Wednesday, November 05, 2008
  The Avatars they tried to censor
Wayne Leman (as noted below) claimed that he wanted "to play with the avatars as well to see how I and others I know fare" but no gallery of the smiling faces of the Better Bibles crew have appeared yet.

So I thought I'd investigate... Here's what they really look like, and why no gallery has appeared:

Mike Sangrey David Ker
Dan Sindlinger Peter Kirk
and Rich Rhodes

The crew are all bad enough, but the ringleader of the gang "Wayne Leman" seems to be taunting us...

Wayne Leman.

The moral of this post is: Reveal your own avatar, with suitable comments to soften the blow, or... I may reveal your real self for all the world to see... Ha ha ha!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008
  Fun while marking: online avatar generator
The online Avatar generator turns your name into a visual avatar. But it does not seem to like bibliobloggers as these examples suggest:

Chris Heard Jim West Mark Goodacre Tyler Williams

Even fellow Antipodean Judy Redman does not fare well:

Judy Redman

However, for some reason I alone seem to be blessed with an acceptable image.

Tim Bulkeley

Whether it is clean living, towering intellect, or blackmail that allows me to get off so lightly I'll leave in silence (and expect you to too ;) though I'd welcome suggestions of great and famous people that our biblibloggers' avatars resemble!

Or add to this rogues' gallery by typing your friends' names in to the site, and watch the fun! If you link here I'll add a link back so that interested parties can collect a full set - more fun and perhaps less divisive than the infamous "more conservative than you" list.

PS: Jim West calls it deviltry, and posts pictures of himself (in two guises) and of Chris Tilling which seem to demonstrate his point, or possibly that the pair of them are hiding out and appearing on wanted posters ;)

But, as if to demonstrate that to the pure all things are pure, Wayne Leman wants to "

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Thursday, August 21, 2008
  Wikipedia: wiser than Socrates
Jim West that kindly, yet simple soul, has posted yet another urban myth about the fount of all knowledge and wisdom the great and wonderful Wikipedia (blessed be its name). He even has a "screenshot" to demonstrate the truth that Socrates is absent from the cornucopia or the information age. The truth, as a quick search reveals is otherwise. Not only is the ancient Greek well treated, but Jim West himself features in the encyclopedia (see below), now where did I put the $40,000 worth in 94 volumes of that other print encyclopedia so I can see how it treats poor Jim!

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Friday, August 15, 2008
  Penitent leopard!
Kevin (Bluecord) has an entertaining post about the Acts of Philip The Penitent Leopard, he writes:
I was editing an article yesterday on the Acts of Philip, a 4th-5th century apocryphal work about the Apostle Philip. As I read it, I came across a line where the author says that Philip "converses with a penitent leopard." It made me giggle, because obviously the author meant to say that Philip was talking with a penitent leper. Of course, the spell checker wouldn’t catch this, because both "leopard" and "leper" are valid words.
The punch-line, however, is that the penitent leopard is indeed in the Acts. The said leopard was sorry she had attacked a goat (Acts Phil. 96–101). Thank goodness Kevin is a really professional editor and checked, otherwise the article would have puzzled Acts of Philip specialists ;-)

But, what a cool name for a blog - "Penitent Leopard"! Way cooler than Lingamish's hippo ;-)


Friday, May 23, 2008
  An Early PG Wodehouse!
The other evening, while Barbara was at a women's group, I finished reading (for Librivox) chapter six "The episode of the hired past" of A Man of Means by P.G. Wodehouse and C.H. Bovill. Here's my introduction of the book:
A Man of Means is a collection of six short stories written in collaboration by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill.

The stories all star Roland Bleke, a nondescript young man to whom financial success comes through a series of “lucky” chances, the first from a win in a sweepstake he had forgotten entering. Roland, like many a timid young man seeks love and marriage. In this pursuit his wealth is regularly a mixed blessing. The plot of each story follows its predecessor, sometimes directly, and occasionally refer back to past events in Bleke’s meteoric career.

The writing style is crisp and droll, and shows much of the skill and polish of the later Wodehouse. The disasters that befall the hapless Bleke are entertainingly recounted and his unforeseen rescues surprise and delight. In the character of the butler, Mr Teal, we meet an early draft of the ingenious Jeeves.

The stories first appeared in the United Kingdom in The Strand in 1914, and in the United States in Pictorial Review in 1916. They were later published in book form in the UK by Porpoise Books in 1991; the collection was released on Project Gutenberg in 2003. (Summary by Wikipedia adapted by Tim Bulkeley)
You can download it to listen to in the car, or wherever you do your leisure listening from (this link is to a search page that will lead also to other readings I've done in case Wodehouse is not to your taste ;)

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  Have I been gender blended?
My video sermon (from the college DVD Church Then and Now) is causing me some gender confusion. First there was the thumbnail on the YouTube clip, but now it gets worse, there is a Technorati page devoted to the video, where as well as the feminine image for the clip but below that are a bunch of Mariah Carey videos... who do they think I am Thalia or Mariah?

