Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another online friend... becomes an offline friend too!

It was a real pleasure to spend time with Marta and Shirley (below... on the right) from the Gainsborough Corps of the Salvation Army. Marta and her with John have become good "online" friends of late and it was sweet to put a face to a name.

With our billets...

I love the concept of "billets" - putting up members of a visiting Salvation Army Band / Songsters (Choir) or quest. Its like couchsurfing except you tend to give your guests your bed instead of your sofa. It gives you an opportunity to meet likeminded yet different people... people you may not have known before (like Shirley) or folk you knew online (like Marta).

Hospitality is something I love... and something Olly is extremely good at. My diet has been blown this weekend, unfortunately... albeit... its been pretty low fat... or at least I have been.

So yeah... it was a pleasure to meet Marta... and hope to meet John soon. Here's to putting faces to names.

It was also a pleasure to meet Shirley... and wish her well in her life in Gainsborough.

Top picture posted with LifeCast... the other photo and the words were added later...

Was it something I said?

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Happy St Andrew's Day

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Loving... MOJO's "Heavy Mod" covermount CD

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This is cool :: "The Bible, but not as you know it"

I thought this article [the Bible, but not as you know it] on the BBC News Magazine was interesting...
Most people think of the Bible as a densely printed book with no pictures, but a version of the scripture that resembles a glossy coffee table magazine aims to change that. It's part of a wave of radical presentations of the Bible, including a manga version and a Lego gospel. But how do Christians feel about these attempts to spread the word?
How do I feel? Personally, I love it. To me... the Bible is an awesome book filled with some amazing stories and visual picture language that inspires me on a daily basis. I see these expressions as a means to further enhance the stories... providing context, additional explanation and visual thought-provoking content.

Thing is... this isn't new. Artists have been creating art inspired by the Bible for a long time. Some call their work "holy"... so why isn't this?

If it gets someone reading or rereading the Bible... then it works for me.


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I was walking the dog... when everything went weird

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Friday, November 28, 2008

This is cool :: Tweetabix

Pretty stoked to be interviewed on Tweetabix. What's Tweetabix about?
Tweetabix is about people who Twitter. A 'tweet' is a post or status update by anyone in the Twitter community. Tweetabix interviews Twitter users as to how they use Twitter be it for fun, community or business.
Check it out. Thanks to Richard for asking me!

New Tunes :: Intelligent Toys vol.5

Sutemos have released the 5th installment of their "Intelligent Toys" compilations... and it looks mighty fine! Maps & Diagrams, IJO, Sleepy Town Manufacture, Leon Somov, and one of my fave artists Ulrich Schnauss are all represented. This looks to be another awesome collection of the best on the bleeding edge of electronic music. Here's how they put it:
After releasing the second volume of Intelligent Toys series we said to ourselves that it is probably the last one in the series. Just because we thought that it is impossible to beat the quality we have created ourselves. And after that we released third volume. Fourth volume wasn't long to come. And every time we thought the same. Although not all of them were better than previous ones (for some of our fans first volume still remains the best).

So it's no surprise that this time we also think that it is impossible to make a better compilation. As the matter of fact we aren't sure about the sixth volume. The reason still remains the same. But this time we have prepared even three hours of various music. As usual we offer you to download all of our intelligent toys and pick the ones that best fit your mood, taste and weather outside your window.

It still remains a mystery for the artists, journalists and for some of our listeners how Sutemos manage to gather so many famous electronic music artists and give their music away FOR FREE. Fifth volume of Intelligent Toys is featuring 39 tracks which were selected from more than 100 pretenders. As the matter of fact we can create couple of awesome compilations from everything that is left. This time we serve you probably the biggest number of highly acclaimed artists that aren't collaborating with any of the net labels and who thought that giving their music away for free is stupid. Until now../

/..Let the fifth bomb explode!
Yes... 39 tracks PLUS awesome artwork PLUS a Sleepy Town Manufacture video... It doesn't get much better than this. Thank you, Sutemos!

a cake... a cuppa... and some chunes...

