Internet highlights – w/c 24th May 2015

30 05 2015

Anxiety & Depression – “the truth of the Gospel is not dependent on how you feel at any given time”

A guide on donating to food banks, by foodbanks

Life as an overthinker

Jobs you never heard about at school

TV show theories

Read the rest of this entry »

Girl In The Mirror – by Cecelia Ahern

27 05 2015

I’ve always prided myself on having read every novel Cecelia Ahern has written, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to the two short stories she released about four years ago.

These definitely were a step away from her usual light chick lit, here’s a brief bit of blurb for each story.

Girl in the mirror
This was a lot darker than the usual, a story about a grandma who has all the mirrors in her house covered in dark fabric, and finding out the reasoning behind that. It got pretty creepy, probably best not read before bed!

The Memory Maker
Another experimental thing going on here in that the main character was only ever referred to as “he”, and the story jumped all around in time, so got pretty confusing in places. It was about a guy who had created a machine able to put memories into peoples heads. I think of the two I preferred this one, but they were definitely both a bit odd!

girl in the mirror

Internet highlights – w/c 17th May 2015

25 05 2015

A bit late ‘cos I’ve been in a field all weekend, but here you go:

Some brilliant maps of London

Fun House is coming back!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Rosie Effect – By Graeme Simsion

17 05 2015

It was so good to spend some more time in the world of Don Tillman after reading The Rosie Project last summer.

Don and Rosie are now married and living together in New York City. Don is still as socially awkward as ever, although he’s learnt a few things about what is cultural behaviour and so can sometimes see how he is meant to act. He’s even taken a slight break from the Standardised Meal System, but he hasn’t stopped introducing even the most insignificant of characters by their estimated age and BMI!

I hadn’t remembered a couple of the sub characters so it took me a while to get up to speed with what was going on, but it’s just so enjoyable hearing things from Don’s perspective as his life approaches a pretty major change.

Definitely a worthy sequel, and just as good as the original.

the rosie effect

Internet highlights – w/c 10th May 2015

16 05 2015

Maps that show the election results in a different light

Taiwan election coverage

Glitches in the matrix

Things you’re not allowed to do in Parliament

Americans trying to understand the concept of “a cheeky Nandos”

A lecturer who lets his students bring their babies to class

Clothing range raising awareness for mental health disorders

The improvement in Formula 1 pitstops

I officially live somewhere more expensive than London

Read the rest of this entry »

Internet highlights – w/c 3rd May 2015

9 05 2015

Gross news about beards

UKIP failures at Scotland manifesto launch

A better way to eat apples

Beautifully thoughtful greetings cards for people with serious illnesses

Photos of politicians – improved with quotes from Friends

A load of election facts and stats which you may not have heard

90s trends trying to make a “less welcome” comeback – they say less welcome – I was wearing dungarees as I read this!

Words to remove from your vocabulary

Signs that you’re addicted to sleep!

Some of the most difficult Friends quizzes ever

Read the rest of this entry »

Too Much Information – by Dave Gorman

8 05 2015

Or to give it its full title:

“Too Much Information …or can everyone just shut up for a moment, some of us are trying to think.” – by Dave Gorman

This book doesn’t follow a journey like America Unchained, Are You Dave Gorman, or Googlewhack Adventure, but instead takes all sorts of bits and pieces as bitesize chapters. There’s a lot of overlap with some of his stand up work, I’ve seen him live a couple of times and watched his show ‘Modern Life is Goodish‘ on Dave (the TV channel, not him!) and so some of it was familiar, and yet it was still just as funny to go through again!

This definitely covers some of the same material of the said TV show as the main gripe that he deals with in this book, is the fact that wherever we go these days we are bombarded with information everywhere. He shares anecdotes and geeky bits of information from all aspects of life. There’s a relatively hefty focus on social media and technology, which is to be expected, and advertising creeps in a lot as well.

One little detail which really lifts the book is that each time he references a story, a video, a website, or anything like that, he puts a little custom url in the footnotes so that you can type something nice and short into your web browser and find what he’s talking about!

Some of my favourite chapters would be:

  • If It Isn’t One of Your Greatest Hits Don’t Put It on a Greatest Hits Album
  • I Know They Make Make-Up But I Wonder How They Make Up the Things They Say Their Make-Up Can Do?
  • Why Do The Tweets You See in Smartphone Adverts Look Nothing Like the Tweets You See in Real Life?
  • If I Was a Shopkeeper and Someone Asked Me for a Badger Glove Puppet I Wouldn’t Come Back Offering Them a Book
  • Does Jesus Have an IMDb Page?
  • If the Third and Fourth Words of Your Advert Are Lies, What Are We Supposed to Think of the Rest of It?
  • Nobody Can Explain How They Know What a Trumpet Is. They Just Know
  • What Is the ‘Next Customer Please’ Sign Really a Sign of, Other Than Our Desire to Never Speak to One Another?
  • Kids Will Be Kids Will Be Spammers
  • Why Do the Phones In HTC’s Adverts All Show The Same Time?

