Ha! I managed to spell it, you have to pronounce it. Zeitgeist! There, spelt it again. For those of you a bit lost at this point, you will be suprised to learn that this word is not actually English! I know, you'd have never guessed. It is in fact, one of many words pillaged and plundered by the linguistically ruthless Angles and Saxons from the defenseless Germans. It means, literally, "the spirit of the times". And why, you ask, am I inflicting upon you sub-standard foreign manufactured words? Because Google, have done a bit of a straw poll and come up with the most popular searches of 2005. Of particular interest is this page, graphing global interest in world news based on web searches in 2005 ... In other words, the zeitgeist of 2005.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Posted by Grail at 12/21/2005 09:59:00 am
Friday, December 16, 2005
OK, that is a very mangled title. However, I am trying to alert you to the fact that my fascination with the "Internet Toaster" continues, unabated. More news, recently. You might just want to pop into this site as you butter your crisp and tasty this morning. And perhaps this one might add some zibidee doo da to your morning ritual. Actually, that one has been around since 2001, but continues to intrigue. Build it already someone!
Posted by Grail at 12/16/2005 03:58:00 pm
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
A poem from me ... Written chain of conciousness as fast as I could get the words down ...
Fire burning light as night falls,
And yesterdays are spun,
Into new memories, and stories,
About when time begun,
And dreamtime seems to linger,
Wisps float in the light of day,
And at night time, the ancestors
Footfalls are heard as they stay and stay,
Because we remember them,
And they will not forget us,
When the western world is lost,
The sea reclaims, it turns to rust,
Then they will still be here,
And in fire burning light they will talk,
Of days long gone as just passed,
And of long journeys like a walk,
Outside where it’s almost morning.
Posted by Grail at 12/13/2005 05:35:00 pm
Monday, December 12, 2005
Something new becomes the new black, every day. At some point brown was de rigour, grey was the in thing, and no doubt pink spent it's time in the sun as the new black. New Coke, diet coke, classic coke have all come and (one hopes) gone (by the way, when I say one, I mean me. Just helping you out here). But now, Coke want's to become the new black in a much more literal way, releasing Coke Black, sometime soon. It appears from their media release that Coke Blak will be a "lightly carbonated coffee" ... Hmmm, but will the hoi polloi like it, we ponder (by we, I also mean, me)? Follow the link, Alice.
Posted by Grail at 12/12/2005 09:38:00 am
Friday, December 09, 2005
Posted by Grail at 12/09/2005 01:24:00 pm
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The records continue tumbling. Here is another to put in your pipe and savour at your leisure - Hurricane Wilma has been declared to be the most fiercest-most Caribbean hurricane since ever! Check it out. The weather records just keep tumbling. As I have said before on several occasions, perhaps when Christ told us the there would be signs in the heavens signalling his imminent return, he did'nt just mean in the political heavens of our sorry world. Perhaps we should be looking at the weather map for signs of a season change - the winter of the kingdom of men to the spring of Christ's return.
Posted by Grail at 10/20/2005 04:15:00 pm
Friday, October 07, 2005
Just some thoughts for you ...
The world seems to be panicking at the chance of Avian Influenza becoming a human pandemic. And with some justification. Here we have a virus, which the human immune system is blind to ... given it's not a human virus yet. If it breaks out, the speed of international travel today may guarantee its swift transmission. Even if governments act to close borders to quaranteen the virus, its spread is virtually unstoppable ... Because it's a bird virus. It main vector can cross borders and seas, bypassing all normal immigration controls. And it could kill 150 million people according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), according to this WHO article on Vaccine Supply. WHO have released a fact sheet on the virus, and continues to express its growing concern.
The media is equally concerned (apparently). Melbourne's Herald Sun discussed the impact of bird flu in Victoria, if and when it strikes.The Sydney Morning Herald described Queensland's preparations for the disease. CNN reports that researchers have recreated the flu virus of 1918, a virus that killed over 30 million after WW1, was also a bird flu, and bears an uncanny resemblence to the plague threatening the world today ...
What is going on? Does this have any relevance to the most important question of the generation - When will Christ return? Think about this ...
Zechariah addresses the subject of the battle of Armageddon in his 14th chapter and he notes in the 12th verse that:
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.Think about it.
Posted by Grail at 10/07/2005 05:02:00 pm
You know your electric toothbrush ... Ever wondered how it charges? I mean, there are no contacts or anything ... How does it do it? Nuclear batteries? Concealed midget hamsters running on wheels? Magick? The power of love?
Nope! The answer is induction. Charging via induction means that there is no need to plug the item to be charged in, no need for dangerous electical contacts and it can all look very cool and mod. So why can't I have a coffee table that charges anything I put on it, I muse. Apparently, eager reader, now I can ... Just follow the link!
Posted by Grail at 10/07/2005 04:49:00 pm
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Dear reader. This is daylight robbery. I would like you all to pool your money. Yes, that's right, even you sir, sitting in front of the white glowy thing with a surly look on your face ... Remove your wallet, nice and slowly now. Take out 5 dollars ... Then give the rest to me ... Or just go out and buy me one of these ... Now please!
