Monday, December 31, 2007

That's Lucky!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Major Announcement!

Ok, so I've already mentioned my addiction to Call of Duty 4, but now I've got an update! After a forced week off game playing (also known as a holiday in Whakatane) I came back home and immediately got back into the swing of my addiction, and last night got promoted to Major.

Y'all can call me Major Read.

Dione thinks I have a major addiction.

The beauty of modern games is they tend to keep track of the number of hours you have spent playing them online. Attaining the rank of Major has only cost me 1 Day, 6 Hours and 14 Minutes of my life. Not much in the scheme of things. I mean my holiday in Whakatane cost me a whole 7 Days of my life!

talking of holidays in Whakatane it was nice to get away, though late in the afternoon of our first full day there, I got a call from our Dog Sitter. Lucky had tried to run away and got bowled by a car. It was an impact that knocked her rolling down the road. Lucky got up and bolted down the road. Eventually she was recovered and taken to the vets.

The vet could only find a minor cut on her back leg but was concerned about internal damages.

Our Dog Sitter would have to keep an eye on her over night and bring her back in the morning.

Luky it seems is rather lucky. The minor cut is the only damage she suffered, and she is the same dog that she was when we left her.

Other than that our holiday was uneventful. Plenty of time spent at the beach, but not much else to do. Infact we came up with a new slogan for Whakatane:

Whakatane: Don't expect much.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Brian McLaren on Christianity as a Global Threat

I've had the Friendly Atheist on my bloglines ever since finishing I Sold My Soul On eBay. For the most part it seems to be a little like a fundamentalist Christian blog, except from an atheist's POV. Occasionally however they do have interesting posts, especially by Christian contributor Mike Clawson:

By MikeClawson on Friendly Atheist

Pastor Mike here again:

Many of you may already know that I consider myself part of the “emerging church” - a movement within Christianity that is fed up with many of the same problems that you all have often pointed out regarding religion, and that wants to re-imagine “a new kind of Christianity”.

That phrase, “a new kind of Christian” was coined by my friend Brian McLaren, who is one of central influencers of the emerging church movement and was listed by Time magazine as one of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” Brian was recently asked to guest blog at the progressive political site TPM Cafe. His opening post was entitled “Christianity as a Global Threat” and he starts by referencing the “new atheists”.

There’s a lot of talk nearly everywhere these days about the dangers of radical Islam. In some settings, people express similar concerns about Christianity, especially the dangers of a right-wing theocracy here in America. Whether the warnings come from “the new atheists” like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens or from secular-political voices on the left, the prospective villains are usually described as the Religious Right, Evangelicals, Christian Fundamentalists, and so on.

But largely under the radar, there’s something else going on in the Christian community in the US and world-wide, and it’s a change worth knowing about. Many of us who are involved with this emergence of a new thing would describe it as a deep shift (don’t forget the “f”), even a kind of repentance. Growing numbers of us Christians are ashamed of the ways that we Christians have behaved in recent decades – from Evangelicals backing unjust and unwise wars to Catholics covering up priestly abuse, from Prosperity Gospel televangelists getting rich by ripping off the poor to institutional religious bureaucracies fiddling around in carpet-color-committee meetings while the world is burning, or at least warming dangerously.

We have been arguing about the origin of species while an unprecedented extinction of species occurs on our watch; we’ve been fighting endlessly (and unproductively) about unborn children while achieving precious little for the already-born children in Darfur or Congo or Malawi or downtown Cincinnati. These stale expressions of bad faith have left many of us gasping for the fresh air of good faith.

So along with facing up to our current and historic failures and atrocities, we’re engaging in a hopeful re-imagining of what Christian faith can be, become, and do in the future.

Brian’s has both harsh and hopeful words for religious people. He continues:

Our world’s religions are failing to provide a story strong enough to inspire enough of us to deal effectively with the first three crises [of dysfunctional systems of prosperity, security and equity]. In fact, all too often our religions provide destructive narratives – I call them framing stories – which reinforce our solution deadlock and drive our social machinery all the more recklessly and passionately toward suicide. To put it starkly, there are figurative religious suicide bombers as well as literal ones, and they are armed with stories.

It’s at this level of framing stories that I see both the ugliness and hope of our religions, including my own Christian faith, which currently counts about a third of the world’s population as its adherents.

On the one hand, our religions can fan the flames of holy-war narratives –whether expressed in terms of terrorism or counter-terrorism, jihad or crusade. On the other, our religions can inspire us with framing stories of reconciliation and peace. On the one hand, our religions can foment stories of scapegoating and vilification, but on the other, they can inspire us toward compassion and understanding through stories of reconciliation and grace.

In this Brian is echoing an argument that I have made here on several occasions: that the best remedy for bad faith is not no faith but good faith. I offer this not as an argument for or against the truth of religion in general, but simply as a pragmatic reality. Let’s face it, despite their best efforts, it is unlikely that atheists will ever convince the majority of religious people around the world to de-convert. So if we really are concerned about making this world a better place, and putting an end to all the evils and injustices caused by religion (a goal which Brian and I both share with many atheist friends) then we must seek to transform the world’s religions into forces for good rather than simply opposing all believers (even the moderate and progressive ones, as Sam Harris would have it) simply on principle . As Brian suggests:

A new kind of Christianity fueled by this kind of story could turn out to be a global threat after all – but not a threat to progressive values like democracy and otherness and diversity and sustainability. Instead, it could pose a powerful challenge to injustice, greed, war-mongering, environmental plundering, vilification, cold-heartedness, racism, bigotry, violence, torture, and fear.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Brian also follows up with several more articles that I think will also be of special interest to atheists. His next one is on “Finding Common Ground” between progressive, emerging Christians and skeptical secularists who view religion with suspicion, in which he also explains his personal reasons for not giving up on religion altogether yet.

He then has a two part post on “Faith in the Public Sphere” (Part 1 & Part 2), as well as an imaginative transcipt of a speech that President Bush could have given following 9/11 (but unfortunately didn’t), which hopefully illustrates a more positive way that faith can engage with public life.

Zombie Aimee

You need to be (semi) smart to read this blog!

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Friday, December 07, 2007

Movin' Mo

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mo no more.

Gunnery Sergeant

Infinity Ward owns me. I own and have completed both of their XBox 360 games, Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

It's the latter that has a vice like grip on me. I purchased it the day it came out (a rarity for me) as a diversion from my online Halo 3 frag-fests. Such was the intensity and addictiveness of the mission based game, my online time dropped to zero and Halo 3 was left collecting dust.

Once I had clocked COD4, I decided to try it online. Meh. back to Halo 3.

