad thing, a dilution…

  • Poetry

    Syncretism

    It seeps in, you know? You think you’ve sealed it With silicone and prayer And clenched idolatry of text But at the edges And the heart Something new (Yet nothing’s new at all) Erodes, perhaps corrupts or Anyway, intrudes Too full, perhaps, of meaning Power, ritual, belief The ions float,…

  • Musings - Philosophy

    Genius and Exclusivity

    Would you? If you could? And would it matter if everyone else could too? I’m currently reading ‘Genius’ by Graham Masterton. It’s a decent action novel, but its premise is (I’m not giving away too much because this comes out maybe 100 pages in) that a scientist has invented a…

  • General

    An odd encounter

    Found a message in my email Inbox this morning from someone named Karol Karolak with the title “Fw: Run for your life, lesbian Kathleen Wynne hired Dr. Karen Mock hate crime expert to address gender-based violence, sexual assault and homophobia issues at schools.” It was spammed to a large number…

  • Religion - Science Stuff

    Imbalance of Power

    Fantastic sermon yesterday from Dr Juan Carlos Ortiz. It was very cool because he talked about a conception of God very similar to the one below, which I had discussed with Cassie’s class last week. I arrived at mine from the perspective of physics – General Relativity to be specific…

  • General

    Nationalism , Yorro-yorro and a little Leunig magic

    Michael Leunig is a living national treasure in Australia. He’s a cartoonist and occasional commentator, and although I guess he’d fit in the liberal/progressive end of the political spectrum, he always seems much more like a kind, open-hearted, open-eyed innocent wandering through the land and then ever so generously showing…

  • General

    Mind Expanding Substances Ideas

    Went in to my daughter’s Grade 12 physics class as a guest speaker (her teacher is a former student of mine). Got to blow their minds for half an hour or so with General Relativity and the Big Bang as well as some oddball theology, and leave the teacher to…

  • Personal

    Doldrum Days

    I love my job, because it gives me a lot of freedom. I decide when (and whether) I go in to the office, when and how I work, which projects to focus on and a whole lot more. One problem with too much freedom, though, is that it can be…