Thursday, December 28, 2006

5 things most people don't know about me

1) I am albino: Redheads are about 5% albino.

2) I am actually descended from Slavs: My name is a slavic root which means "Jacob."

3) I think time travel is possible: I can debate about this one for hours.

4) I have been a swing voter: I have voted both left and right. Can you guess where I sit now?

5) I believe Jesus is coming back, but not as soon as most evangelicals: The gospel must first be preached to all nations and then the end will come. Considering that there are still about 10 000 of these to go, I don't buy all the trumped up rubbish about credit cards being the mark of the beast etc. It does not threaten my faith if Jesus does not return for another 500 years. He is not willing that any should perish, but will wait as long as necessary so that as many as possible would have the chance to believe. (Apostle Peter).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What kind of car am I?


I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!



You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.


Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Post-post-modernism

I have been a post modernist. It tasted good for quite a while. But I have moved on.

My own definition of post modernism: To take all of the rules, structures and norms of society, church, institution etcetera, throw them up in the air; let them fall down any which way; try to make sense of them; question them to see if they have any value or not; throw them out if the don't have any value and keep them if they do.

I personally think that people do need to go through this process. The western world started the post modern movement in the 60s, so in many ways it is already quite old. The church has been quite afraid of the post modern movement. But if truth is truth then it should quite easily stand up to scrutiny and we should not be afraid to allow it to be tested. This has been the downfall of parts of the church- they have resisted questioning and scrutiny. Something should never be the way it is, just because that is the way it is. Everything is up for questioning.

Here is the crux though. There are two starting points for such questioning. 1) God is true and eternal- and I am therefore testing everything that is a human construction. OR 2) God is a human construction and he is also up for questioning. People have to be free to take the line of questioning in number 2 if they so choose. But it has to be said that this is not necessary for someone who already has a faith in God. I will readily admit that my line of questioning has been that of number 1, but then I have had real and tangible experiences with the true and eternal God. But I have thoroughly been through the questioning of world view number 1.

To ask a true and honest post-modern question it is necessary to not expect an answer any time soon. Allow the question to sink in. Allow it to permeate the soul and mind. The answer could take months or years. But here is the second crux- if God is true and eternal, there must always be an answer eventually. Modernism insists that the answer is obtainable now and through logic. Post modernism does not buy into such dogmatism. Post modernism says "I am a person and there is something much bigger than me, something I may never understand." But the truth is; God does understand me and he will help me to understand if I want to. The good news is, that God is not in a hurry.

The dangerous aspect of post modernism is that people can be self indulgent in the midst of it. It is right and necessary to question, but unhealthy to stay in the questioning for ever. I find it unhealthy when people are so bitter at the church and those in the church. This is not honest questioning. Yes, people in the institutional church need to question for themselves, but I think we should have some grace for them as they have not begun the process yet.

I would like to take the time to quote a great post-modern thinker, Alan Hirsch; "There is simplicity before complexity and simplicity after complexity. You need to take the time to go through the complexity, but eventually come out into simplicity on the other side."

Post-post-modernism is the simplicity on the other side. The post-post-modernist knows that there are no easy answers. The post-post-modernist thinks that modernism is a waste of time. The post-post-modernist has been through the complexity.

This post-post-modernist says "question, question, question, but do not be self indulgent in your questioning; resist the urge to be bitter in your questioning; be honest with yourself; know that God is true and eternal and that there is simplicity on the other side; take your time, there's no hurry, but don't be late and don't hate me for walking on and leaving the complexity behind."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Open the trapdoor

For the adventurous blogger- I have another blog. Why another one? Well I guess I like to keep my ideas neatly organised. Waking up the Sleeping Land will remain my blog about Siberia. In One Ear is a chance for me to say anything I want. The next bunny trail is for specific crazy stories about visas and immigration control etc. As a traveler these things come up quite often. I thought it would be fun to collect as many of my own and other people's stories as possible.

Check out http://visatales.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pluto is NOT a planet


It's official. There are only 8 planets in our solar system. Pluto has been demoted to the status of "dwarf planet." This was decided by a vote during the congress of the International Astronomical Union on August 24th in Prague.
This is not the first time such a demotion has occured. Ceres, in the asteroid belt was formerly a planet 150 years ago, but was demoted because many other objects in the asteroid belt would have been planets too. Thus the new term "asteroid" was created.
The solar system is made up in neat layers: the first four planets- Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are rock planets; then comes the asteroid belt; then comes the four gas giants- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; lastly comes the Kuiber belt- ice objects that orbit the sun.
The new definition of a planet is: 1) Must be an object that orbits the sun. 2) Must have enough gravity of its own to make itself spherical. 3) Must have significantly cleared other objects from its path. 4) Must not orbit another sattelite of the Sun.
Ceres is not a planet because it has many asteroids in close vicinity. Ceres has been elevated to the status of "dwarf planet." Xena, Pluto and Charon (a satellite of Pluto) are not planets, due to their location in the Kuiber belt, in close vicinity to thousands of ice satellites.
Throw this trivia question at some one to stump them! How many planets does our solar system have? 9. Wrong- it's now 8.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interplanetary Wars