Halo 3 however had lost some of it's addictiveness by now, and I was tempted to re-try COD4 online. The thing that had put me off was laziness. Halo 3 will do that to you; your enemy is easy to spot (being either a red or blue Master Chief) but on COD4, you have to remember the uniform you're wearing, and consequently, especially with the differing camouflage options available as you progress up the ranks, spotting your adversary isn't always that easy.

It took a couple of nights but soon I was managing to get above my pitiful single kills per game, and as I progressed up the army echelon, more options were unlocked to me, the most helpful one bing the option of creating a weapons set that you get to play with no matter what side you're on - having the same familiar weapon in every game made it easier to kill.

I soon had two weapon sets, my primary weapon was the M21 Semi Atuomatic Sniper Rifle with a ACOG Scope. It enabled me of find vantage points and protect my teams territory. I didn't move around a lot, but it up skilled my shooting ability, to the point where I'm happy running around the place with my second favourite weapon, the M4 Carbine with laser sight.

Now it depends on the randomly chosen map as to which weapon I take into battle. Some suit the M21, some the M4. Probably as I progress I'll be able to unlock even better weapons and get past my current best of 27 kills in one game.

As for Halo 3, that will continued to collect dust until Josh comes over and wants to have a game... even then, I'll try and convince him to give COD4 a go first.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Tuesday, November 27, 2007



The following news story got me thinking about forgiveness...

'Nazi hunt' launched in S America

A "final effort" is under way in South America to track down and prosecute ex-Nazi war criminals before they die.

Operation Last Chance - a scheme devised by the Simon Wiesenthal Center - attempts to locate Nazis in hiding.

It takes the form of a media campaign and offers financial rewards for any information that results in conviction.

The four countries involved are Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil - where large numbers of Nazis are thought to have fled following World War II.

'Important results'

The operation - launched in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in July 2002 - has so far provided the names of 488 suspects from 20 different countries, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said.

According to the group, 99 cases have been submitted to local prosecutors, resulting in three arrest warrants, two extradition requests and dozens of ongoing investigations.

"Given the large number of Nazi war criminals and collaborators who escaped to South America, the launching of Operation Last Chance has the potential to yield important results," said the Center's chief Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff.

The operation will formally launch at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Tuesday.

The center's founder, Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, died two years ago.

He was credited with helping to bring more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice in the decades after the genocide of the Jews in World War II.

Six million Jews were murdered in the Nazi death camps, along with thousands of Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and political dissidents.

Source: bbc

The question that came to my mind was did Simon Wiesenthal forgive those who persecuted him, before he dedicated his life to hunting down Nazi War Criminals? Or did he squander the life he was given by becoming a vigilante, bent on bringing to justice anyone with Nazi connections that had fled the coming retribution? Is it possible to forgive a group of people responsible for killing so many humans? Would forgiving them give the survivors a better life? Or had these demonised Nazis gone beyond the realm of forgivability and were in Gods eyes beyond redemption?

Softie Hitler

Ever since my wife made me an Ugly Monsta Softie, she's been wanting me to design some for her to make. I'm wanting to adapt a couple of Ashley Wood's creations into Softies, but need to wait till I have a clear space over the holidays. In a flash of inspiration this morning at the breakfast table, I came up with a quickly discarded Ashley Wood attempt from memory, a cat, a zombie and Hitler.

BJ came up with the elephant.

Bringing out the God-colors in the world...

Moon Over Pigeon Point Lighthouse. This spectacular sky is mostly human-made. Once a year, the Light Station at Pigeon Point near San Francisco, California, USA is lit as it was over 100 years ago. During this time, light generated by five kerosene lamps pours through 24 rotating Fresnel lenses, warning approaching ships to stay away. Early last week, light emanating from the Pigeon Point Lighthouse was particularly picturesque because of a thin fog, also blurring the distant Moon. During the latter 1970s, the lighthouse was guarded by an 800 pound pig named Lester. In modern times, the light house is still active but has been supplied with a more efficient flashing aerobeacon.

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Guy Ritchie's Game Keeper

So I took Guy Ritchie' Game Keeper home with me this weekend, figured it could jump the list as a graphic novel can be consumed within an hour or so, depending on size.

Quite good little yarn, including flash backs to explain the back story, evolving throughout the main story, and a little twist at the end. The artwork was ok, could have been a lot edgier though.

Interesting thing is that there is an introduction by Guy Ritchie where he goes into details about Warner Brothers turning it into a movie, but a quick look on IMDB comes up with nothing.

I think it would make a great transition to screen, though there's once scene that I think they would have difficulty in doing right, or even realistically, in a movie, but I guess time will tell.

I guess in reality it may all depend on how popular the Graphic Novel is, but if the movie does ever get made, you can bet there will be a first person shooter/stealth game to follow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Green Fingers

We decided to do something radical; start growing vegetables. Not very radical you might think, as people have been doing such for years. But for us this is a big step - we're not gardening people you see - anyone who's visited us will probably have noticed an abundance of weed life in our front yard as proof of this.

The initial garden area seems to be going great, so it's time to start clearing the second area. It seems to have gooten very overgrown so could take some work. I won't be able to complete the task this weekend, due mainly to the fact that we have a cat buried in there somewhere, and i don' really want to be exhuming grave sites whilst the kids are around, that might have to wait for my day off on Wednesday!

But things are looking good for fresh vegetables for 2008, just in time to the inevitable zombie outbreak.... keep an eye on China, and anything called African Rabies... Trust me.

Double Yellow Flower

From NDG.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Me Mo

Reading List

I've finished reading The Silver Sword, a book recommended by Hope, and one that I whole heartedly recommend to anyone else. Being a children's book - though probably more tween/teen fiction than children's per say, it took a little while to get used to, but was well worth it in the end.

I'm now fast approaching the halfway mark in World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, but my reading list is growing faster than I can read, with my wife passing onto me Mark Haddon's latest A Spot of Bother, and two more graphic novels arriving to increase my growing collecting; Guy Ritchie's Game Killer and Ted Dekker's Black: The Birth of Evil.

I'm tempted to see if Guy Ritchie is as good at graphic novels as he is movies after I've finished World War Z, and then maybe onto A Spot of Bother, although Behind the Screen has been on my list for a while now, maybe I should read that first?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Flying Spaghetti Monster Inspires Wonky Religious Debate

To a group of earnest academics who study faith, the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- the spiritual icon of a new internet-based religion -- is more than just a spicy pop-culture dish.

They use words like "didactic device" to describe the beloved but carb-heavy god of Pastafarianism. They say the FSM is cloaked in a "folk-humor hybrid body," and reveals a web-fueled movement toward "open source theology" that challenges existing beliefs.

Pastafarianism is "quite clearly confronting order with disorder, a profound kind of religious activity that we often overlook," said religious-studies professor and author David Chidester on Monday during a panel discussion about the belief system at the American Academy of Religion's annual conference in San Diego, which drew 9,000 attendees.

