Thursday, March 11, 2010
  *** IMPORTANT *** blog moving
I am moving, but only to another directory. Just before my 1000th post Blogger is unceremoniously kicking me out, without bothering to tell me - the good news is that the WordPress blog will look better and work better :) the bad news is that posts from the previous six years will have to be accessed at the old address :(

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Thursday, March 04, 2010
  What's in a name?
Over the last few weeks I have been tormentedby Windows Vista, the opperating system from Hell has:
  • destroyed by diary, to the extent that I wonder if I can justify the purchase of a Google Calendar compatible phone as an alternative to formatting the harddrive to start fresh,
  • refused to permit me to use my memory stick, making me late for church as I emailed the file to myself on another computer, to put it on the USB stick,
  • intermittently synched my email so that I have lost really important messages (don't ask, somehow it overwrote to good copy with the difficient one),
  • and generally consumed hours every day to no productive purpose
Yes, you are right I should have 7, but the pringt on the sticker on the base of my laptop giving the reference number of the OS has worn off (because I dare to use it on my lap - how could ANYONE use a laptop anywhere but on a desk?!?) and Acer will not accept the number the software divulges. I would rather learn a new OS (and install Linux) than pay Microsoft to save me from Microsoft!

But, I noticed a pattern. OSs with stupid twee names, like "Vista" or "Me" don't work. Or like "Windows" itself they only work when they reach a later itteration (in that case 3.1 for XP a mere service pack did the trick). The reason is obvious, if the OS sucks then give it a stupid name in the homes no one will notice... and then I read Judy's post on things she hates about abstracts and other aspects of academic publishing... scholars do it too! Got a paper whose arguments don't stack up? Give it a stupid title, and hope no one will notice. If Judy is right we probably won't, because none of us will actually read the thing ;)

Shame we can't just ignore OSs with stupid names... but manufacturers install them for us, so we can't. Though we can go Open Source :) So should I install Karmic Koala, or wait for the more sensible sounding Lucid Lynx?

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  Why the cost of online resources matters
Under the title "Why online resources matter" John posted an email like many we have all probably recieved:
My name is . . . in China. I am asked to write an essay for my M Div on the subject of "what is Isaiah's Contribution . . .?" I surf the web and read Isaiah 1:2-20 Bibliography you wrote and with your expertise in that field, would you give me some insight relating to the my subject or introduce any books or articles that might be of help? I can't excess the needed resources for my essay because of the nature of the country I live and serve in.
My only quibble, posted as a comment to his blog also is to add a qualification to the headline: "not behind (inaccessible) pay to view barriers". Many of the resources needed for an MDiv student are online already on the sites of the great and wonderful academic content aggregators (like EBSCO and ATLA).

But the cost is too high for this person's institution, and is too high for most individials. There is an increasing global digital divide is between those with institutional subscriptions and those without (whether because they have no entry to an institution, or because their institution is not wealthy enough).

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010
  Two new 5 Minute Bible podcasts
They should probably have been one 10 minute Bible podcast, but since the material does split quite nicely in two and since I called the site 5 Minute Bible ;) I have two new podcasts:


Tuesday, March 02, 2010
  If you are still short of stimulating reading
The latest (and perhaps, greatest in living memory)* Biblical Studies Carnival has been available for days now.

Thanks to Anuma for one of the best carnivals I can remember for a long time, entertaining and full of posts I want to read (but missed because my blogroll is too short, or because time is even though the blog is there so I did not see the great post anyway ;)

* This is not intended to disparage the fine work of recent collectors of Carnivals, having done it once I know how much work it is and how easily the human (or at least my) brain is by such quantities of data. Most carnivals have been good, many have directed me to posts I discover I would have missed, but this one even better, or worse, because I'll not have time to read all the interesting sounding posts before next carnival :(


  Amos 7,1-8,3: cohesion and generic dissonance.
I'm delighted! My article in ZAW did appear in 2009, it's just the post to NZ and the de Gruyter's website were both slow ;)

So if you are interested in Amos, or in the ways in which Hebrew Bible texts stick together do please read:

Bulkeley, Tim. “Amos 7,1-8,3: cohesion and generic dissonance.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 121 (2009): 515-528.

