Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Posted by onscreen
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Though we’re still several months away from the launch of either Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Microsoft’s Windows 7, America’s Finest News Source The Onion has already decoded the coming OS war in a handy chart [click for bigger image]:
Posted by onscreen
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Go read some of the comments here... especially those that come after this gem:
“You forgot New Zealand. The New Zealand people desperately want B. Hussein Obama elected so they can invade our great country. 99% of New Zealanders are Muslim and they have shrines to Obama in their houses. They’ve been waiting to invade us for years and years but they couldn’t because we have Bush in charge and they’re really afraid of him. If Obama gets in they will invade us and kill us all and convert our dead bodies to Islam. God Bless America. God Condemn New Zealand.”
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Now this is the kind of youth ministry I could get into:
Group one has set up a travelling LAN party ministry aimed not only at youth but their fathers too. About once a month they invade a church hall set up 15+ computers connect them into a server and play Battle Field games – they cook a meal together and also have a devotional. In January they hope to turn the event into an overnighter with paintball too. The kids who hate the regular youth group stuff love this...
Posted by onscreen
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So Rhett, BJ and Frank copied me. Plagiarism is, they say, the highest form of flattery. But Frank goes one step farther than Rhett and BJ. He lays claim that his creation towers above all others. I disagree, and to prove my point, I present the true Sermon on the Mount. In living colour. Jesus, at least in my mind, was a colourful character. If Frank wants to see the J-Man as boring and one dimensional, that's up to him, I guess.
I still think Rhett's is the nicest looking one so far.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The biblical word Shoah (שואה) (also spelled Sho'ah and Shoa), meaning "calamity," became the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the 1940s. Shoah is preferred by many Jews for a number of reasons, including the theologically offensive nature of the original meaning of "holocaust."
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Friday, June 20, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
In response to Frank and Rhett's investigation into evolution, here comes the big news: We're all Aliens!
How life got started on Earth is still a big problem for scientists. The story goes something like this: "Well, there was this primordial soup of amino acids and stuff, then maybe there was some lightning, or something, and then ::mumble, mumble:: and then we had life." Awkward! But that awkwardness may be over: Research on the Murchison meteor, which landed in Australia in 1969, has found that the rock carried the building blocks of DNA on board. The finding puts panspermia firmly in the spotlight as a possible origin for life on Earth, and makes a lot more sense than that old tale of thunderstorms and arm-waving.
Panspermia theories often argue that Martian mircobes hitched a ride on an Earth-bound meteor, then thrived and evolved into the life we see here on Earth. But the new findings from researchers at Imperial College London suggest the building blocks of life rather than life itself arrived from outer space. They figure that since the Murchison meteor fell to Earth bringing the molecules uracial and xanthine — precursors to DNA — there must have been a lot of this stuff pelting the planet billions of years ago.
Early life may have needed the space-born material to get started, or it could've incorporated the meteorite bits because they conferred some kind of evolutionary advantage:
Lead author Dr Zita Martins, of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, says that the research may provide another piece of evidence explaining the evolution of early life. She says:
“We believe early life may have adopted nucleobases from meteoritic fragments for use in genetic coding which enabled them to pass on their successful features to subsequent generations.”
Between 3.8 to 4.5 billion years ago large numbers of rocks similar to the Murchison meteorite rained down on Earth at the time when primitive life was forming. The heavy bombardment would have dropped large amounts of meteorite material to the surface on planets like Earth and Mars.
Posted by onscreen
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I don't believe God chose you and blessed you so you could heap those blessings upon yourself. I believe God Chose you... because he wants to make a difference in this world. And you know what? What I think is scary about God is he didn't come up with any Plan B. That He left the church here and the church is the only group of people and the church is the only institution in the world that can bring about a change. This government cannot do it, so stop depending on the government... The church was chosen by God to make a difference. - Rich Mullins
Politics are not the task of a Christian. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I know I'm going to annoy a few people by saying that I'm not sure Christians should meddle in politics. If we are God's Plan A for this world, then trying to change the government isn't our Job, because as Rich Mullins said, the Government cannot bring about change, only we can.