Sober words for a male deity made of two meatballs and a "noodly appendage." The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has largely been popularized through the internet. The church boasts of a long history and "millions, if not thousands of devout worshippers," according to its website. But it only entered the public sphere after self-described prophet Bobby Henderson, an unemployed twenty-something physicist from Phoenix, demanded in 2005 that the religion receive equal time in Kansas schools.

At the time, education officials in the state wanted to raise the profile of "intelligent design" in public schools and offer it as an alternative to evolution.

Henderson says Pastafarianism -- the official religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- is as serious as the religious-studies wonks are taking it. "The Church of FSM is real, totally legit and backed by hard science," Henderson writes on the site. "Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental."

While the five academics drew laughs while discussing topics like meatballs, pirates and "saucy baptisms," they spent most of the time discussing how the faith illuminates their own debates over the secular versus the profane, the fake versus the real, and the roles of communities and parody in religion.

Conference organizers received "hateful" e-mail and voice messages from Christians offended by Monday's panel, said Northwestern University religious-studies professor Sarah Taylor. Whether other religious leaders agree the Flying Spaghetti Monster deserved such a forum is unclear: The panel drew an audience of only a hundred.

One panel member defended the discussion. "Most people don't think we're serious. They just keep saying, 'You're having a lot of fun,'" said University of Florida graduate student Samuel Snyder. "Yes, we're having a blast. But ... this is quite serious, too."

Reaction to public disclosure of the spaghetti deity's existence has ranged from hysterical laughter to staid criticism. "It is a serious offense to mock God," wrote one Kansas state school-board member.

Henderson, the world's leading Pastafarian, didn't return an e-mail message seeking comment about the panel. According to one speaker, he's traveling, using proceeds from his book on the religion.

As for other followers around the world, one declared that the speakers in San Diego should be boiled in marinara sauce, a scary if tasty fate, according to graduate student and panel member Alyssa Beall of Syracuse University.

After hearing from the panelists, the audience in San Diego broke for dinner. No word on whether any said grace with the proper closing word for Pastafarian prayers: "Ramen."


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Reviews Are Rubbish.

Check out Film Guide for some rubbish reviews...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Atheists at Work.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Love My Wife...

...because she made me an ugly monsta...
He camouflages quite well into the messiness that is my desk...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Unity Through Faith

A religious fanatic goes overseas to fight for his God and then returns home to attempt a bloody act of terrorism. As Britons celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic jihadist who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, they might reflect how dismally modern the Gunpowder Plot and Europe's wars of religion now seem in 2007.

Back in the 20th century, most Western politicans and intellectuals (and even some clerics) assumed religion was becoming marginal to public life; faith was largely treated as an irrelevance in foreign policy. Symptomatically, State Department diaries ignored Muslim holidays until the 1990s. In the 21st century, by contrast, religion is playing a central role. From Nigeria to Sri Lanka, from Chechnya to Bagdad, people are being slain in God's name; and money and volunteers are pouring into these religions. Once again, one of the world's great religions has a bloody divide (this time it is Sunnis and Shias, not Catholics and Protestants). And once again, zealotry seems all too relevant to foreign policy; America would surely not have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan (and be thinking of striking Iran) had 19 young Muslims not attacked New York and Washington.

It does not stop there. Outside Western Europe, religion has forced itself dramatically into the public square. In 1960 John Kennedy pleaded with Americans to treat his Catholicism as irrelevant; now a born-again Christian sits in the White House and his most likely Democrat replacement wants voters to know she prays. An Islamist party rules once-secular Turkey; Hindu nationalists may return to power in India's next election; even more children in Israel and Palestine are attending religious schools that tell them that God granted them the whole Holy Land. On present trends, China, the world's largest Communist dictatorship, will also become the world's largest Christian country-- and perhaps the largest Muslim one too. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, not usually a reliable authority on current affairs, got it right in an open letter to George Bush: "Whether we like it or not," he wrote, "the world is gravitating toward faith in the Almightly."

How frightening is this prospect? The idea that religion has "re-emerged" in pubic life is to some extent an illusion. It never really went away-- certainly not to the extend that French politicans and American college professors imagined. Its new power is mostly the consequence of two changes. The first is the failure of secular creeds; religion's political comeback began in the 1970s, when faith in government everywhere was crumbling. Second, although some theocracies survive in the Islamic world, religion has returned to the stage as a much more democratic, individualistic affair; a bottom-up marketing success, suprisingly in tune with globalisation. Secularism was not as modern as many intellectuals hoped, but pluralism is. Free up religion and ardent believers and ardent atheists both do well.

From a classical liberal point of view, this multiplicity of sects is a good thing. Freedom of conscience is an axiom of liberal thought. If man is, after all, a theotropic beast, inclined to believe in a hereafter, it is surely better that he choses his own faith, rather than follow one his government orders. But this also makes religion a politically difficult force to deal with. In domestic policy, adults who choose to become Pentecostals, Orthodox Jews or Muslim fundamentalists are far less likely to forget those beliefs when it comes to the ballot box. The "culture wars" that America has grown used to may become a global phenomenon. We can expect fierce battles over science, in particular.

Abroad, yes, there is a chance of a full-blown war of religion between states. A conflagration between Iran and Israel would, alas, be seen as a faith-based conflict by millions; so would a war between India and Pakistan. But compared with Guy Fawkes's time, when wars sprang from monarchs throwing their military might at others of different faiths, religious conflict today is the result as much of popular will as of state sponsorship: it is bottom-up, driven by volunteers not conscripts, their activities blessed by rouge preachers not popes, their fury mostly directed at apostates, not competing civilisations. Ironically, America, the model for much choice-based religion, has often seemed stuck in the secular era, declaring war on state-sponsored terror, only to discover the main weapon of militant Islamism is often the ballot box.

-From "The New Wars Of Religion," lead story in the Nov. 3rd edition of The Economist.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What do Atheists believe?

Dilbert creator is quoted as saying the following about atheists:

This brings me to atheists. In order to be certain that God doesn’t exist, you have to possess a godlike mental capacity – the ability to be 100% certain. A human can’t be 100% certain about anything. Our brains aren’t that reliable. Therefore, to be a true atheist, you have to believe you are the very thing that you argue doesn’t exist: God.

It's an interesting train of thought that lead me to conclude that atheists don't actually not believe in God, it's just that they don't WANT to believe in God....

Why they don't want to is probably the question that is harder to answer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Aimee's Bible Challenge

I brought home a new Bible for Aimee on Friday, and she was so taken by it that she read the entire Old Testament in a day! By the end of the weekend, even with Grandparents wanting to take her out all the time she managed to finish the entire Bible before bedtime.

