In preparing a message on prayer recently, I remembered a quote that previously impacted me:
My phone has icons for the different apps I use - social media, email, and a program I use to read the Bible. Some of them call out to me with numbers highlighting in red how many unread messages I could look at. But the Bible app just sits there unobtrusively - it never changes.
For a believer in Christ, memorizing Scripture is a powerful and helpful aid to our faith. Poetic devices such as rhythm, rhyme, alliteration and structure are aids to memorization. Is it possible to produce Scripture translations that use these devices, while remaining accurate translations? These would have other benefits as well (children's illustrated Bibles, audio tapes that flow well, etc), but since memorization is clearly most helpful when as close to the original as possible, there would be challenges. Yet these challenges are similar to any translation effort; the switch of mode of expression is similar to a language switch.
A friend recently sent me the fun Singapore maths olympiad problem in which Albert and Bernard attempt to discover Cheryl's birthday. As well as being full of mathematical knowledge, this implies some philosophical assumptions about knowledge and truthfulness. Here's a slightly expanded version I made up, incorporating the question of honesty:
Here are some thoughts on racism that I hope may help Christians to see the enormous difference that the grace of God revealed in the gospel of Jesus should make to racial tensions and division, and to our own hearts, whether we need to repent from racist attitudes and practices, or receive healing from being hurt by them. Other people are far more capable and qualified to write about this, and because these areas are so personally painful to many, it can seem easier to remain quiet, but as I've considered the pain that I hear from brothers and sisters I respect in different places, I felt that silence can exacerbate the pain, and we need to be rather proactive about engaging this issue.
Tribute to Duncan McKenzie Fraser that I shared at his funeral along with those by my siblings, by mother, his friend Prof Eric Bateman and colleague Prof Jenni Case
When James was celebrating his eighth birthday, he made the following comment:
As a family, we love both the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien and Lego, so we've really enjoyed the Lego Lord of the Rings and Hobbit range... however we were puzzled to obtain not just one, but many powerful magical rings with the various different Lego sets we bought ... What could be happening? Was the Lego company, to save costs, supplying other, less powerful, magical rings (having recovered some of the others mentioned in the ring verse - presumably those given to the dwarves, or the elven rings), or had they managed to produce their own rings with identical properties to the original (since that was quite clearly destroyed)?
At PyConZA 2013, one of the speakers couldn't come due to a visa issue, so I volunteered to do a talk at the last minute. I was already on a panel discussion earlier, and wanted to listen to Matt's talk on caching, so I ended with only three-quarters of an hour preparing the talk! But it ended up being a great opportunity as I decided to talk on a fun project I've been pottering away at in my spare time over the last few years: an experiment in music maths and colours that I've called HarmoniHue.