Archive for August, 2006

Sierra Espuna

Posted: August 29, 2006 in Family Stuff

Here’s a picture of… what was a monastery before Franco got a hold of it and changed into a restaurantThis is situated near Totana and Sierra Espuna well worth a visit.

A beautiful area ,very peaceful.The courtyard (from where this picture was taken ) had white doves wandering all over-they also serve great coffee,not the doves,but the lady at the restaurant.

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watching you watching me!

Posted: August 26, 2006 in Family Stuff

Hi Im back from beautiful Espania,Murcia (pronounced Moofia) was wonderful.

I am in  mourning for Spain,as I sit under the cloudy skies of Blighty.

While in Spain we went to Murcia Cathedral -I have often visited the web cam http://www.ondaregionalmurcia.es/camara2.htm to look green eyed at the square and while there we spotted the web cam :

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Its my Birthday!Its my Bithday!

Posted: August 10, 2006 in Family Stuff

Im off to Spain for 2 weeks and its my Birthday! “Woot” and again I say “Woot”.

Here’s a picture of me when I didn’t care about my hairstyle. Thanks Mum for going through that pain -it was worth it wasn’t it?

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Catch everybody in 2 weeks.

Taking out the garbage!

Posted: August 7, 2006 in Theo/Philo

 

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I want to explore a new facet of blogging, that of its cathartic possibilities.

I want to, (as I so quaintly put it in my teens) spill my guts! Yes that’s metaphorically speaking dear reader. Theres a burning urge to unburden my soul. For this desire I have the timely example of Spain to thank.

Recently this country decided to consider according equal rights to Apes,rights equal to you and me.Spanish Apes will have the same rights as Humans!

Well this news took me back to the scene of my guilt, the centrifuge room at university, in that place I would routinely spin down several thousand nematodes, c.elegans, that most elegant of nematodes. If I recall correctly the Gravitational force that was visited upon the hapless worms was about 300 times what we experience currently. After this I would add (without any remorse) Sodium Hydroxide at a high concentration to the test tube containing the dizzy worms, this would rip the nematodes hydrostatic bodies apart -the goal of this was to produce single cells harvested from a multicellular organism.

I want to say sorry to these individual nematodes…..Sorry.

I want to draw a new line in the sand, why on earth shouldn’t I? Yes equal rights to Apes but what about rights to all Eucaryotes? They deserve it, they have suffered long enough.

licentia ut eucaryotes!!

Here’s an interesting post over at Right reason regarding the Rights for Apes.

Phew I’m unburdened …

 

Silencing the witness

Posted: August 6, 2006 in Astronomy & Space

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As a resident of the most densely populated city in Europe ,I have never seen skies anything like those to be had in Utah, seen in this great picture above.I wish we had skies half as good as those!
Light polution I think by most is considered a joke and irrelevant,but the sodium glare we now witness night after night,effects much wildlife and plant life as well as hindering UK astronomy plus cost to the environment.The campaign for Dark Skies (see here ) recon that Money wasted by inefficient UK street-lights in the last 12 months equals £ 103,532,791,guess who has to pay for sending all that light up into the nights sky?

“Half of our environment is above the horizon. Half of our environment is not protected by the force of law. The night sky, by its very nature a site of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding natural beauty, has been quietly and gradually taken away, over the last fifty years, from those dwelling in towns and urban fringe areas, throughout the developed world. Sky-glow and obtrusive waste upward lighting also detract from the character of the night-time scene and are detrimental to local amenity, not just for astronomers, but for the public in general”.
Bob Mizon, head of the UK Campaign for Dark Skies

Image from APOD

Cat Weazle

Posted: August 4, 2006 in Intelligent Design, Theo/Philo

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I am motivated to post on ideas that can be filed under Intelligent design .I’m motivated!What is it that drives me to think and post on this subject?Like all the other human beings that have or are presently existing I want to know why I am here and what happens when my mortal coil is reluctantly shrugged off.

I became convinced that Christianity holds the answers to the ‘why we are here’ and after death questions. So I come to the problem of our origin smelling of odour de supernatural, I admit it. I’m not unbiased when I think about which answer to ‘purchase’ and sell on to others. I don’t think there’s been anyone who approaches this answer ‘odour free’.The recent popularity of intelligent design makes it a late comer to the smorgasbord of ideas for me; regarding the FAQ of life, so it bolts onto my already existing belief. I expect there to be a correlation between what I believe and what data returns .

I also know that all data returns are subject to interpretation, almost as much as the latest film reviews.The idea of Objectivity is subjective, there is no such thing as exclusive objectivity. Because I don’t believe in a pure seem of objectivity traceable through Science I rest my answers with that perpetual best seller, the Bible. Which tells me, for instance that I am significant, that personality is modelled on Gods Character and not an emergent property, that there is intent in the universe, that nature (of which I am a part is abnormal, that History is going somewhere, that consciousness is part of Gods design and I am more than the sum of my parts etc.

I lay some of the blame for my opinions with my Church Youth leader, a cat weasel inspired bearded  dude called Steve Shaw who introduced me and the rest of our hormone harangued crew to the goatee bearded pastor and theologian  Francis Schaeffer.Dr Schaeffer showed that Christianity has answers that made it possible to be an intellectually satisfied Christian. He showed this, not only in words but in actions –never perfectly but always with Heart and courage, willing to take a risk, that attitude currently eludes me.From Francis Schaeffer came other writers and thinkers such as Os Guinness, C.S.Lewis, G.K Chesterton, A.W.Tozer, Dick Keyes, Jerram Barr’s, Ranald Macauley etc In response to the question “Which commandment is the most important of all?” in Mark 12:29-31 Jesus replies “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  (NIV)Schaeffer showed that it was possible to know God through the intellect as well in  other ways, this deepened every other part of the Christian experience –those who peddle an anti- intellectualism( “Don’t think just feel’) within Christianity are developing there prints in Black and white only, when they could be in glorious Technicolor. The astronomer Johannes Kepler (another Cat weaselesque character –more beards) knew that doing Science was one way of knowing more about God-he said ‘”I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him. Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature,” wrote Kepler, “it benefits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”Kepler could work out the path of the planets and note the variables and plug them into a mathematical formula to predict orbits-the mechanical nature of his discoveries did not mean God was not present keeping the laws and the material in existence. This attitude leads him to predict a transit of Venus in 1618.Intelligent design although not allied to any system of belief has this major distinction, it includes the possibility of design.

Unexpected item on the belt!

Posted: August 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

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I was queuing at our local supermarket –Tesco’s (Wal-Mart to those who are stateside) with my sarnie (sandwich) and a drink. At this particular supermarket they have a fully automated checkout which ends your purchasing experience by thanking you for your custom.I know that this checkout chip isn’t up to HAL 9000(by the way I’ll have nothing bad said about Hal –he didn’t mean to Kill Frank Poole and try to Kill Dave Bowman-he was confused) standards in regards to cognition,But is it a sign of progress to be thanked by a machine rather than a person?

Can a machine thank someone, thanks is defined as an expression of gratitude, which is a sense, a feeling .Can the Tesco’s machine feel gratitude when I purchase something?If not then what is happening –is it thanks by proxy? That can’t be can it? For thanks by proxy you would need someone to constantly be feeling gratitude, somewhere in the organisation, perhaps they are paid to feel that emotion, a gratitude operative. It could be that the person who originally was paid to work on the checkout and lost there job to a computer was reemployed as the gratitude operative?

All because ‘Thanks’ is meant to be personal not corporate.