• Reviews

    Reflecting the Soundwave

    Preamble Alex and I had a big, big day yesterday. In the morning we were in Lismore for the ordination of my brother, Paul, as a pastor. Got to see the family, and will write more about Paul and the ordination later. At one point during the church service when…

  • General

    Old Passport

    I applied for a new passport yesterday, and when it arrives it will be pristine: 32 blank pages to record my travels for the next 10 years. The old one has a heap of good memories in it, though, so I thought I’d muse on it a little before it…

  • General

    Globehopping

    I’ll only see the inside of airports in many of these countries, but I’m putting together an itinerary for my conference travels in June-July and so far it looks like this: Singapore Frankfurt, Germany Lisbon, Portugal London, England Edmonton, Canada Montreal, Canada Boston, USA San Francisco, USA Auckland, New Zealand…

  • General

    What I’m Up To

    I’m on study leave this semester. That means I’m not teaching any courses and not attending any committee meetings or coordinating any programs. But if you think that’s a recipe for a mellow and relaxed 6 months, have another think! Some of it is definitely self-inflicted, but here’s a partial…

  • General

    Connoisseurs Generous and Otherwise

    Prompted by some discussions on a forum, I was thinking about connoisseurship. It’s an idea Elliot Eisner has used in relation to educational research, but is more often used in relation to food, wine, artistic performance or objects like paintings, furniture, pens or watches. A connoisseur is someone who has…

  • General

    My Chymical Romance

    So what’s the big idea? she said, of chemistry as discipline? All matter’s made of chemicals quoth I Chemicals are not just odd-named coloured things in testtubes held by whitecoated old white men but every molecule that makes up me and she And fires each synapse that crackles with the…

  • Religion

    Four Forms of Immortality

    As part of a forum discussion, a friend wrote: …as we observe in the Universe, ‘death’ changes meaning to ‘change’. If my understanding is correct, a dying star is simply going through a change, one state to another.(bravus feel free to correct) If I took that definition and used it…

  • General

    A Fable

    I heard this somewhere years ago, but couldn’t find it again so I decided to retell it myself. Hope you enjoy it: Two men came to the philosopher Demosthenes and said ‘We wish to leave Athens and move to Crete. You have lived in Crete: tell us, what are the…

  • General

    π is wrong

    These guys really do have a point: http://tauday.com/ The site is fun because they’re partly serious and partly sending up conspiracy-theory sites, but the circumference divided by the radius does make a lot more sense in most mathematical operations. I can’t tell you how many times 2π turns up in…

  • Politics - Religion

    On With The Body Count

    It’s something that comes up fairly often in discussions of religion, for all sides. Atheists point to the death toll and suffering in the Crusades and the Inquisition. Christians point to the deaths in Russia and China and ascribe them to atheism. Personally I don’t find it a particularly interesting…