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?

Home Alone

Several newspapers and websites are today reporting the story of Mavis Ward. The 83 lives in Newquay, Cornwall, in an ultra-modern block of appartments, quite literally, on her own!

The other 29 appartments are used as holiday homes and Mavis says that she can go for weeks without seeing another resident. Sounds a bit lonely? Well one of the positives from it is that she has pretty much exclusive use of the appartment block's private gym, swimming pool and underground parking!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Goalkeeper with a sense of humour!

West Ham goalkeeper, Robert Green, has shown that he has a good sense of humour. In a recent match he wore gloves with "England's Number 6" on them, a joke about his supposed place in the England international set-up.

A close friend said:
"Robert has got a great sense of humour and there has been banter with the West Ham fans all season. They keep chanting England's No. 1 - and he sticks up six fingers to show where he thinks he is in the pecking order. That is No. 6. This is just Robert taking the joke a step further by wearing these gloves. It is really tongue in cheek and not meant to be having a go at anyone. It is not a protest. He is having a laugh at his own expense."

It would be interesting to note whether Capello, took it as the joke it was intended, rather than a dig at his selection policy!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

What are they thinking!?

The English Premier League is considering the idea of staging some matches around the rest of the world. The league season will be extended so each team plays 39, rather than 38 games. The10 extra games would be played at five different venues, with cities bidding for the right to stage them. It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other.

I have to say I completely disagree with the proposals being offered here, and for two main reasons;

Firstly, it is possible that the Premier League will be decided by balls being pickes out of a hat, rather than form or consistency. If two teams are on equal points at the end of the regular 38 game season, and the draw sees one of them set to play Aston Villa, whilst the other team gets pitted against Derby, this is not fair! We already have two domestic cup competitions for the 'magic' of the draw to be seen in, and it would be riduclous for a team to have performed consistently as well as another team over 38 but to potentially lose the league because of when they were pulled out of the hat.

Secondly, with the exception of the 'big 4' and possibily one or two other, Premier League clubs are struggling to fill up their stadiums with fans from the area local to a team. Sure, international games featuring Man U and Arsenal may well be sold out, but will smaller clubs who don't have the same international recognition or fanbase be so successfull? Unlikely!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Giants Amongst Men

Last night I stayed up late to watch the Superbowl, and was very glad that I did; it was one of the best American Football games I've seen, likened several times by the commentators, to a game of chess, with the New York Giants' defence bossing the game and to carry on the analogy, putting the Patriots into check. It was Eli Manning, however, who delivered to move of the game, 'check-mate', effectively, breaking tackles to avoid the sack before making pin-point accurate pass to his teammate Tyree. Tyree then acrobatically made the catch, clutching onto the ball one-handed, bringing it down with the aid of his helmet! Without doubt, the play of the game.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Christian Chat-up Lines

A few of my friends have joined the "I Appreciate Christian Pick-Up Lines" group on Facebook, and it is hilariously funny!

Some of my favourite are...
"i didnt believe in predestination until tonight."

"you are so unblemished that i would sacrifice you."

"the word says 'Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the hungry'; how about dinner?"

"hey..for you I’d work seven years... and then seven more for your sister."

"now i know why Solomon had 700 wives... Because he never met you."

"you put the 'cute' back in persecution..."

"how many times do I have to walk around you to make you fall for me?"

"lets say, hypothetically, you were married. I would send your husband to the front line against the Amorites"

"welcome to the christian family... the only family where brothers and sisters can marry each other"

"Solomon had 700 wives. You can be my 2nd girlfriend. But bring your friends."

"i consider myself to be fisher of women. this would be referred to as "casting my net"."

"i would leave 99 sheep to come and find you... and then i would carry you home joyfully on my shoulder".

"have you died before? because that looks like a resurrection body to me.."

Sunday, 13 January 2008

I Am Legend (a movie review, not an egotistical post!)

I went last night to see the latest Will Smith movie 'I Am Legend' with a couple of guys from church and I have to say, I was impressed.

Set in 2012, it is a post-apocolyptic look at one man's (and his dog!) quest for survival after a deadly virus has seemingly wiped out the rest of mankind.

Will Smith's acting skills were really remarkable considering that for the majority of the film he was acting alone, without any human interaction.

The film, in my opinion, could be longer as it is only 100 mins and the film ends rather abruptly. But apart from this, I would say that it is definately worth seeing and would recommend seeing it at the cinema to get the full experience of some of the effects.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Twin's Seperated at Birth and then Married

The BBC are reporting the amaing story of twins, who were seperated at birth, met when they were older and have got married.

A court annulled the UK couple's union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord Alton said.

The peer - who was told of the case by a High Court judge involved - said the twins felt an "inevitable attraction".

He said that they were adopted by separate families, and neither was told that they had a twin sibling.

Details of their identities have been kept secret, but Lord Alton said the pair did not realise they were related until after their marriage.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Japanese Gameshows

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the fabulous Takeshi's Castle, see the video below

But on my regular surfing of youtube, I have found some more gems! have a look at human tetris, and binocular football below - why can't we have some of these over here!

Jeremy Clarkson has money stolen

The BBC are reporting that Clarkson has had some money stolen after publishing his bank details in his newspaper coloumn.

He was trying to prove that the losing of two discs worth of data by the government was a fuss about nothing.

"All you'll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out. Honestly, I've never known such a palaver about nothing,"

But he was proved wrong when he opened his bank statement and saw that a £500 Direct Debit had been set up, automatically donating money to Diabetes UK.

Clarkson has since said:

The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again. I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake."

It is not known as to whether he has cancelled the Direct Debit or not!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Famous on Facebook

Chris linked to a story about a school course run through Parsons The New School for Design in New York City where students are trying to become famous in a virtual world. I had a quick look at the website and found this amazing story!

An opportunist, on reading of the death of Benazir Bhutto and the subsequent expected elevation to leadership of her son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, set up a Facebook account in his name.

The story of this 'prank' was detailed on a internet forum site, home to many video-gamers. The man known as 'Tonay' lists some of the letters of support he received of condolence for his mother, as well as lots of messages from "hot pakistani girls" (his words, not mine!)

The story escalates, as many national and international papers pick up the story, and 'Tonay' starts issuing statements littered with references to West Wing and Buffy, some of his favourite shows.

He's since been outed as a fraud and the account suspended, but the forum is an interesting read as people tell him to 'cause as much mayhem as you can before the world finds out!' and Tonay debates on whether to put a link to his mates MySpace band. It just goes to show, don't always believe what you read on the internet.

Right Place at the Right Time

I heard this story on Radio 5 Live's 'Fighting Talk' program. (well worth a listen for the uninitiated of you).

An Australian cricket player, Luke Pomersbach, had been suspended by his state team (like our county teams) for having a late-night drinking session when he really should've been in bed! Given the nighr off, he thought he'd pass his time by going to watch the Aussie national team in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand.

Imagine his suprise when batsman Brad Hodge injured his back whilst putting his kit on, and the Aussie captain turned to him as a replacement! He actually did quite well too, hitting 15 runs from 7 balls.

I think that may well be the definitive example of being in the right place at the right time!