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

For tomorrow...

I finish up on my current project tomorrow... and wanted to follow tradition by providing cakes. I also wanted to make something for Make Something Day. So I killed two birdies with one stone... and baked some cakes.

Thanks to Olly for all here help and (mostly) patient guidance. Will post some more pics on Flickr soon.

Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Loving... my new iPhone headphones

I treated myself to a pair of aiaiai "Y-com" headphones for my iPhone a wee while back... and they arrived in the post... all the way from Denmark... this morning.

I read about them on coolhunting and notcot and really, really liked them. They are lovely... a thick cable and a lovely sound:
Technical specifications: Driver Unit: 9 mm diameter Plug: Stereo straight Mini Plug 3.5mm Impedance: 16 ohms Sensitivity: 100dB/mW Rated power input: 4 mW Maximum power input: 20 mW
Not quite sure what this all means other than they sound sweet... and the call quality is fab. Certainly better than the headphones provided.

Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let’s focus on the output and not the tool(s) used...

I overheard a couple of friends discussing over which of them had the better bag. Friend #1 had a messenger bag whereas friend #2 had a rucksack.

Friend #1 claimed that the “over the shoulder” design was the best… because it provided easy access, especially while riding a bike. He also expressed his appreciation for all the pockets that his messenger bag has.

Friend #2 dismissed his friend’s claims and issued a counter-claim that, in fact, the two strap… one for each shoulder… design was the best… because it lowered back pain and allowed him to carry a greater volume of stuff. Sure, he admitted, it had fewer pockets… but the increased volume of the main pocket more than compensated for this.

The discussion verged on an argument as both friends issued further claims and counter-claims whilst dismissing the points made by the other.

Neither of them considered the contents of their bags as being relevant to the discussion.

I made this story up to demonstrate the nonsensical nature of arguing over stuff… because I am bored of discussing / arguing over these things.

In fact, I will go so far as to renounce my Apple-fanboy status. I just don’t care anymore.

Don’t get me wrong… I do care about the kit I use and I will continue to use Apple products… insofar as they continue to work for me. It’s just that I no longer care what you use.

Be it Windows, Mac OSX or Linux… a netbook, laptop or desktop… a blackberry, a nokia, a gPhone, an iPhone or even 3’s “Facebook phone”.

I don’t care what you listen to tunes with… be it an iPod, a Zune or even a Sony tape Walkman.

I just don’t care anymore. I can’t face the arguments, the partisan side taking and the condescending put downs… I renounce them and apologise for the part I have played in this to date… because I have been the worst offender more often than not.

What I care about is content! What I care about is what you use your tool(s) for. What I care about is the message that you communicate with the tool(s) you have.

Does the fact that I have a Mac make my blog posts or my tweets any better than a PC user? No way.

Does uploaded content from a Flip camera mean more than video uploaded to YouTube via a Sony Camcorder? Again, no way.

What is the best camera? The one you have with you when you need it. Similarly, the best phone is the one you have on your person when you need to make a call.

It’s not what I have or don’t have that counts… but what I do with it. I can listen to Gorecki’s symphony no.3 on a tape machine and still be moved. The tool isn’t important… it’s all about the content.

Don’t get me wrong… the journey is as important as the destination… but this importance is purely subjective on some base personal level… underpinned by numerous factors, influences and baggage (both personal and cultural). As a result of this subjectivity, I can’t compare my journey with yours… but I can meet you at the destination.

I acknowledge the simple truth that the future is plural. Ours isn’t a monoculture. Diversity comes through our life experiences and our personal choices. I can not and will not say that my life experiences and personal choices are more important than yours… albeit… I will passionately explain why I do what I do… why the things that build me up do so… why I enjoy what I enjoy… why I am moved by the things that move me.

If you don’t get it… well that’s you… I won’t put you down for it. And if I don’t get the thing that you get… please don’t take it personal… it’s just me.