Posted by Grail at 10/05/2005 11:12:00 am
Monday, October 03, 2005
Hey, long time, no blog. Been busy, y'all. Anyway, grabbing a moment or two today to put pinky to keyboard and scribe you a missive. Once again, it a has been brought rather forceably to my often wandering attention that the weather is crazy at the moment. I've noted before that this is, I believe a sign of Christ's return ...
Well, here is a new one ... You know that place with a huge river, millions of square miles of untouched jungle, lush, green and vibrant, huge rain fall and poisonous frogs. If you thought I was talking about the Amazon, you are apparently wrong. According to this article (tragic sign up required), the image we normally have of the Amazon is drifiting from reality. Here are a couple of quotes to whet your no doubt parched Amazonian whistle:
"It's the worst it's been in 60 years," said Elpidio Gomes da Silva Filho, head of the Administration of West Amazon Waterways. "The journey along the Madeira should take six days. Now it is taking 15 because only small boats can pass."
Large parts of the Amazon rainforest are at their driest in living memory...
"Before this year I'd never seen the river less than 10 metres deep - now its only 2 metres. This is the biggest drought in our history."Yet more crazy weather to wake us up and tell us that Christ is almost here ... I'm sure this is not exactly what he meant, but these do seem to be signs in the "heavens" ...
See also this article and this one and this one ...
Posted by Grail at 10/03/2005 10:09:00 am
Thursday, September 08, 2005
You must be wondering "What's going on?". The weather has gone completely crazy as if an angry Gaia were attacking its passengers. Does God hate us and if not, what is He trying to let you know?!
People ... this weather thing keeps coming and coming. I've said this before (here and here), but as a Christadelphian, I believe these things are signs. God is sending us sign after sign after sign that "something is rotten in the state of Man".
Christmas ... The tsunami
January to August - Weather records fall world wide
June 1 - First ever snowfall ... in Somalia!
August 10 - First snowfall in Melbourne in over a decade, heaviest snowfall since 1951 in other areas
August 29th - Hurricane Katrina wipes out New Orleans
September 8 - Typhoon Nabi kills 18 in Japan
Toss in a generous mixture of snowfall in Saudia Arabia and France in mid summer and Brazil, droughts causing huge fires in Southern Europe (20,000 fires in Spain, the worst since 1947) and you have a weather pattern gone mad.
God is demanding that we look up. That we get our lives in order. That we be those servants watching and waiting for His Son's return. Jesus is returning to earth and soon. Get ready. So do it, already!
Posted by Grail at 9/08/2005 11:35:00 am
Well, I haven't been around lately. In fact its been over 3 weeks since I last posted anything ... Did you miss me? Of course not. Didn't even notice that I was gone. Sigh! Anyway, one piece of news for today ... Apple have released the Apple Nano ... Sweet!
Posted by Grail at 9/08/2005 11:25:00 am
Friday, August 12, 2005
In all my dreams of a post apocalyptic future, I see one device as being the epitome of "future-ness" ... The Internet toaster. For some reason, while almost every other home appliance has made a point of rushing headlong into a high tech future (images of a internet screen bearing fridge urging on its small compatriots, irons with legs that stop it from burning your fav. #insert garment name here#
Posted by Grail at 8/12/2005 04:18:00 pm
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A month or so back, I posted on the crazy weather that is going around ... Well, it hasn't stopped, and I just thought that if you had maybe managed to get your head jammed under a very well weather proofed sand pit, you might like this little heads-up ... Anouncement, announcement. Ahem! The weather is nuts ...
For example ... It snowed on the Parliament today ... And by the way, I am not refering to the Parliament of some TPLC (Tin Pot Little Country), but the Parliament of this Tin Pot Big Country ... Aussie land. Yep, think beaches, searing heat, snakes, kangaroos and big skies ... And snow in our capital ... More info at SMH, but just a quick quote ...
So there you are ... The point is this. We know that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is not at all far away. Luke 21 tells us that when Jerusalem is no longer trodden down by non-Jews, and when peoples hearts begin to fail for fear and when there are signs in the sun, moon and starts, then get ready for the return of the Lord. In 1967, the Israeli people regained control of Jerusalem after its 2000 year caretakership by non-Jews, we see people in all countries assailed by terrorism (those that make fear) and now, the weather has become very unpredicatable ... Are these the signs we are looking for? Leave me a note ...
"Freezing Antarctic winds have dumped snow at Parliament House in Canberra and on at least two low-lying south-west Victorian towns.
Canberra was showered with a series of flurries about midday, while the Victorian towns of Heywood, just 27 metres above sea level, and Winchelsea, which is also close to sea level, have also acquired white blankets.
Both towns are less than 40 kilometres from the ocean.
"It's very unusual," said Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Scott Williams.
"If you look at it on a Victoria-wide scale, it looks set to be the coldest day this winter."
