Internet highlights w/c 24th August 2014

31 08 2014

What [one person claims] Harry Potter is really about – a mental institution

Woman finds 3ft wasps nest on her bed

Portland, Oregon builds tiny houses for homeless people

Supermarkets’ back-to-school deals get a bit interesting

The Rosie Project – by Graeme Simsion

29 08 2014

Firstly, this is the first book review I’ve not managed to find the correct book cover for online, and it annoys me more than it should! Mine is the same as below but turquoise!

Anyway, enough of that, from the back of this book I gathered it was about a guy who decided to find the perfect woman he’d start matching them up to criteria and find the one who literally ticked all the boxes – then met Rosie who didn’t tick all the boxes, “and yet…”

However, it’s so much more than that. From the outset it’s clear that this guy is massively socially awkward, somewhere on “the spectrum” (well we all are, but this guy further along than most), and his whole life is rigidly set by schedules, criteria, etc, and so he tries this stance with women too. The book is narrated by this character, so it’s great to see how he thinks – not dissimilarly to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

There’s a fairly major sub plot to this book too, and much as it’s often perceived as a bad thing, I kind of saw where it was going from pretty early on. But as there were some major curveballs thrown in which massively made me doubt myself, it definitely kept me going, and I really was hooked, I read this in less than a week I think?! Brilliant.

the rosie project

Internet highlights w/c 17th August 2014

23 08 2014

Creative alternative solutions to problems

A Dad Took His Sons to Israel and Syria to Show Them the Difference Between War and Video Games

Downton Stars able to laugh at themselves 🙂

Troubles of the 00s teens

Best jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe

The 90s button – not even going to explain, just click!

Fawlty Towers made of Lego

Doctor Who Tardis as a public toilet

Phenomenal episode of The Last Leg last night, the first 20min entirely dedicated to telling Westboro Baptist Church and Richard Dawkins where to go!

The girl from Afghanistan is found 17 years later – her story told


Suspicious quotation marks

Sermon notes: Blessed for the glory of God – Psalm 127

22 08 2014

It’s a long time since I’ve put my sermon notes on here, probably because it’s a while since I’ve been at my home church for more than one Sunday in a row! Last Sunday I went to the 9am service as I was on kids at the 10.30, and this way I still got to hear the sermon!

Psalm 127

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat –
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

In our current society people suffer from “status anxiety” – comparing ourselves to others, or worrying out to reach their expectations. The media portrays hyper-reality, people who are seemingly perfect. We’re far more affected by these images than we’d like to admit.

We can work hard, but without God it’s not going to be what it could be (v1)
We can rest and enjoy life because God is in control, not us (v2)

The farmer can plant the seed, water the land, but he can never grow the crop, only God can do that.

Society says that if we don’t work as hard as the next person then we won’t be as successful as them.
But God gives us joy and contentment.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Philippians 4v12
Paul’s circumstances didn’t dictate if he was happy or sad, because he was rooted in Jesus Christ.

If we constantly compare ourselves to others, or want to be more like others, then we are not contented, but are continuing to toil and strive.

There is no higher status available than to be a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to be adopted into His family; there is no need to compare to others!

“God is most glorified through us when we are most satisfied in him” – John Piper

It’s evangelistic. We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.

Call the Midwife – by Jennifer Worth

21 08 2014

Having watched one series of Call the Midwife I picked up the book somewhere and goodness I loved it! It is definitely a little more graphic and descriptive than the TV show…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it all, the book is autobiographical, and the TV series is based on it. After discovering that there is very little mention of midwifery in literature, Jennifer Worth took up the challenge to correct this. She was a midwife in 1950s East London, amidst an awful lot of poverty.

This book is an education. I learnt about biology (the obvious), PSHE (again, fairly obvious), but probably above all, history.

I’d heard bits and pieces about like in 1950s London, but never in this much detail, particularly the poverty. The idea that there were high rises with about 10 members of a family in each 2 room home and that was normal, is insane. It may sound odd, but even though I’m used to hearing stories of families living like this in the developing world, I never realised it was that bad in the UK that recently. Being a book that features a lot of pregnancies, and a lot of poverty, there was also a fair amount of coverage of the brothels and life in them – again pretty eye opening.
I definitely feel better educated about life in 50s London now.

The other thing that really interested me in the book was right at the end. All through the book Jenny is clear that while she is a midwife based in a convent, she is probably agnostic. She respects the nuns, but the faith thing isn’t for her. Over the book, she softens a little, and then, right at the end after talking with Sister Monica Joan and pondering, more, the last line reads “That evening, I started to read the gospels.”