She's a budding little Bible scholar.

So how much Bible could you read on a given weekend?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mo Grow, Mo Slow...

Either it's just my blond hair or I suck at growing Mo's. But it is early days, so who knows! You'll just have to wait for a Mo photo update untill I have enough fluff to show up in a photo! In the meantime, sponsor Frank!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lizard-People Run the World!

Nasa Faked the Moon Landings
And Arthur C. Clarke wrote the script, at least in one version of the story. Space skeptics point to holes in the Apollo archive (like missing transcripts and blueprints) or oddities in the mission photos (misplaced crosshairs, funny shadows). A third of respondents to a 1970 poll thought something was fishy about mankind's giant leap. Today, 94 percent accept the official version... Saps!

The US Government Was Behind 9/11
Or Jews. Or Jews in the US government. The documentary Loose Change claimed to find major flaws in the official story — like the dearth of plane debris at the site of the Pentagon blast and that jet fule alone could never vaporize a whole 757. Judge for yourself: After Popular Mechanics debunked the theory, the magazine's editors faced off with proponents in a debate, available on YouTube.

Princess Diana Was Murdered
Rumors ran wild after Princess Diana's fatal 1997 car crash, and they haven't stopped yet. Reigning theories: She faked her death to escape the media's glare, or the royals snuffed her out (via MI6) to keep her from marrying her Muslim boyfriend. For the latest scenarios, check out, the Web site of her boyfriend's dad, Mohamed Al Fayed.

The Jews Run Hollywood and Wall Street
A forged 19th-century Russian manuscript called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (virtually required reading in Nazi Germany) purports to lay out a Jewish plot to control media and finance, and thus the world. Several studies have exposed the text as a hoax, but it's still available in numerous languages and editions.

The Scientologists Run Hollywood
The long list of celebrities who have had Dianetics on their nightstands fuels rumors that the Church of Scientology pulls the strings in Tinseltown — vetting deals, arranging marriages, and spying on stars. The much older theory is that Jews run Hollywood, and the Scientologists have to settle for running Tom Cruise.

Paul Is Dead
Maybe you're amazed, but in 1969 major news outlets reported on rumors of the cute Beatle's death and replacement by a look-alike. True believers pointed to a series of clues buried in the Fab Four's songs and album covers. Even for skeptics, McCartney's later solo career lent credibility to the theory.

AIDS Is a Man-Made Disease
A number of scientists have argued that HIV was cooked up in a lab, either for bioweapons research or in a genocidal plot to wipe out gays and/or minorities. Who supposedly did the cooking? US Army scientists, Russian scientists, or the CIA. Mainstream researchers point to substantial evidence that HIV jumped species from African monkeys to humans.

Church's Fried Chicken Sterilizes Black Men
Sociologists call this decades-old urban legend a cultural echo of the very real syphilis study carried out on blacks in Tuskegee, Alabama. In another version, KFC is the culprit — and secretly run by the KKK. There's less controversy over whether the biscuits clog your arteries.

Lizard-People Run the World
If a science fiction-based religion isn't exotic enough, followers of onetime BBC reporter David Icke believe that certain powerful people — like George W. Bush and the British royals — actually belong to an alien race of shape-shifting lizard-people. Icke claims Princess Diana confirmed this to one of her close friends; other lizard theories (there are several) point to reptilian themes in ancient mythology. And let's not forget the '80s TV show V.

The Illuminati Run the World
The ur-conspiracy theory holds that the world's corporate and political leaders are all members of an ancient cabal: Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Freemasons — take your pick. It doesn't help that those secret societies really existed (George Washington was a Mason). Newer variations implicate the Trilateral Commission, the New World Order, and Yale's Skull and Bones society.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's a Fat World...

If there's a sadder commentary on the state of American society, we can't think of it -- we've grown so fat we sink the boats of It's A Small World.

According to Miceage, the boats routinely bottom out under the weight of super-sized riders, bringing the popular ride to a grinding -- literally -- halt. That's increased the wear and tear on the fiberglass boats, which have been in use since the ride opened during the 1964 World's Fair, when Americans, on average, weighed 25 pounds less than we do today.

Other rides, including the drop in the Pirates of the Caribbean, face the same problem, Miceage says, but nowhere is it more of headache than It's a Small World.

The ride features several twists and bends where overloaded boats easily bog down, including the "S" bend through the Scandanavian room.

Employees -- Disney calls them "cast members" -- have been aware of the issue for some time now and so discretely leave empty seats in boats carrying heavy riders. But backups persist, and in some cases no one realzes there's a problem until boats stop emerging from the ride.

Disneyland is putting the ride in drydock for 10 months to make it ship-shape again. The boats will be replaced with more buoyant models, and the new flume will be one inch deeper. Work will begin in January.

Friday, November 02, 2007

All You Zombies

I was out with my lovely wife on a date last night, we popped into BK for a quick bite to eat before heading to see This Is England at the Rialto. Whilst waiting in line, The Hooters All You Zombies was playing on the stereo which brought back memories of the 80's when I was into The Hooters (yeah, go on, mock me). If you can get past the eighties-ness of the whole thing, it actually has some pretty interesting lyrics:

Holy Moses met the Pharaoh
Yeah, he tried to set him straight
Looked him in the eye, "Let my people go."

Holy Moses on the mountain
High above the golden calf
Went to get the Ten Commandments
He's just gonna break them in half

All you zombies hide your faces
All you people in the street
All you sittin' in high places
The pieces gonna fall on you

No one ever spoke to Noah
They all laughed at him instead
Working on his ark, working all by himself

Only Noah saw it coming
Forty days and forty nights
Took his sons and daughters with him
Yeah, they were the Israelites

All you zombies hide your faces
All you people in the street
All you sittin' in high places
The rain's gonna fall on you

Holy Father, what's the matter
Where have all your children gone
Sitting in the dark, living all by themselves
You don't have to hide anymore
All you zombies show your faces...

Written by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, who founded The Hooters. It is filled with biblical images and created some controversy. Said Hyman, "I think the spirituality of it wasn't premeditated. I think everyone is a spiritual person in whatever they believe or not. There was no real agenda on our part." Hyman and Bazilian went on to work with Joan Osborne on her album Relish, with Eric writing the hit One Of Us.

If the eighties brings back too many bad memories, German singer Sandra (ex-Enigma) has done a cover, but the only sample of it on YouTube is a fan made video by a guy who seems more interested in scantly clad women and promoting his own website.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bad Apple, Good Apple.

NBC President Jeff Zucker, best known for taking the channel from No. 1 to No. 4 while head of programming recently accused Apple of being greedy.

