Internet highlights – w/c 14th October 2018

20 10 2018

Historical paintings with Mr Bean’s face.

Disney characters dealing with pollution.

Men share the downsides of being male.

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Internet highlights – w/c 7th October 2018

13 10 2018

Ideas that deserve a Nobel Prize in food.

Brilliant examples of accidental camoflage.

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Internet highlights – w/c 30th September 2018

6 10 2018

Women imagine life if men had a 9pm curfew.

What Matilda might be doing now.

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Letter From Birmingham Jail – by Martin Luther King, Jr

5 10 2018

I picked this up last Saturday having seen it for £1 (It’s only 51 pages), and having had a couple of friends recommend it previously.

The book comes in two parts – firstly, a letter MLK wrote from his prison cell to eight white clergymen regarding whether the racial segregation debate should be in the courts or the streets. The second half is a sermon he preached in 1967 called “The three dimensions of a complete life” – inward for ourselves, outward for others, and up for God.

I was worried that although it was short, it might be a bit hard to read, but because one is a letter and one a transcript of a sermon, the style is quite easy to get through. When reading the sermon, you can almost hear him at times.

Some wonderful quotes that you’ve probably heard before (though I’m not sure they’re all originally his!) pop up in this book – here are a few:

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • “The question is not where we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?””
  • “Right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
  • “The good Samaritan came by and he reversed the question Not ‘What will happen to me if I stop to help this man?’ but ‘What will happen to this man if I do not stop to help him?'”
  • “I do not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future.”





Boy, Tales of Childhood – by Roald Dahl

1 10 2018

I read a lot of Roald Dahl’s fiction in 2016, but never got round to Boy or Going Solo. After it popped up in conversation a couple of times lately, I thought it was about time I gave this a go.

He states that it is not an autobiography, but I’m not quite sure why given that that is exactly how I’d describe it! Dahl’s parents were Norwegian though he was born and raised in Wales. The book covers his childhood and teenage years at home and boarding school, up until the age of 20. (When I presume Going Solo must pick up the story).

When he was at boarding school he regularly wrote home to his mother, and she kept everything she ever sent – so in a rather sweet addition, all the writing in the boarding school chapters is interspersed with images of handwritten letters from those times.

It’s funny as you read it, you can see the inspiration for some of his characters and stories as he talks. There was a lady who I’m sure has part of Mrs Twit about her, and then when at school the boys were each sent boxes of chocolate bars to test for Cadbury, which is when he first started thinking about the idea of “inventing rooms” in chocolate factories.

It’s really just a collection of stories from home and school (including an awful incident when he nearly lost his entire nose!), but told in such a warm and I guess child-friendly way. As a Roald Dahl fan I’d definitely recommend this as a way to get to know him better!





Internet highlights – w/c 23rd September 2018

29 09 2018

Celebrity pairs that would give incredible double-barrelled surnames.

Investigation into the increased frequency of the Hollywood Handshake.

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Why I Follow Jesus – by Adrian Plass

24 09 2018

After the last book I felt I needed something a little more edifying – and fairly short to help with my reading target for the year… this had been packed for holiday with the other Adrian Plass book so it was still near the top of the pile, and seemed like a good choice!

Definitely more serious than his Sacred Diary, but still with a handful of entertaining anecdotes, this looks beyond the core reason many of us follow Jesus (His death and resurrection to save us from an eternity of separation from God), and at some of the other reasons he continues.

Each chapter title starts with “I follow Jesus because”, and continue with all sorts of things including, “He’s so good at Judo”, “He’s interested in the heart of worship rather than the form”, “He offers hope for the future” and “you’re allowed to even if you’re useless with practical problems, general technology and especially computers.” So you can tell it’s a bit of a mixture of the light and heavy – always light enough to read but heavy enough to make a point.

I will leave you with one of the lighter parts – the “Post Office Queue Game”:

“When the people in front of me in the queue moved forward a yard or so, I pretended not to notice because I was so absorbed by a notice on the wall. There was a lull in the dialogue behind me. I sensed the minor frustration of these two ladies as they willed me to move into the space that had been created, thus allowing them to move forward as well I waited until the queue in front of me had progressed yet another pace before appearing to notice for the first time that a gap had opened up. Then i moved on at last – but only about 12 inches. At this, billowing waves of annoyance began to wash over me from behind. Why hadn’t I moved right up behind the people in front of me, leaving room for the rest of the queue to do the same? I sense that a major component of this frustration was the awareness that no logical complaint was justified because we would all be serve at exactly the same time, regardless of gaps in the queue.”