We can change the world by putting aside our petty differences and getting our hands dirty, by doing the very job we sometimes rely on the government to do. If the welfare system is failing the poorest people in our community should we rely on the government (or try to change the government) to fix the problem, or should we as a church get in there and address the problem ourselves?
If Auckland has a traffic congestion problem, should we petition the government for more roads, for better public transport systems? Or should we do something ourselves? Imagine if the local church offered to shuttle people to the nearest train station before and after work so that they didn't have to drive into work every day? Or what if we simply went out of our way and picked up a work mate and drove them to work every day?
Imagine if the entire church got organised, pooled their resources and helped shape a community focused New Zealand. The government would be powerless to bring about change because the church would have already done it. The government would have to start listening to it's people because the people would be organised and making a difference on their own.
And it would all be done without Christians getting involved in politics.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My Faith is getting back to it's roots. That is, it's going to be an occasional blog focusing on My Faith (funny that) or rather questions, revelations and insights to my faith. Don't hold your breath for much content tho....
In the meantime, if you prefer my wacky sense of humour, my taste in design and culture, do check out my new home over at Suburban Mayhem.
Posted by onscreen
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
What if the religious right… are actually right?
Without warning, multitudes of Christians float bodily up into the sky.
For the immoral majority, life goes on pretty much as usual.
Except that after the Rapture, magic works - for those willing to risk demonic mutations.
And an angelic army appears to have been deployed to mop up the sinners.
But through it all, outsiders Raven and Mummy face the possibility of a bigger problem than the end of the world: the end of their relationship.
We meet Mummy and Raven, a couple of artists who used to do an act where they dressed up as a mummy and a raven, as they are searching for a home in a world turned upsidown by the rapture of hundreds of thousands of Christians. Those left behind are divided between "splitters," people who are trying to go as Christian as possible so they'll be taken up during the Apocalypse (this includes George W. Bush), and people who are happy to live in a world free from Christians. Mummy and Raven are among the latter, and they've moved into a cozy squat left abandoned by its raptured inhabitants. Things start to get even more unhinged, however, when angels in military uniforms start machine gunning "sinners," and dogs start to talk. Plus, ordinary people are starting to develop weird magical powers — one woman can send email by attaching ethernet cables to her piercings, and Raven herself can create birds out of smoke.
As the wiccans, lesbians, and punks start to band together to fight the paramilitary angels, Raven and Mummy start to have relationship difficulties. Mummy is flirting with the cute indie rock girl at the bar down the street, and Raven is keeping her feelings so bottled up that she's become psychologically stuck. This is the great thing about Munroe's writing, always: he manages to write weirdly sweet romantic stories set against a backdrop of the apocalypse or some kind of huge technological emergency. Salgood's drawings manage to be both dark and funny, cute sketches that shade into shadowy gloom, which perfectly harmonizes with the mood of the narrative.
There's a terrifically great twist ending which despite my love of spoilers I won't give away. Suffice to say, the story stays consistently surprising and weird, and the message is never a simple "Christianity is stupid" dogma at all. Instead, the point is to be careful about what kind of paradise you wish for. You just might get it.
I might just have to keep an eye out for this one...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Ok, so maybe that’s a slightly inflammatory headline, using the WordPress engine to create a website that’s being hosted by a third party is fine, but using the free WordPress blogging system sucks big time.
Experienced WordPress users, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but to customise your blog, you have to PAY???!!!
If you would like the ability to save your changes and make your design visible to the public, please purchase the Custom CSS Upgrade.
In addition to all of the free features of WordPress.com, we offer a few options for paid upgrades for enhanced functionality. Credits cost $1 each. The buttons below will bring you to a Paypal page where they can be purchased. We do not offer refunds on credits or products purchased on WordPress.com.
Oh, so to change the colour of my headings, its gonna cost me US$15 a year?
I think I’ll stick with Blogger.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
My wife is away in Christchurch and our usual babysitter doesn't do Wednesdays... anyone free to look after three perfect little angels on the 23rd of April?