Posted by Grail at 8/10/2005 01:16:00 pm
As most of you probably know, Google has released a tool called Google Sitemaps to help them index our sites ... Those good public spirited souls. However, if you are like me, you have had no end of dramas trying to get your Blogger site indexed to start with, and almost as much trouble posting a sitemap to Google.
So I thought I would tell you all how I did mine ...
Step 1) Create an XML Sitemap. I used the sitemap tool here. Yeah, the interface looks a bit 1983 but it works well, and charges the best of all prices ... Free!
Step 2) Once you have created your sitemap, cut and paste the XML bit to a new text document (Right click on your desktop, select "New" and "Text document"). Save the text document as something like "Sitemap.xml" or, if you want, "Elmos_BloggerSitemap_That_Has_Cool_Stuff_Please_Index_Me_ Google_Lords_Please_Please.xml" ... Hey, it's up to you)
Step 3) Upload this file to somewhere on the web. The most simple and easy site I have found is Filehut. It has the outstanding qualifications of qorking properly, being completely free and providing you with a standard URL to the file, not some smarty-pantys uber-hidden-internet-type-magic link.
Step 4) Tell Google you have the site map and let them index it.
Of course, the other way (and much easier), is just to point Google Sitemaps at your rss feed ... For example, point Sitemaps at http://grailboy.blogspot.com/atom.xml (You might want to change the "Grailboy" bit, but if you don't, hey, I'm cool with free publicity...)
Let me know if it works for you, or if you have found a better way (I bet you all have, and not told me ... Sheesh!)
Posted by Grail at 8/10/2005 12:43:00 pm
(Is there such a thing?)
This is very very sweet (and completely insane, by the way). Its called the Dios (God) and it's an eye full of flashed out food chilling goodness ... LG have gone to the time and effort to completely bling bling out a fridge! The ultimate accessory, looks good with your Rolex and your Platinum Plated Audi ... The sort of fridge one wants to take to parties ... But is it too much? Can one ever have too much ostentation? Product suggestion here ... they need to work out a way to make the food inside look sparkly too!
Posted by Grail at 8/10/2005 11:48:00 am
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Yep, that is possibly the world's most "twee" title. Tough! Anyway, I was kind of thinking of getting my girlfriend a coffee machine for her birthday. She really likes coffee, I really like coffee, I want a coffee machine and I think she might like one...
In case you are wondering, the coffee machine in question is Rancilio Miss Silvia ... A very nice device indeed ... So that bit of it is not cheap. and I have been contemplating purchasing myself a coffee machine for some time now. The question is, would it be completely scrougley and cheap of me to buy her a coffee machine seeing I wanted to buy it for myself (buying it for her, after all, is a back handed way of giving myself one) ... What do you think, people. Bless me with the benefit of thy wisdom.
Quick update: Boing Boing has got a big post on the Silvia today ...
Monday, August 08, 2005
Have you ever noticed how that whenever one goes travelling somewhere, nay, anywhere, some small and easily forgotten but vital piece of equipment gets left behind. It will never be something obvious and "mission critical" like your trousers or wallet ... but will be something very very inconvenient ... All your socks, one of your running shoes or perhaps a single dredit card from your wallet ... the one that is used most ... Sigh!
Well, perhaps if you are geeky enough (and I know that you are ... you want proof of that? My best mate downloaded instructions off the Interweb for performing that most 1800s of digitally challenging exercises ... tying the full Windsor tie ... What is the world coming to ... But I digress.) you could use this little web toy to create a packing list for yourself, and ensure nought is forgotten.
BTW, if this site provides you with a faulty or unsatisfactory packing list, I take full responsibility and will happily refund your click ;)
Posted by Grail at 8/08/2005 03:18:00 pm
Friday, August 05, 2005
Please accept my deepest apologies and sincerest regrets for the errors in the inscription of the text in the previous missive ("concealled" ... sigh. Don't they teach these kids anything anymore?). I gave the clearest dictation regarding this but my typing pool let me down and not one of my proof readers picked it up during revision. I’ve expressed my disappointment to them in the strongest of terms and emphasized this by having them all taken out and executed ... It may interest you to know that I used this as a trial run for the Death of 472 Goldfish Bowl Ornaments... A method of execution that exceeded all my wildest expectations ... The expression on their faces when I solemnly pronounced their doom was priceless. I hope this placates your wrath ;)
Just out of interest ... if you were an evil dictator, just how would you keep the hoi polloi in their place? What would your chosen means of "deterance" (we malignant dictators like our euphemisms)?
Oh, by the way (and this completely unrelated) ... found this cool link. A web app thats shows you what's hot at the mo. on del.icio.us ... give it a whirl ...
Posted by Grail at 8/05/2005 03:08:00 pm
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
OK, so those of you who know me, will know that that is a gross exageration. Google is driving me to a destination called "Slightly more crazy". I've been trying to get this blog listed on Google. The site appears, but merely as a most well concealled web link with no key words or anything. Well, at least that was the situtation for the 6 months up until late last week, when after adding a sitemap to Google SiteMaps, suddenly, this site, Naaman's Life was appearing in the listings ... Hurray.