Let’s focus on the output and not the tool(s) used. Let that be the measure of the man or woman… and not what things they have.

Tubby Tuesday... Week 7

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Synchronicity... or seeing connections when others miss them

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This is cool :: The Desktop Wallpaper Project

I am a big fan of Kitsune Noir's desktop wallpaper project. There is some awesome artwork available there for free download in a legion of sizes including iPhone and PSP sizing. Awesome!

My statement of faith... in less than 140 characters

Above is my statement of faith... what I believe, Twitter style, in less than 140 characters.

I read this post on Presbymergent and was inspired to give it a go. I also learned about the concept of HASH TAGS aka the act of putting a hash or pound sign ( # ) to a phrase (in this case TOF... which stands for "Twitter of Faith") so that you can search for folk who are on topic with you at

Go here :: :: to read other peoples' Twitters of Faith and join in... (if you have a twitter account) by tweeting with "#tof" at the end. Please feel free to leave a comment after this post to record your statement of Faith here too.

I love Twitter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Loving... Dark Side Of The Moon

Posted with LifeCast

I agree with... Greg Atkinson

...Why is it when we see a young man or woman that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, has a solid prayer life, devours the Bible, clearly walking with God and “on fire” we automatically say, “You need to go ‘into the ministry’?” Our warped view of “ministry” means that they go to Bible college and/or seminary and become a preacher, minister or missionary.

Do we need current and future preachers, ministers and missionaries? Absolutely. Hear me out. I’ve just seen too many people over the years that were “on fire”, but were called to something in “the secular world” - only to be looked down upon and shamed because they didn’t go “into the ministry”. Shame on us.

Here’s what we need, folks: We need Christian, Spirit-led, God-fearing, prayerful young men and women to go into Hollywood, classrooms/education, hospitals, military, law and law enforcement and dare I say: politics. I grew up hearing that all politictians were crooked, evil and dirty. That may be true for some, but it doesn’t have to be true for all. Why can’t we send Spirit-filled, Godly, prayerful youth into our government?

Do you see what I’m getting at? All of this must be sought after with prayer. I’m not saying go here or there - listen to God. What I am saying is to not assume that those leaders in your youth group are destined to “ministry” and should head to seminary. Maybe their ministry will be outside the local church. Maybe they are being raised up to change the face of government/politics, movies and Hollywood, education, the medical field and our military. Just maybe../
Don’t Go To Seminary by Greg Atkinson

Totally agree!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Twitter "church"... daily inspiration and why Twitter has changed my life!

At some point recently... Twitter changed from a broadcast/conversation tool based on the concepts of genuine interaction as well as passive intimacy... into something very special... almost sacred (albeit I believe everything is sacred).

I find daily inspiration on Twitter... quotes like the one above from JD... bible verses from esv daily... an almost continual deluge of links and heads-up to new posts, ideas and products.

What's more... I have found a group of real friends... a community of mutual care, support and shenanigans. People are asking for and... more importantly... receiving prayer from this community. We lift people up. We cry when people are down. We come to the rescue of people who need help... in physical and "virtual" ways.

This is all based on mutual respect... common bonds... and purposeful inclusion.

Last night a question was asked... in a manner of speaking... is this church? For me I have to say YES... in a way. Let me explain...

First off, community is no longer bound by physicality. I have never met some of the people who I can ask to pray for me... but yet I feel closer to them than some people in my "physical" church. Physicality is no longer a defining factor - don't get me wrong... it is an important element of day to day life but it is not essential. The concept of church is based on a "coming together" of the body of Christ. A building or a physical gathering place is unnecessary... we meet together on Twitter.

Secondly, this community is based on likeminded mutual support and respect... based on the foundation of Twitter. We support each other in many practical ways... including prayer. We network and advocate for each other. We are "there" for each other. We are a trans-generational group of mavericks... diverse in many ways and yet likeminded in many others.