UPDATE: I've found a babysitter, all I need now is someone to go with - I mean it would be terrible to waste the spare pass....
UPDATE 2: I'm taking a lucky girl on a date with me... I wonder who it could be...
Posted by onscreen
Labels: my life
Monday, April 07, 2008
This just in from BBC world....
A man in New Zealand has been charged with using a hedgehog as a weapon, the New Zealand Herald has reported.
Police said William Singalargh, 27, had hurled the hedgehog about 5m (16ft) at a 15-year-old boy.
"It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," said Senior Sgt Bruce Jenkins, in the North Island town of Whakatane.
It was unclear whether the hedgehog was still alive when it was thrown, though it was dead when collected as evidence.
The police spokesman said the suspect was arrested "for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog."Mr Singalargh is due to appear in court on 17 April. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Thousands of stills taken of Khmer Rouge victims at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison collectively document the systematic torture and killing of an estimated 1.7 million men, women and children. Looking into these victims’ eyes by examining the morbid, meticulous portraits taken before each and every one was murdered, is probably the most direct connection we will ever have to Cambodia’s mass killings between 1975 and 1979.
The head photographer behind these portraits, Nhem Ein, says he shot each individual within hearing range of the prison’s torture chambers. The victims were sometimes delivered by the truckload. One by one, he removed their blindfolds and posed them for the camera, forbidden to speak with them or answer their questions about why they had been rounded up or what was about to happen to them.
Today, hundreds of Nhem Ein’s photographs line the walls of the former torture house, which is now the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide. The majority of these portraits have since been lost or destroyed, as have the identities of many who were photographed, but about 6,000 of the remaining negatives are held in the museum.
And although the collection is incomplete, the photos captured details of Pol Pot’s victims – the full lips of a young girl, the sloping shoulders of a thin boy, the fearful, wide-eyed stare of an old man – that add up to some of the most terrifying evidence this world has ever seen.
At the close of many American news programs, we regularly witness some of the most poignant moments provided by television today: the ongoing Honor Roll, which flashes slowly through an unornamented display of portraits showing US soldiers who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“And here, in silence, are 18 more,” we hear the news anchor solemnly announce.
The fresh, mostly young, mostly proud faces of men and women who’ve lost their lives march silently into our homes. Some appear upright and in uniform while others are shown in smiling snapshots. Names, ages and hometowns are consistently noted.
And yet these portraits only document one side of the story. The other side – the faces of Iraq’s dead – remains invisible. We see images of chaos and bloodshed but very few portraits of fallen Iraqis. We see grainy mug shots of terrorists on the news but no posed stills of the shopkeeper killed by a car bomb or the mother who fell under an errant American missile.
Imagine if every week a televised roll call memorialized Iraq’s civilian casualties with individual portraits. If this were possible, we would witness, in full, the staggering human costs of Iraq’s occupation on a personal level. The politics of history dictate who is remembered and who is not, and most countries prefer to honor only their own dead. Perhaps, if we were confronted with those we’ve killed, face-by-face, we could better question the notion of “us and them” and address the abstraction of death that skews our understanding of war.
Caroline E. Winter // adbusters
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
This is what a mass evacuation from a city looks like from space. Using satellites orbiting over Africa, human rights groups published UNOSAT satellite imagery to show, in very simple terms, the human cost of violence in the Chadian capital city of N'Djamena. Over 10,000 people are crammed on a bridge, trying to escape into the neighboring nation of Cameroon. The black dots are people, and the yellow dashes are vehicles, most likely trucks and buses. It's a chilling portrait of the human future, wracked with violence and recorded via space-based surveillance devices, taken on February 27. Click on image for larger view.
This is a story that requires few words to tell.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I like comics and graphic novels because of their visual style. If a comic or graphic novel fails in the visual department then (for me) it fails as a whole. If I want to read a novel, I'll read a novel, If I want to be able to gaze at a visual feast whilst immersing myself in a gripping saga, I'll find a good looking graphic novel (slash comic).