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Monday, January 07, 2008
  Technology makes you dumb!
Or maybe not! Way back in 2007 Nichthus posted in The new illiteracy a few extracts from the announcement of a report: The Dumbest Generation: How the digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardises our future. The extracts made me want to scream and cry.
The problem is that often people look at only the front end of what technology has to offer instead of the back end, or the outcome. An elementary principal told me that his fifth- and sixth-grade teachers are having problems when assigning research projects. The students view it as a procedure where they cut and paste information off a Web site, add some sentences of their own and turn it in. The information passes too quickly from the screen to the homework papers and isn't processed through the mind. The speed and ease of the digital resources actually conspires against producing long-term understanding.
Now, I know exactly what this is about, I've seen it. My daughter preparing work for school, and slowly I am becginning to see it in my Intro class students. What makes me want to scream and cry is that the fault is not the students, it's the teachers! I said I was beginning to see the problem crop up in younger students in the Intro classes. Why do I not find it in the same students in level 2? Because we have taught them better. Returned work saying it is unacceptable, and explaining why it is unacceptable, and students learn to behave differently. They learn the behaviour proper to an academic environment, they learn to interact with and process what they read. Why can't this school principal get his teachers to do the same - after all the younger kids are brighter and more adaptable than the young adults we teach ;-)

They can't either because they lack the courage and imagination, or (my guess, because I'm impressed by the dedication and imagination of most primary and secondary teachers I meet) because "the system" won't allow them to test for real skills, but rewards students who can "manage information" in a simplistic way. In NZ it is the stupidity of the NZQA "National Framework" with its tiny quantifiable manageable "skills" that causes the problem. Now I recognise, and indeed have preached (in the very different academic context of the University), the value of clear coherent small learning outcomes, but only within an overarching system of values and goals (an academic culture) that sustains and gives context to these smaller "learning outcomes".
You improve your writing only when you are pulled up and challenged. The blogs keep them [young people] networking only with their peers and that holds them at the same level.
Duh! Of course, but what is the teacher's role in this, the technology of blogging allows the student (at whatever level they are) to interact with writers who are more advanced than themselves. I've watched that work in a blogging community of Biblical Scholars. Now so far as I know no secondary students have interacted with that community, but there is no reason, if the student has some humility and common sense they could not. I'd bet it would be the same with communities of organic Chemists, or Poodle Fanciers. It is not the technology that is the problem producing dumb students, it is the teaching that is lacking, allowing dumb students!
Opening titles from the TV series
Nichthus' own final comment points up clearly where the problem lies. Technology does NOT make you dumb, dumb teaching driven by dumb pedagogies do that, and the dumbest of all is "an answer-driven pedagogy", everyone who has listened to, read or watched The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy knows that it is not answers that matter but questions!

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Friday, November 23, 2007
  Boston Bibliobloggers
This year I missed, not only the whole of SBL, but the bibliobloggers lunch, I blame the cost of airfares from deepest Middle Earth, as well as the fact that SBL was early this year and no way could I finish marking before it, however Jim has come to the rescue with a proposal for the Boston Biblioblogger Bash apparently there are hordes of publishers dying to get on the blog bandwagon, and fund the do. I haven't seen anyone else join Jim's campaign, but I'm all for a free lunch. So, link to Jims's post, if we all link the words biblical studies publisher then that is bound to come top on Google for searches for "biblical studies publisher" and someone will take pity on us!

BTW I know that there is such a thing as a free lunch (despite the first law of thermodynamics) because I regularly organise PodBible Free Lunches ;-)


Saturday, October 06, 2007
  Humour in the Bible?!
In September I was so busy looking at posts (preparing the Carnival) that I never noticed how many comments Lingamish managed to provoke with his stirring (in several senses) post Funny Stuff in the Bible - I still haven't counted but it is a lot! The earlier attempt, Whoa to you who laugh, stirred up quite a hornets nest too ;-) What an opportunity missed! I could have guided all that traffic to my series of podcasts on Humour in the Bible, still some of the ideas suggested by the staunchly unsmiling L ;-) may encourage me to extend the series...

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Friday, September 28, 2007
  Images of each other

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
  ... and now for something quite different!
I've just finished reading Kipling's school stories with a twist Stalky and Co. for Librivox. Do encourage people to download and listen. And of course, if you can bear to add a mention on your blog...


Monday, April 23, 2007
  Stalky and Co. (schoolboy humour)
I've been reading Stalky and Co. for Librivox as my non-family non-work hobby recently, the nine chapters are ready for proof listening, so please if you enjoy a touch of schoolboy humour from time to time do pick a chapter and listen - just let me know the time of any stumbles or mistakes you spot! Thanks...

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Thursday, April 19, 2007
  The wars of religion
Just when I thought it was over, that the wars of religion had at last ended, when Mac notebooks were being sold as cheaply as PCs, and if need be could even run Windows, I read this Biblical Fonts and Mac Woes: A Solution

The latest Tyndale Tech makes me thank God daily that I was created a PC user not a Mac addict ;-)

Update and confession: Since I was taken to task recently for not mentioning all the good features in a service I mentioned in passing, I'd better confess, the Mac woes with Unicode that the Tyndale Tech email focuses on are mainly for people using MSWord. People who have wordprocessors designed with the needs of Hebrew in mind as Danny of Deinde points out (in Latest Tyndale Tech: some clarifications) probably have something almost as good as a PC, even if the machines still normally come with one mouse button missing ;-)

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