Thirdly, there is a sense of mission through being "in the world of Twitter but not of it"... our posts may be funny and possibly juvenile at times but they are also uplifting and God-honouring. There is worship through thanksgiving... and intentional connection.

To be fair... there is a sense of exclusivity that I can't avoid. You need to have access to the internet to be part of Twitter... but thats all... its a free app.

That's why I love Twitter and why it is important to me... and why apps like Twittelator and Twinkle for my iPhone along with Twhirl for my MacBook are given "killer" status.

Some people think that this whole social media thing is the latest Tower of Babel but for me and mine... its has a whole other meaning... they are tools that connect, inspire and provide support for those that need it. Thing is... I need it... and that's why it has changed my life.

What do you think?

This is cool :: Ghostly International on Current_TV

I love this label and their roster of artists.

Check it out... oh and here's the tracklisting:
  • Osborne - "Suffer"
  • Kate Simko - "Dulce (Digital Exclusive)"
  • Kate Simko - "She Said"
  • Kate Simko - "Dulce (Digital Exclusive)"
  • Osborne - "Outta Sight"
  • Tycho - "Adrift"
My kind of thing.

Some news on my health...

headphonaught in motherwell scarf

Above is a random picture of me looking happy from a while back... updated using Poladroid. Why have I used said picture? Well I am happy. Here's why...
  1. My cholesterol level is now 5.2 - it was 6.3. Yay!!! Its heading in the right direction and may have been below 5 if it had been a like for like test. It wasn't... the second test was a random test where as the first one was a fasted test. There is a difference.
  2. I have MULTIPLE gallstones... unfortunately I don't have an exact number so wont be able to name the rest of them (be proud Darrin... you are the only one with a stone named after you). The wall of the gallbladder shows signs of infection (it is thicker than normal) too. As a result I have been referred to Wishaw for the blighter to be gone! Don't know when... but I will be glad when its away.
  3. Olly got her hair cut. This has absolutely no relation to my health other than I LOVE IT and she makes me happy.
So yeah... that's me. Some good news, me thinks. Thanks again for all your support. It isn't taken for granted!

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is cool :: Refinery29's Autumn Playlist

Refinery29 have a new playlist and its pretty good. It has tracks from Flying Lotus, Morgan Geist, Matthew Dear and even Fleetwood Mac.

I especially loving the artwork for the playlist (above) by April Lee - I think her work is awesome and fitting for this playlist in a fresh and eclectic beyond-description kind of way.

Check it out... My thanks to coolhunting for the heads up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is cool :: Brian Lee & his orchestra

Check this out :: :: 7 beautiful songs with an Americana vibe for free thanks to Brian Lee and his orchestra. Awesome!

This is cool :: Obama And Pop Culture

Shepard Fairey makes a couple of interesting points in this video:
  1. Young people and artists especially respond to authenticity
  2. If you want to change whats going on around you... you have to participate
Think about it... this is beyond Obama and politics... These points capture the spirit... the Weltenschung... of now - authenticity and participation.

This is cool :: Obama rocks the Mac...

Obama rocks the Mac... now that is change I can believe in.

I am a rich man... An open letter of thanks!


I am a rich man.

I do have some nice stuff... but that's no longer how I define my wealth.

I have been to places and experienced things... but that's no longer how I define my wealth.

I define my welloffness by the number of people in my life.

I define my welloffness by the quality of the relationships in my life.

Over the last few days I have been bombarded... literally bombarded... with concern for my wellbeing.

I have gallstones... I am in pain... but still I marvel... I throw my hands in the air and thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on me.

He has given me the most wonderful wife in Olly.

He has given me the most wonderful set of parents and in-laws and family.

He has given me the most wonderful group of friends.

He has given us all the most wonderful means to communicate.

Face to face... Phone... SMS... Twitter... Facebook...

Take a look at my Twitter profile to see all the people I have responded to... Responded to the kindness shown in a demonstrable manner. 140 characters can say so much to someone who needs it.

