Monday, November 09, 2009

"Corrie eleven Boom"

Did you know that "Corrie eleven Boom" doesn't return a hit in Google. I'm not sure about "Corrie nine Boom". You'll have to look up "Corrie ten Boom" yourself.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Three Recent (Audio)Books

1. The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died by Philip Jenkins

This book was quite interesting. For example, I remember being taught that it was the Muslim scholarship that kept ancient Greek learning alive during the European Dark Ages. Jenkins claims that, really, it was the Christians who held the hereditary position of scribe in much of the Caliphate and Muslim lands.

Really, the book is largely about the Christian minority in Asia and Africa, especially since the spread of Islam. The decline of this minority, which began a few centuries or sooner after the time of Christ -- far earlier than Christianity was prominent in much of Europe, has been accelerating. In some places this 1800(?) year presence is being wiped out in 2009.

The book gets bogged down in comparisons with Islam, but is still worth a read.

2. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Interesting, though in some places more anecdotal than scholarly.

3. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

Boring at times, but still pretty good. Contains chapters on the the history of Norse Greenland, Easter Island, etc. Claims that the current first world is using resources at an unsustainable rate, and the rate of resource usage will increase as nations like China strive to increase their living standards/consumerism.

Author sees a strong correlation between political trouble spots and areas where population has outstripped resource (i.e. food) production. With globalisation, local problems become global.

Author claims traditions are often what allows a culture to survive, though they can definitely outlive their usefulness. (For example, the Greenland Norse didn't eat fish. Why not?)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Terminator Salvation

I didn't see Terminator Salvation. I stopped after T2, being fully satisfied that I had seen enough. But I was surprised by some of the reviews I heard from some people at church. Basically, the people that saw it liked it. I also heard praise from more than one person that was something like, "There was no sex, and very little offensive language." Hello. What are you thinking? What are you drinking and/or smoking? I mean, they made it sound like good clean family fun for children of all ages. My concern is that it may be, well, just a tad violent. IMDB (see link above) mentions that it is "Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language." I saw a review that said that once scene is the most-accurate ever Hollywood depiction of what it must be like to be inside a crashing helicopter.

I'm not here to condone extra-marital (or even on-screen marital) sex or foul language. But there are other things on film that I think can affect people negatively. As I said, I haven't seen TS, but I think I'd prefer the PG-13 content in Star Trek ("Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content") for myself or my kids.

Can anyone who's seen both comment?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

32.1 Miles

I've run 32.1 miles in the past week. Boy do my knees feel it -- and both in different ways!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 Daffodil Bloom Date - 23 March

Here's one of the few remaining traditions around here: pictures of the first daffodils of the year. This year, our daffodils seems to bloom later than others in the area. Perhaps our soil isn't as good or something. Also, there was some dispute about possible blooming the day before. But we'll stick with 23 March as 2009's official date of the start of Spring.

2009 March 23
2008 April 08

2007 March 24
2006 March 30
2005 March 31

Saturday, February 07, 2009