Saturday, May 24, 2008


First, watch this. The skating here has got to be the best I have ever seen performed.


Chinese pair Shen & Zhao performed this wonderfully ...but were allegedly cheated out of the winning place by corrupt judges in 1999. Apparently that's nothing unusual in the figure skating world. (The "new" points system, I'm told, only protects the judges as they are now anonymous, as you are no longer told how the individual judges voted).

And concerning disappointment, view this

( )

And if you liked that, be inspired by the rough beauty of the Irish landscape:

More on disappointment.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I read this today in Jim Wallis' new book Seven Ways to Change the World and I can't think of a better response:

Questioner, to Billy Graham on his last visit to Harvard:

'Since Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me" doesn't that mean people from other religions - Jews and the rest - are going to hell?'

Billy replied, 'I'm sure glad God is the judge of people's hearts and not me! And I trust God to decide those questions justly and mercifully.'

The student was disappointed and pressed further, 'Well, what do you think God will decide?'

Graham demurred, 'Well, God doesn't really ask my advice on those matters.'


Rowland Croucher
May 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008


I have never understood the obsession with guns held by the American National Rifle Association (NRA). I read this somewhere on a Usenet newsgroup: 'I didn't much like the part in Michael Moore's movie where he doggedly pursued a confused and daft Charlton Heston. one of the most public faces of the NRA. It was clear the man was no longer in his prime, and that Moore was picking on someone with a clear handicap. However, when Heston was vibrant and sane, I found his views on morality and gun control to be either hateful or ignorant or both.' I can go along with that.

One of the most responded-to articles on the John Mark Ministries' website is 'Oxymoron of the month: Sporting Shooters' which concluded: 'Shooters are not sportsmen, they're vandals.' See this response, for example.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008



50 Years in 3 minutes.

Turn up the volume, sit back and survey a review of 50 years of history in less than 3 minutes!

Thanks to a Billy Joel song and some guy from the University of Chicago with a lot of time to Google! If you like it, play again and you will see and hear things you missed first time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Elie Wiesel on Indifference

(Thanks to my friend Geoff Pound for this summary):

Elie Wiesel, the renowned novelist, philosopher, and Holocaust survivor presented the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture, "Building a Moral Society" to an audience at DePauw University.

In his concluding remarks he encouraged his audience to be open to the voices of others and to the world. He then spoke about the perils of indifference:

Be Concerned
“I do believe that students today should open themselves to other people’s voices and whatever is happening in the world. Be concerned.”

"We have a character in Scripture known as Job. He is a man who suffers and he is part of Scripture, except in our tradition [the Jewish tradition], we don’t see Job as a Jew but we study him to teach us. He is not Jewish but his suffering concerns me.”

Be Questioning
“I don’t know what to do about suffering but the question must be raised. As long as you are asking the question it will lead you to know for you are ready to know and to receive. If you have no questions you turn your back on yourselves and others and then you are indifferent.”

Be Not Indifferent
“There is nothing worse in life than indifference. Indifference to evil is evil and at times worse than evil…”

“The opposite of love is not hate but indifference.
The opposite of knowledge is not ignorance but indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness but indifference.
The opposite of life is not death but indifference because he or she who is indifferent is actually dead without knowing it.”

“In a moral society the first lesson is also the last—you must fight indifference. Whenever you fight and whatever you fight, ultimately you have fought indifference.”

Source: Elie Wiesel, "Building a Moral Society", ‘Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture’ DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, 21 September 1989.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States : The Revis family of North Carolina (Sure hope most American
families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family.)
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1, 862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23