If you are a friend on Facebook then take a look at my wall. If you are not a friend on Facebook, then what's stopping you?

Please accept my sincere thanks for all your support.

There is something here... with us and between us... I think its called community... and maybe its called love... and for me that is the greatest thing to have.

That is why I consider myself a rich man... because of you! ... and because of Him!

Abstract art... or an unfinished floor?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interesting... an "unbranded" McDonalds

I thought this looked interesting when I read about it on An unbranded McDonalds. Here's the skinny from the source article in
On November 5th, a launch campaign began in Tokyo, with two McDonald’s locations in Shibuya and nearby Omotesando being totally converted to “Quarter Pounder” shops. The restaurants offer only two choices on the menu: a Quarter Pounder set for 500 yen, and a Double Quarter Pounder set for 600 yen. The interiors are minimal black, and feature Le Corbusier sofas. Interestingly enough, there is no discernable connection to McDonald’s. No golden arches, no yellow, no Ronald. Japanese consumers are not likely to know exactly what a pound is, or a quarter for that matter, but no clues are offered on the ultra-minimal Quarter Pounder website.
This idea instantly attracted me as an option for the church... strip away all our branding... everything that makes us who we are... so that people will be attracted to something new.

But then I thought of the Seeker Movement. They pretty much did that... and well... I'm not sure where we are with a "build it and they will come" attitude to church.

However, the idea wouldn't leave me... and here's the reason why. Whilst Mickey Dee's have removed all their branding... they have placed their WHOLE emphasis on their product.

What if churches were to strip away all their branding... all their logos... badges... flags etc etc and just placed their whole emphasis on Jesus?

What if all the things that visibly identify us were removed until only our actions... our love... our hospitality... our kindness... our feeding the hungry and giving water to the thirsty... our coming along side people in need... the things that truly define us remained visible? What then?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Conversation over coffee and tea...

Met up with Stewart Cutler yesterday for a chat... His was the sandwich and the gingerbread latte with cream on top... mine was the Earl and an apple.

We talked on many different things... the podcast... books... getting together with our better halves for some food... etc etc.

One thing that was meaningful that I wanted to share was Stewart's sense of seasonality. I was talking about Street Pastors and expressing my worry that for some people this is the latest Christian bandwagon on which to jump on. I was not and am not critical of the movement or the good work they do... I just see it as being "the next big thing" in a church culture that is obsessed with the next big thing.

I see a faddiness in the church... where ideas are imported from places where they work and "made to work" without any real consideration for the "from" context or the "to" context. Things fail as a result... and on we go... seeking the next thing that will make all our dreams come true.

Context is vitally important. I work for an Australian Bank... we can't just take their latest idea and implement it in the UK market... without contextualising it first. That's for another discussion, on another day.

Where our discussion went was on seasonality and the idea that somethings have their season and we should let them go when they have out lived their time. Maybe my criticism of activities as being faddy is just this... they have their season... after which it is time to consider new ideas or seek new sources of creativity. Some people may see them as being a fad whereas others may see them as having their season. I would prefer to look at things as the later.

I think what is worse than jumping here, there and everywhere following the latest fad... is to stick with something passed its season and keep on going... flogging a dead horse, so to speak.

We never really finished the discussion... and I think this will become an ongoing theme just like the conversations I have with Jon G around "places" vs "relationships". Its just that I don't think this is a "vs" discussion... its more an unraveling of an idea.

Thanks Stewart.

Picture posted with LifeCast yesterday... words added today (12/11/08)


With further thought, I think my issue is with continuity. I accept things change... life is cyclical... and seasonal... so how do you keep stuff moving... keep things continually moving... if we are jumping from one thing to another?

Somethings need to be given space to become whilst others need room to die... most need to simply live and grow and evolve.

