Category Archives: General

Christians killed for their faith

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade.

That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

This is a live counter which updates approximately every five and a half minutes.

The woods of our experience

Patch of sunlight

“Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.” – C. S. Lewis

SanDisk Sansa Fuze – Long term review

I needed an MP3 player, didn’t want to buy an expensive iPod and someone recommended I look at the SanDisk Sansa Fuze. I’m glad I did.

Fuze with SD card for size

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze with SD card for size comparison

I bought it in January 2010 for £53 (at time of writing, they’re only £35 from Amazon) and have been nothing but pleased with it ever since.

It. Just. Works. The list of great things about it are:

  • It plays just about any audio file you wish to copy onto it (MP3, WMA, secure WMA, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC).
  • It sounds great and the battery lasts for ages.
  • It plays just about any MPEG4 format movie file.
  • Has expandable memory with a microSDHC memory card slot.
  • FM radio (not used that much to be honest).
  • Voice recorder (not used that much either).
  • Has EQ settings, including allowing custom settings.
  • Photo/image viewer (small screen, so of limited use – use your phone instead).
  • Metal back and sides (apparently made of LiquidMetal) with a piano-gloss plastic front.
  • Has a good solid weighty feel to it without being heavy.
  • It appears as two drives when connected to the PC (internal/external memory) so no iTunes needed.
  • It supports Audible books (used these – they’re great).

Rather than bore you with a full review, read the excellent review which will give you all you need to know.

Want an MP3 player that will last but don’t want to pay a premium price, then this will be money well spent. A simple (not included) jack-to-jack cable lets me plug into separate speakers if I want to.

Enough said. Here’s a photo of the unit with its blue ring of wonder:

Sansa Fuze with its glowing blue dial

The Blue Ring of Wonder!

Poached Egg

I came across this blog post from Mali Korsten on the perfect recipe for poaching an egg:

Poached eggs have been my nemesis for the extent of my cooking career (I use the term “career” loosely, in the way that one might describe wearing clothes, or any other necessary daily activity). Without one of those special cheat-pans, my eggs just dissolve into a stringy mass of albumin floating in a sea of frothy salt-water, the yolk sitting isolated at the bottom of the pan, long-since detached from its white partner. Yesterday, all that changed.

I tried the recipe this morning and can tell you, it works! Evidence below:

Poached Egg on toast

Straight from the pan

Poached Egg on toast with yolk broken

Just how I like it



















Apart from being able to make great eggs, Mali is also a musician. Her album is here and is well worth a listen:

Finally, a quote from C S Lewis which mentions a poached egg:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – Mere Christianity, pages 40-41.


Free time in Sydney

After working in Sydney this week I got some free time before my flight in the evening.

Prior to my arrival in Australia, they’d had about two weeks of rain (some quite heavy I believe). When I arrived, the weather took a turn for the better and the sun came out – unfortunately I was working between 8am and 5pm so was not able to enjoy it.

On my last day in Sydney, I had some hours to myself – but the weather has returned to rain, and some of it torrential – there was even a “water tornado” just a few miles away. So with a few hours to spend, I resorted to trudging around the shops with my back pack, looking like a soaked vagrant. Granted, this gave me time to buy gifts for the family, but it wasn’t the day I was looking forward to. I had been hoping to get out and take some photographs of the famous Sydney landmarks.

Thankfully, I’d brought the Canon D10 with me so had no problems using that in the rain:

The birds have won!

Communication from Air Chief Marshal Seagull,Seagull - (C) David Heys

This is a great day.

Over many long years we have been struggling against the humans and their aircraft filling our airspace and at last our efforts have paid off. Yesterday, at 1200 hours, the humans admitted defeat and grounded all planes over the United Kingdom.

Long may this continue now that we have, at last, regained our air superiority and are again masters of the sky!

ACM Seagull

James Cameron’s Avatar

I’m looking forward to AvatarJames Cameron‘s latest feature film since Titanic and which débuts on the 17th December.

I’m particularly interested to see how special effects and motion capture have moved on since ‘Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within‘ and Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Will this be the start of a new season in cinema once the new effects become available to other film makers? Who else can afford the costs involved?

I’m also interested to see if the story matches the incredible cinematics. From what I’ve read so far, it’s a tale of adoption, redemption and salvation, mingled with violence and love.