Friday, April 29, 2005

Weary yet pursuing

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?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Sound Pollution

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 .

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 ...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Quote for today...

"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 ...

Christ is coming, ready or not!

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?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Papa Don't Preach...

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."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Confessions of a Plagiarist

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!

I am so smart, S! M! R! T!

Yep, whipped up a couple of a couple of scientific papers the other day. Kind of thinking I might submit them to some academic review board somewhere. You can have a look at them here and here. Hope you are impressed!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Fame is a Fickle Mistress ...

... 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 . 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.

Buzztracker daily image

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.