Tubby Tuesday... Week 5

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Monday, November 10, 2008

...burning like fire

There is a path to follow
There is a dream to hold
And there are words of wisdom
For me in this all
I need the truth to guide me
I need a light to fall on me
From Heaven

Burning like fire
Falling like rain
I need to hear your voice again

I am only human, but I have the desire
For Your divine anointing
To start a holy fire
I need the Word to keep me
I need Your love to fall on me
From Heaven

Oh in times of trouble
You will cover me
Oh in times of darkness
You will help me see You
Burning like fire by Iona

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I have a secret :: I am a fan of...

We all have our secrets and this is one of mine... I am a fan of Little House on the Praire. Sure it ain't cool in some circles... just as the sound of music isn't cool... but who cares? I love to watch reruns of the show... in fact we have a box set of the 1st season in the house... and just love the Ingalls family.

Watch this...

Sure its old fashioned... and not really representative of the multicultural salad bowl that we all know today... but it does teach about community and doing our bit for friendship... and that's the kind of thing that needs to be taught.

So yeah... there you go... anybody else want to admit any secrets... preferably related to TV, films or music??? Anyone..?

Five things... I have always wanted to do

My pal Louise asked me to share:
5 things which I have always wanted to do..?
so here goes...
  • I loved Manhattan when I visited there earlier in the year and would love to spend more time there... and venture out into other boroughs too. I would love Olly to share the experience with me. I have seen some of the sites... and would love to explore the lower east side... visit Moby's teashop "Teany"... walk in Central Park... and catch a Knicks game.
  • I have always wanted to be part of a new community of faith... and I hope that the first steps towards this dream have been taken. I hope and pray that it will be a success... not in numbers but in life changing effectiveness.
  • I would love to meet the diverse group of boho radicals, mavericks and disestablishmentarians known as the nanolog community. I have met with a number of the folks who contribute to this community... mostly folk from the UK... and would love to meet up with my other friends from the UK and beyond these shores.
  • I would love to visit the Bill Chill festival. I have never been to a festival and would love to spend the weekend at Eastnor Castle listening to some sweet soulful downtempo electronica and folk music.
  • I would love to own a Volkswagen Campervan and travel around the UK and parts of Europe with Olly and the we'ans. I would love to see more of London and tour the amazing places and spaces in Europe... Paris... Berlin... Geneva... and Rome.
These are my dreams... in addition to the 8 already on 43things.

What about you? Stewart, Laura, Johnny, JD and Rob.

Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts posted later.

Miriam found Wally yesterday...

Posted with LifeCast

This looks so cool :: Up

Wow... can't wait!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ye know...

Ye know... it helps... ye know... when friends... and folks you know... ye know? pick up on... ye know... the little annoying habits... ye know... that you have... ye know.

Thanks for your honesty Rob... ye know... not upset at all... ye know?

Olly has been on at me... ye know... for a while now too... ye know?

I will try... ye know... to stop saying "ye know"... ye know?

Picture posted with LifeCast... ye know... with thoughts added... ye know... later.

Loving... iqtu

Loving iqtu's music. His releases (in reverse chronological order) :: Embarrassing Triangle :: Rollie Polley Years :: Let It All Flowers :: are some of the most charmingly glitchy electronica I have heard for a while and I would heartily recommend them to you.

phlow magazine (from where I first heard of iqtu) says this of Embarrassing Triangle...
Although this sounds like Intelligence Dance Music at the first sight, it is not. “Embarrassing Triangle” from Iqtu is a magic trip. The album is one of those releases that I got so much addicted to, that it is almost hard to resist to listen to: days, nights, at work, everywhere. The 55 minute trip unfolds after some beats after some minutes you don’t count which track is playing anymore, but wander completely in that special room the music opens.
Completely agree... check it out.

Something Beautiful... now part of the Emergent Village Podcast Network

I am totally stoked about this... The Something Beautiful Podcast has been included within The Emergent Village Podcast Network... yay!!! This is peer recognition and something both JD and I are really pleased about.

I realise I am terrible at publicising the podcast... but I get all shy... you know me. The last two have seen me speaking/discussing/rambling on with Stewart Cutler on Seth Godin's book Tribes. Well worth a listen... but then I would say that wouldn't I.

