Wednesday, November 24, 2004

damn, these science people are so sharp, i wonder how they don't cut themselves!

"It may sound obvious, but the more you put on your plate the more you'll eat."
mystery and make believe

i saw twelfth night last week. the production got pretty good reviews even if the players didn't. however, despite not getting splashed by water or spittle, i enjoyed the evening tremendously. not a small part of that enjoyment was down to the fact that i don't really follow shakespearian dialogue that well, so a lot of what went on went on somewhere over my head. but because of this, i really enjoyed it. i liked being part of something that was beyond me, that wasn't dumbed down for my tv generation. it made me feel like a kid again, watching my elders and betters being my elders and betters. it made me hope that one day i might get to a place where i could understand and follow shakespeare (maybe). it reminded me that the world is a place full of things to wonder at (as opposed to mourn for).

then there is the subject of a cheese sandwich worth $28,000 - a complete mystery to me.

finally, let phillip pullman have the last word on the theatre:

"Where the theatre scores over the cinema is in the power of metaphor and its engagement with the audience's own imagination.

We have to pretend, and furthermore all of us have to pretend together. With video and DVD the experience of film is often, these days, not so much a joint experience in a big public space as a private experience in a small one. We have to go [to the theatre], and share it with others. And once there, we have to agree to sit in the dark and be quiet at the same time and all imagine together.

[T]he thing that the theatre does best and most potently is to tell stories in a way that partakes of magic, of ritual, of enchantment. [W]hen everything is working well, something mysterious happens between an audience and a play that isn't just the sum of the component parts. [S]omething happens, and everything is transformed. We could use a scientific term like emergence for this process, or we could use an older word and call it sorcery; but whatever we call it, there's no point in trying to explain it to those who insist on a functional justification for everything, those who can only see value in an activity if it brings in money from tourists, or helps children with their GCSEs. They'll never understand. You have to find some other sort of language if you want to convince them."
oh to be a Couch/potato

quoting this from tallskinnykiwi (also check out these subsequent posts):

"Its a rhizome structure, like potatoes. People liken the web-like interconnected structure of the internet to Rhizomes. The thing about rhizomes is that they do not multiply- they are a single multiplicity that extend themselves outward into new territory, yet maintain their oneness. If we are to adopt a similar view of church, then Couch Grass is either:
a) a pest that could wipe away 30 years of Church reproduction/multiplication theory, or
b) a framework for understanding the invisible unity of the church while maintaining a missional strategy.

Maybe i wont tell anyone about Couch Grass. Or Rhizomes. Too controversial. I studied at Fuller School of World Mission, under Peter Wagner, where i learned much about church growth and church planting. i would hate for something as simple as the existence of Couch Grass to undermine the idea that churches must multiply or reproduce as seperate entites, rather than maintain their unity as a single organism. "

oh to be some couch grass, or a spud, and not a dandelion as i mistakenly said last night (although you can't fault their tenacity!)

Monday, November 15, 2004

miso soup for the soul

autumnal acersit was the first frost over the weekend - saturday was a truly gorgeous autumn day with a crisp blue sky and a sharp nip to the air. mrs hope and i signed up to membership of westonbirt arboretum. we spent an enjoyable afternoon pottering around and under and through some spectacular specimens. i'd like to say we took this pic, but the only cameras we had were on our phones. nope, this is nicked off the net.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

got your fix?

random browsing sometimes turns up some real gems, such as this magical little world:

the trail:

vitamin e scare - guardian website
newsblog - guardian website
10x10 -
number27 -
oralfix -

Monday, November 08, 2004

what does it take to make a difference?

my local coffee house, baristas coffee collective, has started selling fair trade coffee now. today i gladly parted with the premium of 30 english pennies to have my mocha made from fair trade beans.

the reason it's a mocha day is because there is a fine drizzle falling over town and that makes it a day for hot chocolate as well as coffee. my weatherpixie, however, is from another planet and seems to dress according to temperature and not precipitation.

i saw the screen of one of those i-points that the council have scattered around the centre of town (apparently the centre is also a wi-fi zone now - drizzle and laptops go well together i find). it was flicking through the headlines and showed that there was a nine year old girl was among the casualties of the weekend's railcrash. clutching my fair trade coffee, i wondered at the gulf between 1st and 3rd world, and whether the same incident (i.e. the loss of a nine year old's life) would make headlines in a similar fashion in sudan, uganda or palestine. i'm not saying that such an incident, wherever it occurs, isn't a tragedy, rather i'm trying to get at the relative views on sanctity of life/right to life.

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed and who lived each day in luxury. At his door lay a diseased beggar named Lazarus. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Finally, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham.
"The rich man shouted, 'Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.'
"But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. Anyone who wanted to cross over to you from here is stopped at its edge, and no one there can cross over to us.'
"Then the rich man said, 'Please, Father Abraham, send him to my father's home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die.'
"But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'
"The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'
"But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"

i often think about what would happen if God were to raise someone from the dead here in the west, most recently i thought about it at my friend's funeral last week. this is the parable that comes to mind though.

final thought: i usually dwell on the rich/poor people in this parable (stupid rich ppl, glad i'm not one of them!). what about the prophets - are people unable to hear them today because they aren't even speaking? have they been seduced and silenced by luxury, and compromising themselves by paying 30 pennies for a mocha.

this is just spooky - my boss just inadvertently referred to me as tom good from the the good life. hmm...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

earth from the air

mrs hope and i are planning to visit this exhibition at some point as it is in town. in addition to some stunning photography, monsieur arthus-bertrand has collected some fascinating (if not sobering) statistics.

the website also contains some excellent advice on how to make a difference. i say it is excellent because a) it doesn't cost much; and b) is achievable by most people.


A pledge such as "putting a 'brick' in the toilet cistern" would save a third of the average family's water use that is flushed down the toilet. Every flush uses 12 litres of water - with a water filled plastic tub in your toilet cistern, you will save over 3,000 litres a year. Imagine that 30 million litres can by saved by 10,000 people! A pledge such as "using short bursts of water from the tap when brushing my teeth" could save 80% of the water you would normally use.

see more pledges here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

death of death, and hell's destruction

i echo mrs hope's comments on yesterday's service and the atmosphere in general. i will add that the reading was from ecclesiastes 3, but the more popularized 'time for everything under the sun' bits and not the bits that i blogged earlier. 'guide me o thou great jehovah' was edited to omit the reference to hell. despite stating that one should refrain from canonising the deceased, the vicar went on to refer to my friend as a 'saint' anyway. it was a peculiar service in every respect. the congregation shuffled uneasily in the face of the family's obvious grief, and the diluted humanistic reassurance that my friend was present in each of our hearts and memories did little to comfort. instead the issue of everyone's mortality was, more or less, edited out of the entire day.

it was good to say goodbye though. she was an incredibly generous person, and good fun to be around. i found it interesting that she picked the church and planned the service a few months ago, and wonder again where she is now.

"When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."

gk chesterton