However, as with all things on the Infernal Interweb, my rejoicing was short lived. Lo, swiftly did come sorrow, chasing the heals of gladness like the dreary wet puppy of sorrow chases the big bone of delight (the sad simile is a freebie ... I was inspired by reading the WWW - World's Worst Writer Awards today). Today, I'm back to square one ... Sigh! Its a difficult line I walk, trying to maintain Net Anonimity and get web fame for my site ...
Posted by Grail at 8/02/2005 04:00:00 pm
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
#An old article copied over from my blog at 20six#"Woah!", I hear you say. "What's with the hip mounted Oxford dictionary" ... I'm far to lofty to answer that question. But (for your information) ...
Main Entry: ubiq·ui·ty
Meaning: presence everywhere or in many places especially simultaneously : OMNIPRESENCE
Pretty straight forward, huh! Having bored you with a dictionary definition, what's that got to do with Tech/Geek stuff? Read on dear one ...
Technology is working to make media ubiquitous. In other words, the technological direction of our world is moving to make the global media stream available everywhere. Lots of really cool devices are being produced that do just this. MP3 Players that transmit on FM (you can listen to your MP3 player in your car over the car sound system), mobile phones that can receive streaming video (you can watch TV on your phone), Centrino laptops (connect to the internet without plugging in any cables or wires).
What does this mean to us (as Christadelphians)? It means we have to stop blaming the box. For years we have blamed a box for many problems in the ecclesias. We have argued against TV in the home. We have railed against evils of TV. Time to be smarter ...
As long as we continue to blame a specific box (like TV or your internet connected PC), we as Christadelphians will always be just that little bit behind the 8 ball ... you know the situation where you consistently arrive just as everyone else gets up from the table and leaves you the bill ... The technology will keep improving and getting better and smarter. Better and smarter at what? Providing you with whatever media you (read, your non-spiritual self) want/s, wherever you are. We blame one box, and we will be blind sided by others.
So what can we do? Time to start talking, not about TV, or the internet ... but media. The world's media is (as we all know, c'mon now, admit it) is the speaking of serpent minds. It's there to gratify, please and entertain the 3 lusts John describes. Nothing more, nothing less. So lets get with the program people, and start educating ourselves on the danger of the real danger, and stop blaming the box.
Update: It's been some years since I wrote this post, but I was mailed this article today, which repeats exactly what I was saying back then. Not that it was anything that profound ;)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I dunno about you, but I can tell when I've spent too long in front of a screen. It's when you are driving home and see the setting sun glinting on the shining skin of a distant skyrise, filling the horizon with warm lit haze ... And you (in this case, I) think "Awesome ... How do they do those graphics?" ...
Theres other clues, but thats a goodie!
Posted by Grail at 7/19/2005 03:49:00 pm
Been trying to buy myself a snowboard. One of the few sports I am very keen on ... Anyway, do you have any idea how hard that is? Nooo, I thought not ...
Well for me here in Australia, its like this. I live in one of the driest states in perhaps the driest country on the planet ... We recycle 20% of our water here, for crying out loud ... Snow? Not a chance. So unsuprisingly, it would be cheaper for me to buy a medium size ocean going yacht complete with leaping dolphins, that to purchase the middle of the road snowboard I am contemplating.
Luckily, there is this neat thingumy-jig called the internet ... It allows me to see the bargains available to snowboarders in the US and to be shattered by either the price of postage (I've been quoted US $200) or the fact that "we don't ship out side the world ... and by world, we mean the 48 contiguous states of US of A" ... Isn't the world wide inter-shopping mall fabulous ... It encourages my desire and then crushes me, all in 3 clicks ...
(Incidentally ... heres what I want ... Nay, need, my friends ... 156 cm of shiney, snow carving goodness )
Posted by Grail at 7/19/2005 03:02:00 pm
Thursday, June 23, 2005
A crime has been committed. We have all received the evidence ... In fact I get emailed the evidence about once a year. Once there were 13 mates, now there are but 12 ... Where did the 13th go to? Who killed him? And why?
I've been baffled many a time, and after a signicant amount of detective work (like about 30 seconds), I usually give this one up as a dead-end case with no leads, my face filled with a cross-eyed look of wonder, tongue out, village idiot style ... Well, someone with way too much time on their hands has actually taken the time to disect the evidence, perform autopsies and the like and come up with the answer to where the 13th man (lets call him "Shamus", shall we?) got too ... After the jump ...
Posted by Grail at 6/23/2005 12:04:00 pm
Friday, June 17, 2005
Monday, June 06, 2005
Anyone but me noticing the very strange weather ... worldwide?
Here's some records that have fallen so far in 2005...
- Switzerland – Coldest since records began
- Perth - Wettest autumn in 38 years
- Croatia – Coldest night since 1963
- Czech Republic – Most snowfall in 40 years
- France – Colder than record in 1971
- Germany – Coldest in 100 years
- Victoria – Coldest February since 1954
- Victoria – Wettest February since 1973
- South Australia – Worst wild fire in 22 years
- South Australia - Dryest autumn ever
- South Australia - Warmest autumn since 1923
- California – Wettest February in over 100 years
- Kenya – Hottest February in 20 years
- UAE – First ever snow fall (Dec 30)
- Boston – Most snow in a month (January)
Personally, I think we are being told something ... Are you ready? Am I ready? Let me know what you think!