Apple sold millions of dollars worth of hardware off the back of our content, and made a lot of money,” Zucker claims. “They did not want to share in what they were making off the hardware or allow us to adjust pricing.”

Is there anyone who bought an iPod just to watch videos on it, let alone just to watch NBC TV shows? Sure, the iTunes Store has contributed to iPod growth, but then again, “The Office” found an audience largely because of iTunes.

Come to think of it, shouldn’t Jeff be asking Sony. LG and all the other makers of DVD players for a cut of their profits because without NBC DVDs, people wouldn’t want to have DVD players in their homes?

Oo is this just going along with the maxim that any publicity is good publicity, and lets face it Zucker and co. have an uphill battle ahead when they launch Hulu, and they need all the publicity they can get.

More sensibly, PC World recently crowned the Apple MacBook the fastest Windows Vista note book that they’ve tested:

The fastest Windows Vista notebook we’ve tested this year is a Mac. Try that again: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we’ve tested this year–or for that matter, ever–is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware. The $2419 (plus the price of a copy of Windows Vista, of course) MacBook Pro’s PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88 beats Gateway’s E-265M by a single point, but the MacBook’s score is far more impressive simply because Apple couldn’t care less whether you run Windows.

Hey didn’t Apple have the fastest laptop running XP as well….?


So I asked Frank on Sunday if he was going to be doing Movember again this year and he said NO. I love my beard too much to shave it off and start again. So I'm thinking I'll be the only one doing it.

So It came as quite a surprise when I saw Frank's blog today with the announcement that he was in deed doing Movember this year! Well good on ya Frank, even going as far as to get sponsored. Me, I'm just gonna grow a little hair, and post picks on my blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reading List Update

So I've decided to update the way my reading list works, in case any of you cared!

Italics means that these books are in my reading queue, but not yet being read.

Bold means it's a book I'm currently reading.

Line-though indicates a book I gave up on - ie, it was to boring!

And the rest are books I've read.

Should have really put a start date on this reading list thing though. Oh well.

Save Me From Myself.

I've just finished reading Brian 'Head' Welch's autobiography Save Me From Myself, and figured I'd post about it here - but this is not me copying Rhett and doing a book review and all that - no, I've been wanting to post about this book for a while now, but waited until I had finished it.

For me it's a great book to read because it doesn't hold anything back, Head tells it like it was, and for a Christian book, it's gonna offend a few people (though the people it would offend probably wouldn't pick it up in the first place) not only because of some of the things Head mentions, but also because he uses the word fuck. Several times in fact. But it's not offensive and it's not gratuitous. It just sums up the mood, perfectly.

Then after we get through Head's life of drug addiction and all that, we come to Head the Christian and all the mistakes and struggles he faced.

It's an inspiring read.

I was planning on following it up with World War Z, but my 11 year old daughter gave me a book to read this morning, so I'm gonna have to read The Silver Sword first.

Friday, October 05, 2007

For Dione...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Is the Xbox 360 Cooler Than Jesus?

If you're easily offended, then don't read this satirical letter to a fictitious Pastor, and his equally satirical and fictitious reply.

Dear Pastor,

I go to a secular high school because my stupid unsaved parents don't have decent jobs and can't afford to send me to a Christian school. So if you will, please excuse my poor grammar, as I present a question to you.

I was visiting a friends house (someone who I had been witnessing to for about 2-years) and we sat down in his living room to play some video games. He had one of those new Xbox 360's that everyone is talking about. Well, now I know why everyone is going so nuts over them, because they are freaking incredible! I told my friend that his Xbox was amazing, and he afforded the opportunity to mention to me (because he knew I was always trying to get him to go to church) that the Xbox 360 is cooler than Jesus!

Needless to say, I was so offended that I kicked his Xbox across the room and then proceeded to smash it against a wall. It is pretty much broken now and he is really peeved (that means upset) about it. Well, now my stupid parents are involved and all kinds of crap. His mom and dad want my parents to pay for the game system, which they can't do - because they can't afford it.

What the heck am I supposed to do? How can faithful Christian witnesses like me compete with something that every kid in the world already thinks is way cooler than Jesus?

William Thorncastle
Phoenix, Arizona

Dear William,

I've been faced with some tough questions in the past, son - but the solution to your dilemma is quite simple. Creation Scientists here at Landover Baptist Church have been studying the Xbox 360 for several months (before it was even released to the general public). It was found to be made of plastic and metal and filled with electronicalized gizmos that enable it to be connected to a television set. Somehow (and keep in mind, we're Creation Scientists here, son - not engineers) the device is able to accept discs which play videos and video games on television sets in vivid colors.

My suggestion to you is to ask your unsaved classmate the following questions. Then he'll see just how "cool" his Xbox 360 really is, when compared to Jesus Christ.

1. Can the Xbox 360 turn water into wine?

2. Can the Xbox 360 fly?

3. Can the Xbox 360 burn millions of people in Hell because they don't accept it as their Lord and Personal Savior?

4. Can the Xbox 360 endure a virgin birth?

5. Can the Xbox 360 survive after having enormous rusty spikes hammered into it?

6. Can the Xbox 360 walk on water? Oh heck! I bet it doesn't even float!

7. Can the Xbox 360 effortlessly fling a 50 ton slab of granite off the entrance to a cave?

8. Can the Xbox 360 watch you masturbate? I'm sure it will help millions of youngsters shim-sham their tallywhackers because it delightfully accepts dirty videos! But it isn't going to sit there out of concern while it watches you commit the sin of personal abuse, and it isn't going to cry tears of love and forgiveness as you get up to find a paper towel afterwards!

9. Can the Xbox 360 forgive you of your sins and offer you eternal life with an all expenses paid trip to Heaven - and even throw in a free Mansion with a driveway made of solid gold?

10. Can the Xbox 360 lead a REAL army of Godly Christians into the final battle of Armageddon and slaughter millions of people until the Earth is covered with flesh and blood?

I'm sure your unsaved friend will think twice about comparing Jesus to his Xbox 360 after you present him with these questions. As soon as you see him even slightly contemplate his eternal security - rush in at that moment of vulnerability and present him with the plan of Salvation immediately! Get him to confess Christ as his Savior, throw him in the trunk of your parents' car and dump him off in front of your local Baptist Church. They'll take care of the rest.

God Bless You, and Good luck!

Pastor Deacon Fred

Monday, October 01, 2007

210.4 KM/H on a Mountain Bike

33 year old Austrian Markus Stoeckl has smashed the World Speed Record for series mountain bikes. Stoeckl, nicknamed "Hercules" because of his 6'4", 220 lbs. frame, broke the 8 year old record by 14 mph on a 2000 meter, 45 degree run in the Chilean Alps. Because of the extreme cold, Hercules had to hold his breath for the 40 second duration so his helmet didn't fog up.

