Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Addictive Game

Sorry to do this to you, but I've found a new game that you might enjoy! Try this one.

Friday, 4 July 2008

New Job!

Well, starting a week on Monday, I have a new job! I'll be working at the Houses of Parliament in London, for a political organisation, helping to plan a conference that they are hosting in November on the effectiveness of development aid. This is basically what I've been doing my dissertation on, so am looking forward to job.

I am also quite impressed with the location of my job. I didn't think that it could get much 'grander' than the Royal Courts of Justice, my previous job.

But you have to admit, the Houses of Parliament probably top this! I wonder where it'll be next...

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The Poverty and Justice Bible

The Bible Society have released a new 'version' of the Bible, called 'The Poverty and Justice Bible'. Using the CEV text, it highlghts more than 2000 verses that speak of God's attitude to poverty and justice.

The issues of poverty and justice have become prevelant and have received significant coverage in the press over the past few decades and more and more people are becoming interesting in looking at and combating these issue

'We want the world to see that the Bible is relevant to life and not full of rules, finger-wagging and old-fashioned ideas,'
says Bible Society Chief Executive James Catford.

Whilst I usually disagree with the publishers highlighting certain parts of the Bible (e.g. Jesus' spoken words, as if the whole Bible aren't God's own words), but I am interested to see how the Bible Society are looking at new ways to reach social-conscious non-Christians and encourage Christians themselves.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Shannon and Madeleine

I read an interesting article on the Independent newspaper website. It was about the contrasts in media coverage over the two missing girls, Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews. It tells of the reward being offered by the Sun Newspaper for the safe return of Shannon Matthews (£20,000), as well as the pensioner who lives in the same town who has offered his own reward, £500, his gesture is symbolic of the enormous effort local people have put into finding "Shan".

Despite these efforts, however, they point to the fact that at this time after Madeleine's disappereance, countless celebrities, including the Beckhams, Wayne Rooney, and Richard Branson had pledged a reward summing £2.6m. Madeleine was front page news for countless days and week, whereas the Sun's reward for Shannon was apparently only on page 17.

They point to the different social classes of the two families as a possible cause of this apparent 'discrepancy'.

One leafletter last week said the effort was "just like the McCanns'... though their campaign is rich and to be honest we haven't got a lot here."

Madeleine McCann

Age: Four. Parents: Kate, 40, a GP. Gerry, 39, a cardiologist. Siblings: Twins, now aged two.

Home: Detached house, Leicestershire.

UK press stories after nine days: 465.

Rewards offered: £2.6m: the 'News of the World', Stephen Winyard, Philip Green, Simon Cowell, Coleen McLoughlin, 'The Sun', Sir Richard Branson, J K Rowling.

Public donations: £1.1m:

J K Rowling, Bryan Adams, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, Phil Neville, David Moyes, the England cricket team.

Wikipedia profile: 2,182 words after nine days.

Shannon Matthews

Age: Nine. Parents: Karen, 32, and Leon Rose, 29. Stepfather, Craig, 22. Siblings: Six boys and girls, from her mother's partnerships with five different men.

Home: Three-bed council house, Dewsbury Moor.

UK press stories after nine days: 242.

Rewards offered: £25,500. Made up of £20,000 by 'The Sun', £5,000 from Huddersfield firm Joseph International, £500 from Wakefield pensioner Winston Bedford.

Public donations: Thousands at most, including Leona Lewis.

Wikipedia profile: 151 words after nine days.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Big Brother is Watching What I'm Watching!

We (Liz, Archie and I) moved to Newcastle about seven months ago, and despite sending them a letter when we first moved explaining that we no longer needed or wanted a TV licesne, TV Licensing have repeatedly written accusatory letters, alleging that we have been watching TV without having a license. They even sent an inspector round, who after a quick once over, said that we were fine - yet we have still been sent letters afterwards!

Well things got a bit personal today! Usually the letters are addressed to 'The Occupiers', but today I got one addressed to Mr PD Lewis. The letter stated that "We have been advised that you bought television receiving equipment in January 2008 from Amazon.com Int'l Inc.. However, we have no record of a TV license in your name for the above address."

Well first of all, I didn't realise that I could receive television through my DVD player/recorder! But more importantly and worrying in my eyes, is who gave them the information about what I'd been buying from Amazon?!

Friday, 15 February 2008


Follow this link to a great little game that will have you addicted! No instructions, but fairly self explanatory.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Global Justice and Human Rights

I have just started a module with the title 'Global Justice and Human Rights', and am thoroughly enjoying it at the moment.

Yesterday we had a seminar on the construction of human rights and whether or not they are 'universal' or 'relative'. The universalist approach states that human rights are universal (hence the name!) and apply to everyone. EVERYONE has the right to life, the right to an education etc., regardless of where they live in the world. The relativist approach disagrees and says that we should not force our western liberal thinking on others, but that human rights are relative to the particular culture/people that we are talking about.

Both have their arguments for and against. Whilst it is easy to agree that we should not detract from someones culture and heritage, it is difficult to allow practices such as Female Genital Mutilation to go on without questioning the logic behind them.

It was interesting to note that in the seminar, when asked at the beginning of the session, 90%+ said that they were from a universalist persepective (as well as acknowledging the drawbacks that this has), but by the end of the lecture about the same proportion were now arguing relativist arguments!

Any thoughts?