Naaman's Life Home
Posted by Grail at 6/06/2005 04:04:00 pm
Remember when you were little? Weeks and weeks ago now, and you drew ... sorry, "drawed", a picture for mum, and it was sooo good that mum asked you to give it a title that she would write on it for you and you said, "OK, it's Super Man and he's jumping off our roof" and she said, "That's so good!" and "I wondered what that green swampy looking object was ... a roof! ... That's art!" and you smiled proudly at your handy-work, there on the Gallery of the Fridge? Remember? OK, so you don't but I still reckon this is way cool ... Go on, have a peak ...
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Have you noticed how there are clearly defined rules of behavoiur for some of the most mundane activities in life that are never discussed yet seem to be widely known. The evidence of the general acceptance of these codes of societal rules is the way "normal people" respond to those who don't obey them. Some examples include the rules of male and female bathroom etiquitte (these two a substantially different) and the rules of bus behavoir.
Take the bus behaviour for example. Have you noticed how its considered rude to look those already seated in the face while coming down the bus towards your seat, while it's perfectly OK for those already seated to look you over? Or how careful we have to be not to touch the other person we are seated next to, even if that means we are hanging pecariously off the seat? Or how you can communicate with the person beside you, but until pleasantries have been exchanged, you can't look at them, necessitating a kind of out of the side of your mouth "Hello?"
Maybe we need to codify these rules for the socially inept. Perhaps we need to document them so that new migrants integration into society is a little less bumpy. What do you think? What are the rules you have noticed that amuse you, and should we have advertise them? Big signs on buses saying "Don't touch and make a friend" or signs in toilets "Look straight ahead!" Either way, let me know ...
Posted by Grail at 5/31/2005 03:23:00 pm
Friday, April 29, 2005
Very tired at the moment. Like ridiculously so. Been studying the Book of Esther for the last few weeks and its been pretty hard work. I am just starting to break into the subject now and get an appreciation of the wonder of this little book. I've always enjoyed Esther as a story. It has all the elements of a gripping tale : a mighty king, a passionate romance, an evil Vizier, a wise leader, a beatiful princess, all blended with a dash of treachery, a splash of oriental charm and enough eastern obliqueness to entertain a Arabian shiek. Great stuff ... but I'm finding that digging any deeper than the story is hard work.
For starter, the book does not mention God once. In fact, no type of religious observance, utterance or words are mentioned at all (excluding fasting which is not necessarily a religous exercise). That makes it tricky given it's a Biblical book. Then there is the fact that no one quotes or references it. The rest of scripture gives neither validation or rejection to the Esther record. Finally(for this post anyway), I've found that all the bible commentaries are at odds with each other, on almost every verse. There appears to be little or no consensus among scholars on this book. A bit of an enigma all round really, and one that has consumed my time and my mind for the last month or so. Still, its a worthy exercise, I think. After all, seeking the mind of God hidden in His word, has to be the best use of time around, dont you think?
Posted by Grail at 4/29/2005 04:21:00 pm
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I'm sure that my response is a little out of the ordinary, but I have an undying hatred for the sound of the Ice Cream Van (as posted on here). Call it bitterness at a cruel and uncaring world that refused to buy me double-choc-dipped-ice-creamery-confection-with-sprinkles as a child if you will (and may I say I always distrusted you?), but I continue to feel that the invasive sound of the ice cream van tune is little more than audible effluent - sound pollution.
I mean, why cant they at least make it sound nice, and play a few nice tunes ... Its not like we are all going to go, "Good gracious, I wonder what that amazing and beautiful music is blaring from the road. I'd better not go and see, in case its those hoon young people I've been reading so much about." or "They're playing my song. I'm guessing that will be the Caviar and Smoked Salmon Van". C'mon man, what else drives around ... slowly ... music blaring ... stopping periodically ... with a ringing bell. So Mr Whippy, pull out the cheque-book and buy me some tunes and stop assailing my ears with a rendition of Greensleeves that my mobile phone would be ashamed of ...
Posted by Grail at 4/26/2005 03:14:00 pm
Friday, April 22, 2005
"The wheel is still turning, but the hamster is dead."
Consider the quote above, and describe, in your own words how an understanding of this phrase might have altered western history, making particular reference to "reality" television.
You have 15 minutes ...
Posted by Grail at 4/22/2005 03:25:00 pm
Don't know if you have noticed, but we seem to be hearing less and less about the return of Christ at the moment. At least in the classes I go to, the Memorial Meetings (what Christadelphian's call their Sunday morning meeting to remember Christ) I attend and even in general discussion, there is less said on the return of our Lord. Yet, in theory anyway, Christadelphians are, by definition, people waiting for Christ. People seem more interested in other things. Houses and work, family and schools, rest homes and computers. Nothing too harmful there, but the edge has been taken off our urgency, waiting for Christ's return.