It is currently available for a fee on the de Gruyter's website (apparently my wisdom is not priceless, but 14 pages is worth US$40 or about 3 words for every cent you pay), or perhaps a library near you has a copy, or if you promise to cite me in your own work I'll send you a copy, so enjoy ;)

Here are the abstracts (in English, French and German):

This article investigates features of the language of Am 7,1–8,3 which promote the cohesion of the text, and how these interact with rhetorical features of the text to promote a coherent message. In this passage, repetition of lexical stock is a particularly strong cohesive feature. It promotes reading the vision accounts, both the three which precede and the one that follows, with the biographical narrative in 7,10–17. Thus despite marked differences of genre and point of view, first person in the vision accounts and third person in the narrative, the sections of this passage as we have it work together. Together they promote the claim that Amos was a true prophet, and that his message of disaster for the kingdom of Israel was indeed a word from the LORD.

Cet article étudie les éléments linguistiques d'Amos 7,1–8,3 qui produisent un sens de cohésion textuelle. Il note la façon dont ces éléments fonctionnent ensemble avec des techniques rhétoriques, de façon à suggérer un message cohérent. Dans cette section du livre d'Amos, la répétition lexicale constitue une importante structure de cohésion. Cet effet encourage une lecture des récits de vision prophétiques, les trois racontés avant la narration biographique en Amos 7,10–17 aussi bien que celui qui la suit. On constate ainsi des différences notables entre les sections de cette péricope, telle que nous l'avons reçue. Ces différences comprennent le genre et le point de vue (les récits de vision sont racontés à la première personne, mais la narration biographique à la troisième). En dépit de ce décalage formel, les sections fonctionnent bien ensemble. Elles suggèrent qu'Amos était un vrai prophète, et que son message de catastrophe pour le royaume d'Israël était en fait une parole du Seigneur.

Der Beitrag untersucht die Sprachelemente in Am 7,1–8,3, die für den Zusammenhalt des Textes verantwortlich sind, und beleuchtet ihr Zusammenwirken mit den rhetorischen Mitteln für die Herstellung von Kohärenz. Dabei wird der Verwendung gleicher Begriffe etwa für die Verknüpfung der Visionsschilderungen mit der biographischen Erzählung in Am 7,10–17 große Bedeutung zugemessen. Trotz der immer wieder angeführten Unterschiede in Gattung, Intention und »Ich«- bzw. »Er«-Bericht gehen sie auf eine Hand zurück. Zusammen formulieren sie den Anspruch, dass Amos ein wahrer Prophet ist und dass seine Unheilsbotschaft für das Königreich Israel Wort Gottes ist.

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  Nice but nubbly!
I love reading stories aloud, and our kids are a bit beyond that now (just a bit, all being thoroughly adult), so I enjoy Librivox as a hobby. As well as the William book Barbara and I are (slowly) reading together: More William by Richmal Crompton I have started a version of the Just So Stories. LV already has more than one, but since I had made my readings of the book available online before LV started I felt it was not unfair to do a LV version now.

If you'd like to see what it sounds like the first story: How the Whale Got His Throat is available in draft form (please report any problems or errors).

Appeal for help: there is a thirteenth Just So Story, added to the US edition in 1903 (which was absent from the 1902 UK edition, and most subsequent editions) called "The Tabu Tale" if anyone can source a copy (published before 1926) that I can use I coulld read all thirteen. (There is also a fourteenth but it is in copyright and does not have the wordplays that make the "real" ones fun.

PS: The heading is a quote, it is how the 'Stute fish describes humans, I think the fish was spot on, we are (usuallly) nice, but (often) nubbly!

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