I was gutted it finished there, I want to know more! The next book is more about the workhouses as this was touched on in the first book, so I don’t know if it’ll pick up on that theme again or not, I’ll have to find out when I get round to it!

The book is essentially a book of anecdotes, and really was fascinating. I’d definitely recommend it, I really feel I learnt a lot in a lot of different areas!

call the midwife

Internet highlights w/c 10th August 2014

16 08 2014

Photos of the friends cast from the first and last episode

Driver leaves delivery note to say that parcel is “stuck on roof, sorry”

If “FRIENDS” was set in Britain

Inventions and innovations that we need to happen!

To care “for” or to care “about”?

Deleting emails received while “out-of-office”

Some of the best one liners from the Edinburgh Fringe this year

Robin Williams

12 08 2014

When a celebrity passes away, I often think it’s a shame, but don’t get too upset. The news this morning of Robin Williams’ passing I actually found really sad.

I think there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, he was an incredibly talented man. I went on his IMDb page this morning and just the immense list of quality films is amazing.

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#RIP Robin Williams.

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For me the top one of all has to be Mrs Doubtfire, (although there are several of his films I’m still yet to see) I think this film was the first thing I watched that dealt with the idea of divorce, it was a film that dealt with all emotions. But the mark of a good actor, I feel, is that you don’t even realise it’s them, and I found it so hard to believe that this woman could actually be the same Robin Williams!

Other favourites include Flubber, Aladdin and Good Will Hunting. Dead Poet’s Society is on my list of things to watch soon.

The other reason this has upset me is just the circumstances of his death. Depression is a frightening illness, and mental illness still doesn’t get as much exposure as it needs to reduce the stigma around it.

If any good comes from this, I hope it’s that more people become aware of the dangers of mental illness, more people open up about how they’re feeling, more people ask others how they’re doing. As I drove home this evening the guy on the radio was urging people to just talk to someone if they’re feeling low, to get help. You would never normally hear something like that on a drive time commercial radio programme. The change in attitude, the openess of the presenter, the frankness of it all reduced me to tears, we need more of that, that needs to be normal.

It saddens me that the people who seem the most bright and cheerful are often the people that suffer the most with this. He was a talent that could never be equalled or replaced.

Tributes have been pouring in over social media, and possibly none more emotive than this one

Internet highlights w/c 3rd August 2014

9 08 2014

The Lion King family tree

Brand advertising wars

Inventions for the modern world

FANTASTIC dialogue between the BBC One & Two Twitter accounts re the moving of the Great British Bake Off

Man opens closed road as private toll road

Spurious correlations – not sure if I posted something similar to this before, but it’s brilliant!

Angry emails between neighbours

10 reasons handheld devices should be banned for under 12s

Indonesian family find daughter who was swept away in the Boxing Day Tsunami 10 years ago

21 things only University of Bath students (and graduates) will understand – laughed out loud at this!

This one’s ooollllddddd but I rediscovered it this week after it was featured on a panel show

Heaven is for Real – by Todd Burpo

3 08 2014

Earlier this year we were talking about resurrection/heaven in my housegroup, and this book came up as some had read it. The film also came out earlier this year.

Safe to say, some people really hate this book. I’m not about to dive into a theological debate, feel free to read the book for yourself.

Basically it’s another testimony book. A family whose son got very ill, and while on the operating table, experienced some time in heaven. As he starts to mention things he saw, he shares things that at his tender age of 3, he could only know from experience, definitely not things he’d’ve been taught in Sunday school, and he talks of people he met, who died years before he was born.

But the biggest thing for me in this book was the dads attitude. The book is written by the father, who himself is a church pastor. Every single time his son recounts something from that trip, he immediately goes to his bible and checks that it tallies and corresponds, and most importantly does not contradict what he finds there.

Of course the cynics claim it’s all made up, no story is without it’s disagreers, but I definitely found it an encouraging read, not just for the glimpse of what heaven might be like, but the things the family learnt as they went through that awful time too.

Read it and see what you think 🙂

heaven is for real

Internet highlights f/c 20th July 2014

3 08 2014

Another fortnight’s worth from being away last weekend! (forgot to post this last night – sorry!)

Douglas Adams definition of techonology being good or bad by age

Nerd jokes

10 types of suntan

Lego still washing up on Cornish beach 17 years after container spillage

6 subtle ways to be more productive

9 year old boy and 62 year old woman renew wedding vows…

24 Very British problems

Do workplaces need mental health first aiders?

30 adorable things Compassion children write in their letters

Which sport are you most suited to?

Cyclists from Sri Lanka training on the motorway

When money printing goes wrong

British problems (some are better than others…)

and apologies that it’s late, but I saved this and forgot to put it in in the right week!