Sunday, May 31, 2009

I actually saw one of my favorite paintings!

I stayed with my lovely sister in Poole this weekend. As I love Victorian art, she decided to take me to see the Russell Cotes Gallery and Museum in Bournemouth. It housed a fantastic collection of art, as well as many artifacts that its original owner had collected while travelling.

I was amazed to find that this place housed Auroa, by Evelyn De Morgan, one of my favorite paintings and one that I have commented about on this blog before.

After going to Bournemouth, we attended the Southampton Beer Festival. We had a good time, though I was not especially impressed by the four beers that I tried.

The weather was so wonderfully warm. It was an excellent weekend to visit the coast.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Completed and Submitted

I sent my PhD thesis to the university today.

The examination comes next...

Monday, May 25, 2009

I miss Worcester Cathedral so much

And I miss this lovely angel too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reading John Frame again

A while ago, I read Apologetics to the Glory of God, by John Frame. I think it was an excellent work, demonstrating the excellence of the presuppositional approach to apologetics. Despite my Arminianism, I am pretty keen on Presuppositionalism. I think Classic apologetics and Evidentialism are useful, but have their limitations.

I am now reading No Other God, John Frame's critique of Open Theism. This is a little less to my taste, as I do not share his Calvinism. I find his hostlity to the libertarian notion of free-will to be particularly misplaced. Nevertheless, like him I do not agree with Open Theism (though I still feel they make some good points). I find their rejection of exhaustive foreknowledge to be unteneable and I feel their aversion to classic theism to be as misguided as Frame's rejection of libertarian free-will.

Call an election, Mr. Brown

I believe the prime minister must dissolve parliament and call an election.

The current scandal over MPs expenses has lead to a crisis of confidence in parliament. It is simply unthinkeable that the government can continue to legislate while their reputation has been so badly tarnished.

An election now would give the public a chance to respond to the shocking revelations that have been made in the last month.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Diet Irn Bru

I was pleased to find that there is a sugar-free version of the weird Scottish soft drink, Irn Bru.

I don't care for the taste of many diet drinks, but I worry about the effects of sugary drinks. As it happens, the Diet Irn Brus is pretty good. It does not taste much different to the original.

Pear Cider

Until yesterday, I had never tried pear cider. I have never like apple cider (that's the British alcoholic drink). But I thought pear cider was much nicer. A far more refreshing taste.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The DNA Database

Maybe its my fascist streak coming out but the civil liberties lobby bores me to tears. I just don't feel any excitement or anger about the government's DNA database.

The government intends to limit the time that peoples' DNA stays on the database if they have been arrested but not been convicted of a crime. A lot of people say they have not gone nearly far enough and they should completely stop storing the DNA of innocent people.

It does not seem a big deal to me. So if you have been nicked without doing anything your DNA stays on file. If you commit a crime, you are more likely to be caught. That hardly seems a big loss of liberty. Its not like you are being locked up or being kept under a curfew.

Trends in Flip Flops this year

For women, black and white seems to be dominant. Coloured flip flops seem to be out of fashion this season. Gold, silver and jewelled flip flops are still very popular.

Flip flops seem to be popular with women in their twenties and older, but not so much with teenage girls.

For men, choice in flip flops is so much better than last year. Last year, the choice for men's flip flops seemed quite limited. The dominant trend was for brown and a leather look. Most men's pairs were chunky with big soles and broader straps. The newer trend seems to be toward rubber Haviana imitation flip flops with thinner straps and thinner soles. I get the impression this trend is more in line with the flip flops that are popular on the other side of the Atlantic. Contrary to the trend with the fairer sex, coloured flip flops seem to be in for men this year.

One interesting observation I have made; you don't see many black ladies wearing cheap looking rubber flip flops. If black ladies wear flip flops, they are invariably gold or jewelled and usually in the Egyptian style with the long straps.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Book of Revelation

Did you know that many Christians have never read the book of Revelation?

Can you believe that? They believe that Revelation is a message from God, but they don't even open it up and read it. I just think that is mind-blowing that somebody can believe that a message has come from God and yet not read it.

They love Jesus but they don't want to read His own book.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Have you noticed that nearly everybody you meet tries to be funny?

Our society places a very high premium on humour. Those 'lonely heart' adverts nearly always specify that the WLTM must have a sense of humour. Even job advertisments often specify that candidates must have an sense of humour.

While humour is a pleasent trait, I worry about the pressure on people to be funny so often. It cannot be easy for people who do not have a strong natural sense of humour. The pressure to be funny often means that people come up with stupid remarks and coarse jokes all the time, even when they are not really funny.