Monday, 30 March 2009

Invisible Children

This organisation aims to help children caught up in the conflict in Northern Uganda. Uganda has been terrorised by the Lords Resistance Army, a rebel army, led by Joseph Kony. One of their many horrific tactics is to kidnap children and force them into a life of violence. Imagine yourself at the age of 12, what were you doing? Playing on the computer or in the garden? Reading books and watching TV? At a stretch, doing homework? These children at this age are being forced to kill.

On April 25th Invisible Children are organising an event called 'The Rescue', where you basically abduct yourself for a day and wait to be rescued. For more information click here. I'm going to the Cardiff event, and if you wish to join me, or perhaps go to the on in Leeds or London, get in contact.

Okay, time for a bit of a rant. I announced this after Church on Sunday, at something called The Living Room, where students get together. When asking someone if they were interested they said no, on the basis that it wasn't a Christian organisation. Their argument sounded somewhat plausible, that people should meet both their spiritual and physical need. That is very true. However, I still don't think that should stop us not being involved in this organisation. We are called to go into the world an preach the Gospel, and that can include into non-Christian organisations. If we were to limit ourselves to just Christians working with Christians, we wouldn't get very far. Moreover, God calls for us to act for justice. We cannot say 'we let these children be abducted and killed because other Christians didn't take the initiative to do anything about it'. It sounds like an excuse for complacency. We need to get involved in such issues, and we can do so in a way that we tell our motivation: that our God is the God of justice.

21st Century Citizen

I was talking to a friend the other day on what historians and anthropologists would say about the 21st century. It was quite staggering the type of cultural reforms that have taken place during my lifetime. So here are some key points that have defined the ways of my generation:

The Internet
The years that has probably defined our Internet culture were 2003-2005. Between those years we have seen the rise of such sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook. MySpace and Facebook have revolutionised how we 'network'. We are able to share information instantly, follow people's moods and doings, organise events and throw sheep at one another. Youtube allows us to watch videos, listening to music and watch videos of random strangers tell us about their lives. I am a bit of a youtube addict. My subscriptions include communitychannel and fiveawesomegirls. This is rather amusing as one person I've encountered via YouTube is jerryhcooke, who happens to be good friends with Rachel. It was surreal when my irl and url lives met. Blogging is obviously another trend worth mentioning, as is Twitter, the micro-blog site.

Terrorism is not a phenomenon only encountered by my generation, but it is a threat that has somewhat defined us. After one day school my twin and I were told by the deputy head, who bumped into us, about two planes flying into two tall buildings in New York. Just under four years later I was sitting in my sixth-form common room reading about explosions in London. These days will be remember for many years to come. However, the threat of terrorism was one already known by the British, due to the activities of the IRA. In 2001, alone, the IRA detonated car bombs outside the BBC news centre, outside a post-office and Ealing Broadway; these are the ones just in London. However, the somewhat internal troubles of Northern Ireland have been superseded by more extensive international problems.

Economic downturn
The society of the 90s and 00s will be defined as decadent and frivolous. This is possibly set to change as we reach the 2010s. In December of 2007 the economy took a downturn and has kept on going. Perhaps our culture will become more frugal, especially if things get worse.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Love across the divide

This is a tale of two unlikely characters forming a friendship: a friendship so deep, so lovely, so unexpected. Despite expectations of rivalry and even emnity, their friendship blossomed. Perhaps a modern day Romeo and Juliet, or Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Use the internet to change the world

The internet is a wonderful resource that is so often wasted. It has changed how we get information, how we communicate and interact with the outside world. It has the power to change things. So, about once a week or fortnight, I shall link you to a website that I think can help do that. They will be tagged with 'websites' and 'world issues' to make it easier for you to find them.

Today, you're extra lucky, as I'm going to link you to two sites.

The first is It aims to put fairer trade back on the G20 agenda. The G20 is taking place in London on 2nd April. For more information about the G20 London Summit go here. So go to that site and egg a politician.