Let's change that. Let's rediscover the desperated edge of need, needing Christ's return. Let's remind ourselves of why we need Him. Let's learn again to see beyond the shallow existence of freeways and suburbs to a more enduring city, whose architect is God. Let's make his return the heart-beat of our lives and prove it by what we talk about.
Hey, its just an idea, ok?
Posted by Grail at 4/22/2005 10:09:00 am
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Woke up this morning to discover the world has a new pope (actually was little suprised they didn't ring me to let me know, but anyway...) I have been betting we would get Ratzinger all the way along, so woke up this morning to dicover he made the grade, and in record time.
He has taken on the name Pope Benedict the 16th. This is interesting as for many years the Benedictine Order have been claiming that this pope would be a member of their order. As far as I know he is not (although he is a number of other interesting things, such as the head of the new warm and fuzzy ecumenical Inquisition) but that he would select Benedict as his name is a nod in that direction.
Why is that significant, I hear you ask, looking slightly puzzled as you do so? Well, in while on a trip to visit to Pope Innocent II in Rome in 1139-40, a gentleman by the name of St. Malachy, (his parent had funny ideas in naming I guess. Maybe its short for Stuart or something. His full name is even worse - "Maelmhaedhoc O’Morgair") supposedly had a vision in which he gave a one liner, epitaph-like prophecy for each of the next 112 popes. Intrigingly, the prophecies kind of work (not in an industrial strength, biblical prophecy way, but all the same).
"He is designated as "De Labore Solis", or "from the toil of the sun." Applied to John Paul 11, this phrase reveals nothing less than a double prophecy. The current pope, the first non-Italian elected in 456 years, is a native of Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the city where, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Copernicus "toiled" for years to prove his heretical theory that the earth revolved around the sun. Many of Malachy s interpreters also suggested that the "sun" reference indicated a young pope. Fifty- eight years old at the time of his election, John Paul 11 is the youngest pope in over a century.
John Paul II for example, was given the line "De Labore Solis", or "from the toil of the sun." Applied to John Paul 11, this looks like a bit of a double prophecy. JPII was the first non-Italian elected in 456 years, a native of Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the city where, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Copernicus "toiled" for years to prove his heretical theory that the earth revolved around the sun. Many of Malachy s interpreters also suggested that the "sun" reference indicated a young pope. Fifty- eight years old at the time of his election, John Paul 11 was the youngest pope in over a century.
John Paul II's successor in the prophecy is called "Gloria Olivae", or "glory of the olive". Traditionally, the olive branch has been associated with peace, but in both the Old and New Testaments it also serves as an emblem for the Jews. Putting the two together, some commentators believe that the reign of this pope will be a peaceful one during which the prophesied conversion of the Jews will take place.
However, this where the Benedictines come in ... They believed that this pope would be one of theirs as their other name is the Olivetines. Thus, this nod to the Benedictines by the artist formally known as Joseph Ratsinger, fufills, perhaps, this little prophecy.
Why is this intriguing ... Because Malachy went on to say that he will be the second to last ... After him comes Petronas Romanas ... Here is the text of the prophecy. "In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis."
Translation : In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.
BTW, Malachy was not alone in prophecying the end of Rome*.
Is this another sign of Christ's return being very close I don't know. It would not be the first time that God has used the head of an apostate system to give true prophecies. Caiaphas did just that before Christ death, when he said that it was expedient that one man die for the nation. Perhaps this prophecy is close to accurate and in the next popes term, Great Babylon will be destroyed. Lift up your heads.
*Footnote on Pius X:
During an audience for the general chapter of the Franciscan order in 1909, the Pius X appeared to enter a trance. Those present remained motionless and silent. After a few moments, Pius opened his eyes, rose from his seat, and cried, "What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!" He then cautioned the witnesses, "Do not tell anyone this while I am alive."
Just before his death, Pius had another vision. "I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God's memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world."
Posted by Grail at 4/20/2005 10:28:00 am
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Ok, I lied. I'm a low down, yellow-bellied, floor-flushing plagiarist. I copied my papers off the web ... I didn't write them myself ... I copied them off a computer ... Actually, no! Once again, I lie ... I didn't copy them ... I got the computer to write them for me ... In fact, I used a Scientific Paper Generater ... Geeky but cool! If only I had known about this while at Uni. Sigh!
Posted by Grail at 4/14/2005 01:51:00 pm
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
... to quote Gilderoy Lockhart. And I should know. No, I'm not an embittered ex-celeb, looking for little more air time, one more swan song in the lime light, one of Notoriety's jilted lovers. Nope, I'm as unfamous (or infamous) as that guy whose name I've forgotten ... I can't even be Googled!
Rather, I've been looking at Buzztracker. This site tracks where is famous today, based on news articles ... Today's most famous spot is Wellington, NZ ... Who knows where it will be by the time you read this.