Crazy, indeed, but we wonder how on Earth he stopped. Those disc brakes were surely useless. See the video below, wherein Stoeckl makes it all look effortless.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Would Jesus Do?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Scores ill in Peru 'meteor crash'

Some 600 people in Peru have required treatment after an object from space - said to be a meteorite - plummeted to Earth in a remote area, officials say.

They say the object left a deep crater after crashing down over the weekend near the town of Carancas in the Andes.

People who have visited scene have been complaining of headaches, vomiting and nausea after inhaling gases.

A team of scientists is on its way to the site to collect samples and verify whether it was indeed a meteorite.


"It [the object] is buried in the earth," local resident Heber Mamani told the BBC.

"That is why we are asking for an analysis because we are worried for our people. They are afraid. A bull is dead and some other animals are already sick," he said.

The incident began on Saturday night, when people near Carancas in the Puno region, some 1,300km (800 miles) south of Lima, reported seeing a fireball in the sky coming towards them.

The object then hit the ground, leaving a 30m (98ft) wide and 6m (20ft) deep crater.

The crater spewed what officials described as fetid, noxious gases.

The gases are believed to have affected the health of about 600 people who visited the site.

Most of the victims have been complaining of headaches, vomiting and nausea.

Honorio Campoblanco, one of Peru's leading geologists, called on the authorities to stop people going near the crash site.

But he discarded the possibility that the symptoms would have been caused by any form of radiation.

Hhhhmmmm, maybe it's time to start reading this again...?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Six Rainbows Across Norway

Have you ever seen six rainbows at once? They are not only rare to see -- they are a puzzle to understand. The common rainbow is caused by sunlight internally reflected by the backs of falling raindrops, while also being refracted at the air / water boundary. To see a rainbow, look opposite the Sun towards a rainstorm. This primary rainbow is the brightest color swath in the above image. Multiple internal reflections inside water droplets sometimes make a secondary rainbow to become visible outside the first, with colors reversed. Just such a secondary rainbow is visible of the far left. Harder to explain is the intermediate rainbow, between the two. This rainbow is likely caused by sunlight that has first reflected off the lake before striking the distant raindrops that is reflecting sunlight back toward the observer. Each of these rainbows appears to be reflected by the calm lake, although because the positions of rainbows depend on the location of the observer, a slightly displaced image of each rainbow is actually being imaged.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Watch More Movies...

"...the time is at hand for Christians to engage our movie-made culture courageously, and this means we have to struggle with tough issues and tell the truth... When we stand back from engaging the world, in this case, the world of film, and instead allow ourselves to be treated like village idiots, we can hardly expect God to be pleased". - Theologian Peter Fraser

Red Moon Rising

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cat Casserole

An outback cooking contest in Alice Springs, Australia, was won by a woman and her recipe for cat. Feral cats are a serious problem in Australia, killing and eating almost anything else, including birds, lizards, spiders and small marsupials. The creator of the recipe hopes that by eating cats, and other feral animals such as pigeons and camels, it could help Australia's wildlife problems.

According to the recipe, "The meat should be diced and fried until it is brown. Then lemon grass is to be added along with salt and pepper and three cups of quandong, which is a sweet desert fruit. It is recommended that the dish be left to simmer for five hours before being garnished with bush plums and mistletoe berries."

The meal is not popular with everyone. Wildlife campaigners are angered that feral cats should be eaten, scientists claim that the feral cats could contain harmful bacteria and toxins, and one of judges was so disgusted by the taste, she had to spit it out. However, wild cat is eaten by some Aborigines.

Cat is said to taste like a cross between rabbit and chicken.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cult of Mac.

I'm famous!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lord. God. You

An interesting piece of design I stumbled upon. An explanation can be found here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Preaching to the Perverted in Second Life

Only days after Frank started preaching the missonal opportunities for communal living in Second Life, I find the following story pop up on my bloglines list... the only question now, is did the author Lore Sjöberg read Frank's blog and get inspired to write this story, or did he just stumble upon the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life?

Linden Lab recently outlawed gambling in Second Life, officially making cybersex the one interesting thing that happens there. A Jesuit scholar has suggested that Second Life is an excellent target for missionary work in an attempt to bring that number down to zero. The very concept of missionary work in an artificial world brings up a number of questions, many of them exceedingly creepy.

Chief among them is this: How do you speak of spiritual things to a giant squirrel person with six breasts? If you're a virtual missionary in a virtual world speaking to another virtual person, are you trying to convert the virtual person or the real person behind it?

This seems like it ought to be a fairly straightforward question. After all, as far as we know Heaven doesn't even have broadband. There's no point in trying to get a half-naked robot lady to take the Eucharist, half-naked robot ladies don't really enter into God's great plan. No, obviously you're going to have to reach the person behind the keyboard, the sinner behind the symbol.

The problem with this is that virtual worlds are someplace where you can be someone else. In fact, you can be anyone else. It would be ridiculous to go a comic book convention and try to talk someone dressed as Doctor Octopus out of robbing banks. Presumably animal-rights activists aren't trying to convince Glenn Close not to make clothing out of Dalmatians. Why would you wander into a virtual world and pick out likely targets for conversion based on their avatars?

Certainly you can look around for immoral behavior, but that leads to the tricky question of whether pretending to be immoral is actually immoral.

From what I've been able to puzzle out, I think most sins are only sins if you're actually doing them. There have been plenty of attempts to argue that violent video games encourage people to be violent in real life, but as far as I know nobody is arguing that shooting down gang members in a video game is, itself, murder.

(Actually, "nobody" is a tricky word to use in the age of the internet. It doesn't seem impossible that somewhere out there, on some cramped, crazy little blog, someone's holding vigil for all the gang members, aliens and orcs cut down in their prime.)

However, some sins seem to be sins even if you're just pretending. Most of these have to do with sex. If I log in to Second Life as Clorgo Codpiece and pretend to shoot up with my friend Sexxula Bodyoil, I don't think I'm actually doing heroin from a religious point of view.

But if we pretend to engage in all sorts of unlikely and disturbing sexual acts with each other, apparently we're actually committing adultery? Or maybe it's only adultery if we're doing it for sexual stimulation. If we're performance artists with a purely intellectual dedication to portraying unsettlingly artificial humanoids working their way through the Kama Sutra, perhaps it's merely pornography.

The point is, it confuses things.

Instead of trying to figure out who needs a good convertin' based on their actions, maybe you could ask them. But then you have to wonder if they're telling you the truth. There are many people on the internet who will tell you that they're Catholic schoolgirls, but very few of them are Catholic, schoolgirls or both.