So yeah... I need your help. I need recommendations for UK-based emerging/missional church podcasts to feedback to the Emergent Village... and I also need recommendations for folks with stories worth sharing. Don't feel shy to put yourself forward... or put a pal forward... but I need ideas to keep the content fresh and original.

Let me know.

A serious case could be made for a deistic God

...This week’s debate, however, was different because from the off Dawkins moved it onto safer territory– and at the very beginning made a most startling admission. He said:

A serious case could be made for a deistic God.

This was surely remarkable. Here was the arch-apostle of atheism, whose whole case is based on the assertion that believing in a creator of the universe is no different from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, saying that a serious case can be made for the idea that the universe was brought into being by some kind of purposeful force. A creator.
Melanie Phillips :: The Spectator

This article and the following comments make for interesting reading... and when I say "interesting reading" I mean fantastically joyful reading.

Oh and watch this [] too... when you get a chance. It makes for interesting watching... and when I say "interesting watching" I mean fantastically joyful watching.

I tip my hat to Derick Dickens for the heads-up on this. Cheers mate! Another reason why TWITTER rawks!!!

Loving... William Gibson's latest novels

I recently finished Pattern Recognition and absolutely loved it. I was enthralled with the characters, the story and the locations in which the book was set. I wanted to hang out with the main character Cayce Pollard. The book and Gibson's storytelling really grabbed me. So much so that I borrowed the sequel to Pattern Recognition :: Spook Country.

I didn't actually realise the book was a continuation of the story until the name of one of the characters from the first book is mentioned. Once again I am enthralled... entranced by the narrative and the sense of mystery that emanates from the pages... albeit I haven't identified with Hollis (one of the main characters) in the same way I did with Cayce. There is time, however.

These books aren't sci-fi in the manner that Gibson's previous work is... more realistic and descriptive of a world we recognise and inhabit. Brandnames we recognise and aspire to own. Places and spaces we would love to spend time in. Ideas that, when considered with the knowledge of now, make sense.

Well worth checking out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Still buzzing from last night...

I have posted some pics from last night [here]. Forgot my camera so will have to do with some iPhone photos (albeit... I have used Camerabag on some photos to improve their quality).

Last night was awesome... the music was truly divine! I was worried when I heard they were to be preforming as a four piece... because I like Amiina's backing... and was disappointed that they wouldn't be there.

However, I was proven wrong. 90 mins of awesome music. Stand out tracks included Hoppípolla from Takk... along with Gobbledigook and Inní mér syngur vitleysingur from Meo Suo I Eyrum Vio Spilum Endalaust.

Gobbledigook was particularly good with the whole of the Academy clapping along.

All in a great night... enhanced by hearing some of the support act [For A Minor Reflection] (who are going to be huge, btw) and spending time with my colleague, Iain, and members of his extended family.

This has to be one of my best concert experiences for a long time... from a band who are one of the greats of this generation!

Picture posted with LifeCast... text updated later.

Sigur Ros... Brilliant!

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's the answer spoken by...

... If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
President-Elect Barack Obama

It struck me that Obama's acceptance speech was delivered in public place to a culturally diverse group of people... the people he spoke of above. Whereas McCain's speech was delivered in a private hotel/club to a select group of culturally uniform people.

This is the change that inspires me. This is the future.

Standing in a crowd of several hundred Republicans, bathed in autumn sunshine, somewhere in-between Toledo and Cleveland last week, I realised why the Republicans were failing to get their message across.

I was - to paraphrase former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - in "Old America".

The crowd around me was predominantly middle-aged, or elderly. Those people were born in a different era.

By contrast "Barack Obama's America" appears to its supporters a diverse, forward-looking place.
What next for the Republicans? by Matthew Price

Been meditating on this... and can see parallels with the church. Does your church reflect your community? Is your church "old" world or "new" world? Thoughts?


Posted with LifeCast


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