Posted by Grail at 4/13/2005 11:14:00 am
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Yep ... I seem to be making real porgress in my life. What, I hear you ask in baffled tones is "porgress", your brow furrowed with worry, lip pursed, and so on? "Porgress" is in fact meant to be "progress". It's what I have been getting lately, everytime I try to spell the word "progress". Why am I spelling it this way? Am I deranged revisionist, intent on reinterpreting the english language, leaving the torn debris of battered and punctured OED's* in my wake? Am I being deliberately obtuse, in an effort to subtly inform you that I know something that you don't? Am I just a complete wierdo? Possibly, but the real reason is that I am just a fraction sleep deprived at the moment. This sleep deprivation is caused by my progress ... Progress in my relationship with my girlfriend (we stay up late talking on the phone) ... Thus sleep for me is the cost of progress and the cause of porgress ... Sigh!
* Oxford English Dictionary ... It's tragic you had to ask.
Posted by Grail at 4/06/2005 01:12:00 pm
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
I've just been informed that friends have named their new-born with the same name as mine. This new arrival (and by the way, welcome ... I hope your arrival wasn't too stressful. Congratulations to the parents also) is gifted with not just the same first name as me, but also the same last name. Jinx! It's a little unnerving really! Am I being told something here?
Please, I'm not making any comment about new Ma and Pa's choice of names. The person I too am named after is someone to look up to and aspire to emulate. So thats all good. A lovely choice of name from that perspective (baring the fact that I havent exactly showered the name in honour ... A meaning less detail, I hear you protest).
But personally, I never really liked my own name and so am quite happy if someone else wants to assume the duty of living up to it. I would have named myself something quite different. How do you think I would suit a name like "Mr Mystery", "Perpetual Leader and Mentor", "Dark Master of Turian". Or maybe something simple like "Lord" would suit me. Smerk.
If destiny were left to come up with names for people I'd probably be called something like "Ooops!", "Sorry" or "Splat!"
Posted by Grail at 3/09/2005 11:20:00 am
Monday, March 07, 2005
Found this a very interesting site. Tracks the trends that the authors of the site believe are taking off ... Trends like Counter-Googling (using google to research your customers, as opposed to customers using google to research your product), Gravanity ( Where graffiti meets vanity: catering to the obsession of ordinary citizens wanting to leave ‘something’ behind. ) and Starbucking (The art of spotting a promising local new business and then quickly copying the concept to other cities, countries or continents. You don't have to come up with the Next Big Thing, just spot it.)
Posted by Grail at 3/07/2005 02:53:00 pm
Saturday, March 05, 2005
There was a blond cooking in her kitchen when some grease caught on fire. She screamed, "My kitchen's on fire. AHHHH! Help!" She called 911 and yelled, "My kitchen is on fire!" They said, "OK! How do we get to your house?" The blond answered, "Duh! In the big red truck!"
Posted by Grail at 3/05/2005 10:21:00 pm
She is away ... Out of phone range and phone contact. And I miss her (like I'd miss my arm if someone had stolen it). And, borrowing a line from my Greatest Emails Collection (coming to all good book sellers soon), "sad violin music plays, punctuated with duck noises, and a thousand sorrowful fairy hamsters sing soft sad songs about taking your partner by the hand and swinging them to the left and then to the right and then getting really bored and just slinging her.
Ok, enough of that. Move on thank you, move on. There's nothing to see here, move on people.
Posted by Grail at 3/05/2005 10:15:00 pm
My family was on hall cleaning today. So its our job to head down to our hall and clean a part of it ... Only a part, because it's a large hall. As always, I feel that there is something kind of sad about empty a big empty hall. Despite the warmth of the day, I feel cold, the creak of the floorboards sounding almost spooky. It makes me appreciate that the building is nothing without the people ... and to me, people-less, it feels lonely. I know how stories about haunted houses get started.
Anyway (picture me shaking my head to clear that random thought), its my duty to clean the male toilets. Yes, yes, I know, it teaches me humilty, it's character building and so on. Actually, I'm, not so worries about the demeaning nature of the task ... It's just that I hate the smell of cleaning products on my hands. So I get myself some gloves ... You know the sort ... Ambidextrous ones that manage to feel uncomfortable no matter which way you put them on and make me wonder about the sort of hands they were actually designed for (I'm visualising some poor guy with little fingers the shape and size of thumbs), with floury stuff inside, in a very fetching shade of hospital pink. And having so equipped myself for the task of cleaning, I throw myself into it (well, not literally, but you know what I mean).
At the conclusion of this little effort, I carefully remove the gloves (taking care not to touch the outsides), ditch them and wash my hands. Sniff test time ... Winner! .. Everything I eat for the next week is going to smell like toilet cleaner.
Posted by Grail at 3/05/2005 09:17:00 pm
Friday, March 04, 2005
Having one of those day. Actually, I seem to have quite a few of them. My attention span is about 30 seconds ...