The other is It is an online petitioning site that sends emails to politiians about certain issues. This week it is petitioning to free the pro democracy prisoners of Burma, including one of my heros, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Check those sites out, and if you have any suggestions of your own send them to me.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

A load of rubbish

Today, I didn't get up and put the bins out. You may think that it was slack of me, because obviously it was my turn and I missed it. No, it was not my turn. It must be someone elses turn by now. Only once has someone else put the bins out. If I'm away, the bins don't go out, if I forget (which rarely happens), the bins don't go out. Today I overslept. I just didn't want to get out of bed, so I thought that maybe, just maybe, someone else will do it.

To be honest, the reason I overslept was because I didn't get to bed until late. That is because I'm making a present for a friend, and I sort of got excited and didn't stop until 2am. Whoops.

Oh well. Perhaps if I go to sleep and wake up again, I'll realise it had all been a bad dream. The bins, did in fact go out, and also some one else washed the tea-towels. That'd be nice.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

For Real?

This cannot be for real. I mean, really?


This is going to be a very short entry. The other day my friend Becca was saying that she will probably be in for a bit of a shock when leaving University. It wasn't about living in the real world, or having to go to work each day, etc. It was about boys. He thoughts were that being surrounded by guys from CU gave her a certain impression of what guys our age should be like, but that probably wasn't the reality. My question to you is this: do you think non-Christians are different than Christians? If so, how and why? I would really like to hear you thoughts.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Proof Reading

Just a short note as an interlude between dissertation work. As an English student, surely I would have learnt how to proof read by now? Judging by the amount of mistakes in my last post (aptly named, Epic Fail), obviously not. Just to reassure you, I do proof read my work. Also, I am not going through some mental breakdown characterised by violent self-deprecation and a lack of self-esteem. Mainly because yesterday I won a fancy-dress competition!

On Wednesday it was Josh's birthday (who goes under the pseudonym of Devonlad), and on Thursday there was his party (arranged by his wife Rachel- I never miss a change to direct people to my favourite blogs. If I read them, they're worth reading). The theme was, of course, Devon. We had to go as anything Devonian, and my thought was: 'what's more Devonian than Devon?'. So I cut out a map of the county from card and stuck it to myself. I am now the proud owner of some Sweet Apple Chutney with West Country Cider. The female winner was Hannah Nelson, who came in her pyjamas. Why? you may ask. Well, the word pyjamas was apparently introduced by a famous Devonian.

Now I must prof reed.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Epic Fail

Okay, this week I have failed. At just about everything. That was a bit of an exaggeration. This week I did not fail at doing my essay, or things like that. So this is what I have failed at:
  • Lent: On Saturday I totally neglected to read my Bible/pray. And I've only done half the time on two days that I should have. However, it is more than I usually do and it has still greatly blessed me. So I shall continue to try and do it. My only reassurance is that the period of Lent is forty days if you do not count the Sundays. I have been, so I'm actually still on my reading quota for Lent. Phew!
  • No-Meat-March: This one I have given up on. Sunday, without thinking I ordered a Zinger Tower from KFC. This is very sad, as I'm not a huge fan of KFCs. My excuse is that I had been standing on a pitch for 2 hours and was quite tired so didn't have the capacity to think my order through. So I, with reckless abandon, have eaten meat everyday since. But, don't make me out to be an evil person, first, I rarely eat meat anyway, and second, it was more of an experiment.
  • Facebook: How can you fail at facebook? Well, a somewhat ambiguous status was misconstrued. I'm currently waiting for someone to email me information about a job. So I wrote my status as 'Thomas is anxiously waiting, waiting, waiting'. Some people jumped to the obvious (?) conclusion that I had proposed to Rachael and it all went down hill from there. Then later on the same day, after refuting the matter, I left my facebook left logged on Rose's laptop. So I was, to use that somewhat horrible turn of phrase, facebook raped. Yuck, what a horrible way to say it. Basically, Rose took the opportunity to write somewhat defaming things in my 'About Me' section.