I know that seems like a lot, but the book has 40 chapters, some only one page, some much longer – as I say, it’s relatively bitesize. A couple of them fit together, but if you really wanted it would probably work as a dip in and out book as well as a cover to cover read.

Hilarious, entertaining and insightful most definitely.

too much information

Sermon Notes: The nature and role of government in the bible

4 05 2015

A couple of weeks back we had a church prayer meeting for the upcoming election, and it opened with a short sermon on government in the bible, so I thought, with three days to go until the election, I’d share my notes from it incase they’re helpful.

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
– Colossians 1 vv 15-20

“He said to them, ‘Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” – Luke 20 v 25
Most would say this verse divides the world into a religious domain and a government domain, but God can’t be level with Caesar, He is far above him. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” – Psalm 24 v 1a.

The Bible has government down as useful yet limited.

David is described as a king after God’s own heart whose throne would be established forever. Yet when Israel asked for a King this was a rejection of God’s rule over them.

Governments can do many positive things, for example: advance education, justice, equality, employment opportunities. Yet they can also abuse power, form oppressive regimes, persecute citizens.

We’re called to submit to government: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” – Romans 13 v 1.

Government is limited, firstly by the existence of other human authorities, including church, family and individuals. We should be lobbying government and campaigning against policies that violate God’s teaching. Try Christian Concern or the Evangelical Alliance.

The word government essentially means helmsmanship (“the action or skill of steering a ship or boat.”). This could be of the state, the church, a family or an individual. Government as we think of it would be civil government.

Government is limited, secondly by the means at its disposal. Its only punishment is the removal of someone’s freedom or property. Whereas Jesus said “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.’” – John 18 v 36.

Government is limited in the scope and influence God gives to it, for this reason, Christians can legitimately disagree about politics. No government will match up to the rule that we’ll one day live under in a new heaven and earth.

In this country we’re fortunate as Biblical principles still shape a lot of the political landscape.

We need to prayerfully consider our vote and ask God to help us to vote wisely to promote principles of submission to law, accountability of government, equality and justice.

There are many resources to look at political parties’ policies from a Christian perspective. I mentioned some of these in a previous post

Internet highlights – w/c 26th April 2015

2 05 2015

What it’s like to live with anxiety – so very well written and clear

Claude’s best putdowns on The Apprentice

Christian insults

Amazon has doubled it’s minimum spend to qualify for free super saver delivery

Stephen Hawking’s daughter has written an open letter to Katie Hopkins

Adorable bouncing lamb

Notes in a waterfall

Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Baby: It’s a girl – name guessing time

2 05 2015

I was halfway through my blog of guessing boy and girl name predictions, looking forward to Simon McCoy on my TV, when the announcement came through that at 8.34am, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a little girl!

When Prince George was born I put forward ten potential names, I guessed at Alexandra for a girl before we knew the gender, but as Alexander is one of George’s middle names, I think this is less likely now. Here are my guesses for this time around.

  • Elizabeth – I think this would be a lovely middle name, I don’t think they’d make it a first name while Her Majesty is still on the throne, but you never know! It’s also Catherine’s middle name, so it would be quite adorable.
  • Diana – Again probably not a first name, but I think this would be wonderful as a middle name in tribute.
  • Victoria – One of the most incredible Queens in history, a very royal name, and not all that old fashioned once shortened.
  • Mary – I’m not sure that this is that likely, but it’s a name of Queens in the past, and one of Queen Elizabeth’s middle names, and not of any current senior royal.
  • Rose – Again probably not that likely, but it’s a beautiful name, and middle name of the Queen’s sister, Margaret. I thought about putting Margaret forward, in fact, yea maybe I will.
  • Margaret – A cute little Maggie could be quite lovely, but will all the links to Thatcher, would it be too political, especially right before an election?
  • Carol – This is Catherine’s mum’s name, and she’s said to be helping out a lot and quite involved, so it could pop up in the middle somewhere
  • Alexandra – You know what, I’m going to keep this on my list, other than it being George’s middle name, there’s no other good reason why not.
  • Alice – This time I heard the bookies favourite before I put my list together, and this is the top one
  • Charlotte – Again, this is another top one at the bookies, who knows.