Anyway, I am so bored I am convinced my head is freezing over. Slow tendrils of ice forming over my cortex, icicles swinging gently from my hypocampus, and my pre-frontal lobes slowly becoming just one great icebloc. Need to do something entertaining to wake up again ... Yet somehow rather than doing anything like setting fire to the carpet and watching my co-workers scramble or seeing how much a 19 inch monitor bounces if dropped from 8 stories, somehow, I am still sitting here, staring at the screen wondering what it would be like to be not bored right now.
Posted by Grail at 3/04/2005 02:32:00 pm
Hmmmm ... now what do you make of this? Have you ever noticed how quick we are to share the pain? We seem incapable of making that decision to protect others from our own suffering, and afflicted with a bizzare determination to plunge others into the same "bad moment" we are experiencing. I don't mean on major issues here, like the death of loved ones, the outbreak of war in our homeland or discovering you have no milk when you have already poured out the Coco Pops ...
Nope, I'm talking about the small stuff here. Those small sorrows that remind us that this is Monday and that these irritating events that are a sure sign of a bad hair day coming on. We seem incapable of keeping these frustrations to ourselves. Almost as if we have a limited storage capacity for pain that swiftly overflows and inundates others, we just have to give those around us a "taste". You know what I mean ...
You step out of a lunch bar, sandwich in hand and head for your favourite lunch time lurking spot ... and bite into your purchase only to discover that, either you picked something from the "Instant Food Poisoning" menu or the sandwich constructor was trying to kill you. And what do you do then? You turn to the person next to you and say something along the lines of, "Man, this sandwich tastes like a hippo barfed in it ... you taste it." For some reason, its important to us that the other person enjoys the taste of hippo barf too ...
Walking along a street with a friend, its your misfortune to pass an over-ripe rubbish bin, loaded with what, at 50 paces, smells like 5 kilos of rancid baboon cheese blended with 12 rotten eggs and garnished with a dead rat. And on receipt of this olifactory exposion, what do we do but share it. "That smells aweful ... can you smell it? Go on, take a sniff." Now why didnt we say, "That rubbish bin smells really bad ... hold your breath"?
Somehow, and for some reason, we all want share the pain. Yet, strangely, when its good, we want to keep it all for ourselves. Hmmmm ...
Posted by Grail at 3/04/2005 07:57:00 am
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Ever noticed that there seems to be a chip embeded in all mechanical and electrical tools to discover how much you actually need the tool to work ... and if the need is really, really urgent ... deny it. I've been working on a video for youth group, showing how the money they raised was spent in the 3rd world country we sent it to. Admittedly, I may have made an error of judgement using Microsoft MovieMaker, but tonight it died. I had spent a couple of nights working on it, but tonight was the night that I really needed to get the movie finished and tonight, MovieMaker decides to go belly up. Sigh! That will teach me to trust a sub-industry standard tool.
Anyway, I reckon it has a detector built in that somehow, either through the urgency with which I used the mouse, the sweat levels on my finger tips or some other sophistocated and altogether more mysterious means, knew I NEEDED to finish this tonight ... and decided to show me who it boss.
Well, oh mighty Microsoft, maker of MovieMaker and other notorious software, purveyor of software that goes belly up, face down and blue screen ... You think you've won, don't you ... You think your victory is complete and I will just bow to the inevitable and give up on this project ... If you think I am the sort of person to just give up, throw in the towel, and fold at this point in the game ... Your right. Good night.
Posted by Grail at 3/03/2005 09:08:00 pm
From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it landed. That's all
There was to it. No more than a solemn waking
To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,
A time between times, a flowerless funeral.
No more than that
Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,
Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,
That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:
"It's time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening."
Grail's comment : Saw this ... had to share it ...
I guess this is really a poem about the transience of our lives ... as God says "As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a of the flower of the field for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more."
Sometimes it seems to me that this is all our/my life is ... "a flowerless funeral"; a waiting for something to happen; a slow, grinding endurance race run in weighted shoes, the pace of the race run with that dragging slowness only truly felt, and feared, in nightmares while pursued by the wolves of the night ... and so we/I wait. We/I wait for Christ's return, yes, but also for "life" to happen, for some cosmic light bulb to be switched on in the dark room of existance, a beam of sunlight to shine through the dust clouded pane of glass in the window of my/our life and, I dunno, something to happen.
Posted by Grail at 3/03/2005 03:21:00 pm
... I mean, it would be easier to email wouldn't it. Probably. Email however, gives one the impression of imperminence and shallowness. This may not be significantly different, but at least I feel like I'm leaving a permanent record of my thoughts and feelings about things, kind of like carving my name with a chisel in the wind swept side of a mountain, graven and preserved for all time ... Well, maybe a mountain made of jelly. This is after all the e-net and all, ya know.
Actually, my real purpose here is to document those things I wish I'd told my girlfriend and forgot before we got to talk. You know, all those bizarre thoughts or ideas that occur during a day, those passing experiences that could be shared, but somehow, never are. Sights I've seen, smells I've smelt and what exactly it was I was thinking when I crashed into the glass doors on my way into the building this morning ;)
Posted by Grail at 3/03/2005 02:52:00 pm