And if you meet someone who appears to be a half-naked woman, have a long talk about God's plan, and come back in a month to find them dressed as a nun, well, it's possible that you had such an effect on them that they immediately joined a convent that gives novices internet access, but it seems more likely that you just convinced them to switch fetishes.

Unusual Cratering on Saturn's Dione

Why does one half of Dione have more craters than the other? Start with the fact that Saturn's moon Dione always has one side that faces Saturn, and always has one side that faces away. This is similar to Earth's Moon. This tidal locking means that one side of Dione always leads as the moon progresses in its orbit, while the other side always trails. Dione should therefore have undergone a significant amount of impacts on its leading half. But the current leading half of Dione is less cratered than the trailing half! A possible explanation is that some impacts were so large they spun Dione, sometimes changing the part that suffered the highest impact rate before the moon's spin again became locked. Pictured above, it is the top part of Dione that appears significantly more cratered than the bottom half.

(If you're wondering why I've posted about a Moon by the name of Dione, you're at the wrong blog!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Second Life

Frank is getting all excited about the online community Second Life, so being a loyal Frank Follower; I decided to check it out for myself.

Signing up and downloading the app was simple enough, but when the virtual world loaded all I saw were three naked ladies and a naked man, with my assumed name hovering above his head. Then slowly clothes appeared on my alternative self. Phew.

Time to explore, interact and have fun. But alas the sparsely populated Island I seemed to be prisoner on had on friendly people who were willing to talk to me. The island was very small for a population of 8,000,000 and growing.

Where was everyone and was there more to explore.

I left Second Life and went to the familiarity of Firefox to do a search on cool places in Second Life and found a site that promised to teleport me to any of the popular places of the moment.

Sweet. I teleported to the most popular place in Second Life and found myself sandwiched between two properties that would not allow me to enter – an invisible wall had a notice on it that read something along the lines of “Private property. You do not have the owners permission to enter”

Awesome, so now I’m a reject that no one will talk to and who can’t explore this brave new world because it’s all privately owned.

Oh well, I’ll see if I can find a way to teleport myself to the Church Frank has been raving about. That should be accessible to an ordinary Joblo like me.

And it was.

It was also empty.

It was also raining, hard.

There must be something more to do. I know I’ll customise the look of my alter ego.

Ok, lots of options but rather limited.

I’ll have to explore a little later when I get home – Brett’s sermon was starting weigh heavy on my conscience.

But alas, my ever capable but slightly old iMac at home is just a nanosecond too old to be able to run Second Life. Or more to the point, the operating system on my iMac at home is too old.

Young enough to blog, myspace, play other online games, but to archaic for Second Life.

Oh well, no loss really, as with my - albeit limited – experience of Second Life I don’t think I would have spent much time on there if I did have It at home.

On the upside, my real life never felt so exciting after spending some time in the lifeless world that will never be my Second Life.

Monday, July 23, 2007

King Uzi

For Rhett and Frank, from Isaiah 6:1.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joe Simpson

To promote the launch of the first full-length Simpsons feature film, Burger King and Fox have created The Simpsonizer.

Go to, upload a photo and the application (apparently) analyzes your face, turning you into an honorary Springfield resident.

Yes, that is me on the left...

Of course, you'll be wanting a fast connection and a lot of patience, but if you do Simpsonize yourself, do let me know!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Why going on a 2 week mission trip just ain’t good

Found this interesting post a blog that I just discovered:

A lot of Middle Class Churches like to send people on short term missions. While these often has the best of intentions, I am of the belief that the vast majority of these do far more harm than good. Harm? I hear you say

Yes .

Local Christians in the ‘mission country’
• We effectively say – ‘I have a much better knowledge of your culture/language and conditions and thought that by coming in for 2 weeks and often by spending just 1 day in one particular space I could further Kingdom Work’
• Those that we go to help often go out of their way to accommodate us, therefore putting themselves out and often leaving themselves in a worse financial position when we leave.

Local non Christians: Missioners have not enough time to bond or form lasting relationships often language and culture issues. The most unreached are often not talked to ‘as this would be too risky ‘ oxymoronic being the fact that this is who Jesus would I think go to first ……. *cough*

Those on the mission:
• My biggest gripe is the money. Individuals often spend (here in New Zealand and I assume for my US readers it is similar) $ 2000 – 4000 for a 2 week trip. While this is all well and good, most of those $$$$ are for the individuals costs (airfare , accommodation) and little gets to the actual MINISTRIES etc over there that they are going to support. What I am saying is after the mission group is gone is there another $2000 from each individual (and the church that is sending them) to help the ministries they have supported? Or is all that we bring home pretty photos and good memories?
• Second big gripe: Many many churches seem to push the idea that ‘mission’ is purely overseas – last time I checked Jesus started with those around him before he sent people out. If those who we send internationally do not have a grasp on this basic fact then I really doubt whether a ‘mission trip’ is ‘furthering the kingdom’ as it is claimed

Now in saying all of this there are some short term mission groups that I do make exceptions for i.e. where people are going to a place where they have been asked to go by a local community because a local community does not have those resources OR where the community has NO Christians.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The excitement builds...

Had the day off work yesterday, so that we could go shopping for school stuff. By the end of the day my wallet was empty, but we had a couple of very excited girls.

The reality of them starting school on Tuesday is really setting in, and they're pumped.

Having the day off on Tuesday so that I can drop them off at school with Dione, and spend the day with her to ease the what am I going to do now that my babies are at school all day feelings.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You are 60% geeky.

Not bad. Maybe you spend a little too much time with your computer, but at least you have friends. You do have friends, right?

The current average score is: 31.44%

Fact: 35.22% of people who took this test admit to wearing a costume "just for fun".

(I only took this test because Josh thinks I'm a Geek)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Me no blog.

Hi and welcome to my first post for July 2007.

The way things are going this may also be my last post for July 2007.

It's not that I don't love blogging anymore, it's just that I've got plenty on my hands with FilmGuide, making up Parachute Rumours and getting the most out of my 1 month XBox Live subscription.

Even my non-computer hobby has taken a hit; my painting of frustratingly little men (and associated blog) has seen no love for some time.

Of course having too many DVDs to watch and movies to see could be something to do with it.

I guess if you really want to know whats happening in my life, you might just have to ask me in person (gasp!), not that this blog really ever tells you how I'm feeling.

Oh, and it's very tired at the moment, thank you. Something to do with storms, power cuts and little people.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


The hype surrounding any product Apple unveils.

Claims that the iPhone will change the world are all part of the iPerbole surrounding the cultish company.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How Rich Are You?

Find Out how rich you really are.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Money for Nothing...

Dennis Hope has made over $9,000,000 since 1980, by selling land on the Moon by the acre.