August 24 is the date set for the showdown in Prague. There are two camps in Astronomical circles. One camp believes that the definition of a planet should be "any star-orbiting object so large that its own gravity pulls in its rough edges and produces a near-perfect sphere." The other camp believes that it should be based upon size and Pluto would miss the cut.
Three new candidates have been put forward that fall in line with the gravity definition. It is thought that the vote is likely to go through. The smaller camp want Pluto struck off the list. Their dissent over the matter is because the gravity definition would leave the door open for hundreds of new planets in our solar system. The size definition camp believe these smaller star orbiting objects should be called Plutons.
Personally I am rather excited that the holiday options for space tourism have just broadened. However I not relish teaching 100 planets to my daughter. So I think I lean towards striking Pluto from the list. Siberia is cold enough without going to Pluto.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weird mystery night sound

We woke up in the middle of the night three nights ago because our baby was crying. The windows were open. The most bizarre noise was filling the sky outside. Keep in mind that night time is usually silent or close to silent. During the day time we are used to hearing back ground noise in the city, such as traffic etcetera, but not at night time.

The noise sounded similar to the noise a plane makes when it flies over head. Except this noise hung around for about two hours. Sometimes it got louder and sometimes softer, as if the source of the noise was sometimes further away sometimes closer. It felt eerie, if not at least very weird and inexplicable.

The first thought that came into my mind was "is this some sort of government military experiment?" If it were I cannot imagine them getting away with it during the day, far too many people would be asking questions. I think people ask less questions about things that happen during the night.

Another possibility is that it could have been a fire. That is a fire would burn up oxygen and could create a rush of air and a loud sound. My response was that it would have to be a VERY large and dangerous fire and there would be no doubt we would hear something about it in the news the following day. No news. I wasn't so sure it could be a fire anyway.

We have heard the noise the following two nights only softer and further away.

It's strange and I have no explanation.
video

Monday, July 24, 2006

Xena: Pluto's bane


There is a vote of astronomers coming up in Prague on whether to officially add a tenth planet to the solar system. It is expected to get the nod. Officially it would call in to question Pluto's status as a planet as Pluto is much small than Xena. However Pluto is the only planet ever discovered by an American and so it is thought that as it holds cultural and historical significance, it will be allowed to stay.

My thoughts though surround the fact that such a big deal was made over man landing on the moon in 1969 and nearly 40 years later there is still no base on the moon. The moon would make a wonderful launching pad for exploring the rest of the solar system. I think that as humanity we have dropped our game a bit. To me it seems that the motivation for landing on the moon was far more miltary and political than scientific- an outcome of the cold war. At least there is a new super power rising in China and their space exploration, this may get the race going again.

We have a duty to explore God's creation, it is part of our worship to him.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My family

Merging technologies


I had these ideas floating around my head months ago, but many of them have leaked out. I suppose I will record just a few of them here and build on them when the ideas come back to me.

Prediction 2015: We will all carry little communication devices. We will no longer call a computer a computer. Our cell phones, computers, television and all means of communication and media will be merged into one device.

This device will connect in to a wireless internet. Video conferencing will be very common and very cheap. If you so desire you will be able to talk to someone face to face from Mt Bogong to the Ural mountains.

The devices will project an image in the air and will thus not require screens.

You will be able to record all of your thoughts through speech. This raises questions about literacy, but a new kind of literacy will develop. It would still be possible to have a keyboard projected by laser on to any flat surface for typing.

You will be able to record your data on to cards if you so choose or an a server at your own home or on a server owned by an ISP, the choice will be yours.

The communication device will be handy in giving multimedia, powerpoint type presentations. You will simply be able to put the device on a table and project your images on to a wall.

Developments possible but not included in 2015:

Running the electricity from the charge in your body, you will never need to recharge batteries again.
Technology that can read your brain waves would enable you to simply think your commands to the device.
This same technology will be further developed to allow you to receive messages from the device. it will have to be your choice whether to have this feature turned on, just as it will be your choice if the device itself is switched on.

Prediction 2050-2100:
The device will have incorporated the above features. An individual on one side of the world will simply think "I would like to say hello to my brother in Brazil." At that direct thought a message is sent to his device to ask him if he wants to speak. Upon his reception of the "call" a virtual face to face conversation could be held, with or without the use of voices.

This is the potential of the technology we already have today.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nostalgia or Novelty?


So I'm 32 years old now. The other day someone a fair bit younger than me told me they had never heard of Soundgarden. I thought "Man, now I know that I'm getting old!" I'm caught in this place where I desire to know what is new and creative in the world of music. I still enjoy music that I have listened to for years but I don't want to be stuck with it alone. I want to be able to relate to the music that my kids will listen to one day.

The above is nostalgia for me. Gretchen goes to Nebraska by King's X, one of the greatest records of all time. See if you can find it, If you, I hope you enjoy it. If you have taken the time to discover this side project blog, then please take the time to tell me what you are listening to, especailly of you are excited by it.