Which brings me to Pax Romana, Which looks at what could happen if the Catholic Church sent a team of time-traveling mercenaries to 4th Century Rome with the aim of changing history to prevent the rise of any other religion.
Oh yeah, thats something to chew on ain't it?
But better than the possibilities of time traveling mercenary Catholics, is the stunning visual style.
Even better is issue one being put online for free.
Check it out now.
I had to scan in the cover for Joel Osteen’s Become a Better You today, the cover I had been using was from Amazon and was not the International Cover, so I had to actually handle a Joel Osteen book.
Now it’s easy to jest about dear old Joel, but other than seeing him on YouTube, I didn’t know if my views of him were valid or not, so given the opportunity, I figured I would read the start of his book, just to see If I could relate to his teachings.
The first page (I skipped the intro, so I started on page three) starts out great, with a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright, and setting up the whole premise of striving to do better.
Joel keeps the ball rolling – and me happy – by telling the sad fact that many people are living below their potential and not using their gifts an talents.
Then he says that God “wants every generation to be increasing in happiness, success, and significance.” (Emphasis mine)
I’m sure God wants us to be happy and successful doing His work, but I’m not sure about the significance part. Though, when you think about it, Billy Graham was a significant figure in American Christianity so we’ll let this one go.
Joel goes on to expand on this point however, and tells us that we should “always be reaching for new heights… in our finances, careers…” (Emphasis mine)
Now I shouldn’t be surprised that Joel is talking about money in his book, he is, after all, somewhat known for his prosperity teachings. But to bring it out one the first page really shows where the guy is coming from. Good on him for knowing his audience, but for me this only confirms my suspicions that Joel and I read the Bible differently.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”
So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.
Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!
Now I'm no Bible scholar and I have been struggling with this Old Testament jazz, but I'm sure it wasn't so long ago that the Lord was chastising wanting to destroy every last one of them for worshiping a Golden Calf. So tell me, is the Lord being a hypocrite or am I missing some subtle subtext? Part of me just wants to think the Lord is laying on a bit of thick sarcasm to get his message across, and is actually getting a kick out of watching His people gaze up at a bronze snake...
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
This is a quick response to Atheist Rhett’s Geek-Out Part 2: My 20 Favourite Games Ever post. It summarises a couple of games that young Mr Rhett missed out on his list, but is by no means an exhaustive list of any type.
The BBC Micro was an early innovator of computer games, despite being overshadowed by its more popular competitor, the small and rubbery ZX Spectrum. Two genre-defining games that ruled my early computer gaming memories would have to be Revs and Elite.
Of course of recent years, not many real gamers play on PCs anymore, preferring the stability and (relatively) cheap option of the game console. It was the birth of the console that brought forth Codemasters mastery of the motor sports game with it’s long running racing series that started with TOCA.
For those Sony geeks still holding onto GranTurismo, I’ve played it, and Microsoft took the crown away from you with Forza.
Then there’s the real kings of the gaming world, the First Person Shooter. Infinity Ward owns the current generation, first with Call of Duty 2, and more recently with Call of Duty 4.
As for those Halo geeks, forget it, Marathon (on the *gasp* Mac) was a better trilogy of games…
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.
My brother Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.
My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.
I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.
Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
University of Oxford researchers will spend nearly US$4 million to study why mankind embraces God. The grant to the Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion will bring anthropologists, theologians, philosophers and other academics together for three years to study whether belief in a divine being is a basic part of mankind's makeup.
"There are a lot of issues. What is it that is innate in human nature to believe in God, whether it is gods or something superhuman or supernatural?" said Roger Trigg, acting director of the center.
He said anthropological and philosophical research suggests that faith in God is a universal human impulse found in most cultures around the world, even though it has been waning in Britain and western Europe.
"One implication that comes from this is that religion is the default position, and atheism is perhaps more in need of explanation," he said.
The study will be funded by the John Templeton Foundation, a U.S.-based philanthropic organization that funds wide-ranging research into questions that deal with the laws of nature and issues of spirituality.