He claims to have sold land to 4.25 million people, including Barbara Walters, George Lucas, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior. He said he can do so due to a loophole in the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which says that no single nation owns the Moon. He says that it does not ban individual holders.

Hope says, "It was unowned land. For private property claims, 197 countries at one time or another had a basis by which private citizens could make claims on land and not make payment. There are no standardized rules. I own about 95 different planetary bodies. The total amount of property I currently own is about 7 trillion acres. The value of that property is about $100 trillion. And that doesn’t even include mineral rights."

However, there are problems. Ram Jakhu, law professor at the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University in Toronto and a director of the International Institute for Space Law said, "I don’t see a loophole. The moon is a common property of the international community, so individuals and states cannot own it. That’s very clear in the U.N. treaty. Individuals’ rights cannot prevail over the rights and obligations of a state." He also said that historically, "the ownership of private property has been a major cause of war. No one owns the moon. No one can own any property in outer space."

Problems may rise up in the future, due to plans by both the USA and Japan to build colonies on the Moon.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Contract With God

My love affair with Graphic Novels continues with the arrival of my newest purchase, A Contract With God.

"Eisner was not only ahead of his times; the present times are still catching up to him." - John Updike
A revolutionary novel, A Contract With God re-creates the neighborhood of Will Eisner's youth through a quartet of four interwoven stories. Expressing the joy, exuberance, tragedy, and drama of life on the mythical Dropsie Avenue of the Bronx, A Contract With God is a monumental achievement, a must in the library of any graphic novel fan.

Hhhmmm, the online blurb doesn't sound like much, but to be honest it was the cover concept that got me interested, a guy crying out to God, who apparently has broken a contract.

Oh, and I also got a Zombie Love Story called The Living and the Dead.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Jesus Loves Zombies

The Walking Dead Book 2 arrived last week, and I started reading it yesterday, when a major plot shift took place...

It seems that Jesus turned everyone into Zombies to honour the prayer of an ex-junkie.


Thank you Jesus.

Monday, June 04, 2007

How to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Send them Marmite.

That's right, Marmit can solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Edward de Bono advised a Foreign Office committee in 2000 that the who conflcit might be due, in part, to low levels of zinc found in people who eat unleavened bread, a known side-effect of which is aggression. He suggested shipping out jars of Marmite to compensate.

Source: The Book Of General Ignorance.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mass murder and respectability

Mass murder and respectability were not opposites, but were closely interwoven. So to see mass crime as the result of pathological states of mind seems just as implausible as assuming that the perpetrators had fallen victim to a collective split personality.
Page 43, Auschwitz: A History, by Sybille Steinbacher

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Zombies Love Macs

A Zombie flash mob got a friendly reception at the San Francisco Apple Store, CNet's Declan McCullagh reports:

It may be worth noting that the Westfield Mall and Disney security tried to bar the zombies from entering, but Apple store security did not. In fact, salespeople were jostling one another for a position where they could take the best photo of the zombies (or themselves with the zombies, or their brains being eaten by the zombies).

Who's the dude in the wheelchair?

Aimee has been on a drawing binge this weekend, mainly drawing our family in various costumes.

And sheep.

This morning however I saw her latest creation, a group of five people, one of whom was in a wheelchair.

Who's the dude in the wheelchair? I asked.

You, Aimee replied.

Huh I commented.

When I'm an adult dad, you'll be old and I'll have to look after you, Aimee assured me.

Great, my middle daughter is already fitting me for a wheelchair, where does life go now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Stop them smiling at me...

We had to take Aimee to see the doctor yesterday when I got home from work. She was complaining of a sore throat. On investigation her tonsils were so swollen that her throat was almost completely closed!

Apparently she had had this sore throat for a number of days, but only when it became unbearable did she think of telling us.

So on the way to the doctor we are sitting at the main lights in Manukau and Aimee is asking us to 'Please make them stop smiling at me'.

Who we asked, is smiling at you?

'They are' she said pointing out the window at nothing in particular.

Who we asked again?

'The cars, and they have cheeky smiles, make them stop."

So tell me, how do you make cars stop smiling, when there eyes are the headlights, and there beautiful, if somewhat cheeky smile is the grille?
Fortunately there were no Audi's like this with a face that looks like it's decidedly nasty and snarling!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jesus and George

Sunday, May 06, 2007

There can be only one...

The trouble with Brett making pop-culture references in his sermons is that my mind always wanders.

Highlander was not only a great movie, but it also had a fantastic soundtrack, and is hard to get out of ones mind once you start thinking of it.

So don't ask me about the message from tonight, just know that there can only be one, and this one promises life eternal.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

I first heard about Free Comic Book Day, last year, a day to late. So this year I was prepared, I had the day organised and under the guise of going to the English Corner Shop and the Museum, I managed to sneak in a visit to Gotham Comics.

The deal was sweeter than I had anticipated - 1 free comic, and probably a dumb one was my expectation. But on arrival, I discovered that it was two free comics with another two for a gld coin donation to the hemophilia foundation.


What I got:

Choose Your Weapon Sampler: A manga sized comic sampler containing Archlord Vol1, Gyakushu! Vol 1, Phantom Vol 1, Utopia's Avenger Vol1 & Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy Vol 3.

Whiteout #1

The Umbrella Academy: Featuring The Murder Magician/Zero Killer

Conan: The Spear/Star Wars: Another Day, Another Siege!

Battlestar Galactica: Season Zero/The Lone Ranger

Supergirl: Origin Revealed!

I'd recommend you keep an eye on Gotham Comics towards the beginning or May next year so you can head along!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hhhhhmmm, zombies


Aimee's favourite song of the moment is Mika's Lollipop, and yesterday when she was listening to it she recognised Jesus name...

Take a look at the girl next door,
she's a player and a down right bore,
Jesus slows up, she wants more,
oh bad girls get you down.

A smile crossed her face and she asked us if Mika was a Christian.

In Aimee's mind it seems, that if anyone is singing about Jesus, no matter the context, they must be a Christian.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thought for the day.

What a difference an 's' makes...

laugh·ter [laf-ter, lahf-]

1.the action or sound of laughing. inner quality, mood, disposition, etc., suggestive of laughter; mirthfulness: a man of laughter and goodwill. expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.
4.Archaic. an object of laughter; subject or matter for amusement.

slaugh·ter [slaw-ter]
1.the killing or butchering of cattle, sheep, etc., esp. for food.
2.the brutal or violent killing of a person.
3.the killing of great numbers of people or animals indiscriminately; carnage: the slaughter of war.
–verb (used with object) kill or butcher (animals), esp. for food. kill in a brutal or violent manner. slay in great numbers; massacre.
7.Informal. to defeat thoroughly; trounce: They slaughtered our team.

In other words, you can't spell slaughter without "laughter"