Another thing I really, epically fail at is Tetris. I am rubbish. My tetris piles have more gaps than a government education policy. But I found an article that tetris relieves stress. Well, when I play my heart is pumping in my chest and my right eye twitches.

One thing I haven't failed at is my degree. We had a cascade calculator on our student profile which told us what we could get. We inputted predicted grades and then saw what came out. So i played around to see what was the lowest mark I could get and receive a 2:1. It turns out I just have to pass these two last modules and I have a 2:1. That is good news. If I want a first, however, I have to get 70+ for both of them, which is doable. So, although I may fail at somethings, the future still looks bright.

Talking of bright, the weather is beautiful! I'm tidying my room at the moment and then going to do some work on the beach, I think. That doesn't really cover all I've been up to recently, but it'll do for now.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bad Idea

Sometimes I think it's a bad idea to have wireless connection. Or internet at that matter. My ability to focus on my work is greatly impeded, as you can tell. I have a 3000 word essay to write for Monday, and I'm finding it difficult to get down and do.

Anyway, the lent thing is going well, except yesterday I think I fell short by 5-15 minutes. I forgot to time, lost track etc. However, people have been sending me their prayer requests. But I still want more, people. That way I will feel accountable, and it will encourage me to pray. This lent idea has blessed me greatly, and I'm really beginning to appreciate the Bible so much more now. It is a really amazing book. However, there is still a part of me that sees it as a chore, and not as a joy (which another part does), so I'm going to have to stamp that bit out quickly. Through Genesis alone God exhibits his faithfulness, grace, mercy, love, compassion and wrath. It is quite awesome.

I really want Blogger to sort out the line breaks. I know what it is, it's the the text alignment codes that mess it up. I hate having to go into Edit Html every time and sort it out. And when you add images.

Yesterday a group of us watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was quite good, but very long. It is framed by a sort of death-bed confession just before Hurricane Katrina rages through New Orleans. It concerns a man that is born 80 years old and get younger, rather than aging. It is really moving in places, and it is filled with both hope and sadness. Some of our party saw it as a waste of two and a half hours of their life, which they'll never get back (somewhat ironic with the subject matter of the film).

The film score was remarkably good, but very characteristic of Alexandre Desplat. It had the same sort of haunting themes, with the bright, sharp and simple melodies and softly scored string accompaniments as The Painted Veil. In places he makes use of modal passages in order to create the fantastical and dream-like quality (which I think is used as a theme of Daisy), and often rises towards dissonance to give a sense of poignancy. The instrumentation is interesting, especially in Love in Murnansk. But enough of my musical analysis.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Tell me

It feels like I haven't updated in ages, but my last post was actually on Saturday. Not much really has happened between then, except...meeting Rachael's family. They were really nice and I think (and hope and pray) they like me. So that was quite a relief.
As you know from my post Lent (and if you don't, click the link!) that I have given up an hour every day to read the Bible and pray. However, it is very Bible reading based. So this is where your input comes in, people. I would like you to tell me anything that you want me to pray for. I've got an hour people so, if I spend 2 minutes praying on each point, that's 30 prayer points people. So, if you do, put them on the back of a blank post-card to...not really. You can facebook me, tell me in person, or put a comment on this post. But can you also pray for me, so here are my three points:
  1. Uni-Work: I'm really unmotivated at the moment, so can you pray that God changes this. Also that I don't get stressed, etc.
  2. After Uni: I'm in the process of trying to find out what I'm doing after Uni. Can you pray that God gives me guidance.
  3. Lent: Pray that my Lent efforts don't go wasted and that I use them effectively, and that God really edifies me in the process.
I'm in the process of tidying my room. Well, obviously at the moment I'm writing this post. But you get me, don't you? (I'd actually be surprised if you said yes, I don't get me most of the time). No meat March is going okay, but I'm not quite a vegetarian, but a piscitarian. I don't know whether the eating of fish is more sustainable than the rest of meat, probably not. Oh well.