Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding quiz

We had a Royal Wedding-themed Globe this evening, and as part of it I ran a quiz on aspects of the wedding of varying obscurity. Here are the questions - answers at the bottom (no cheating!):

1) What is the name of Kate Middleton’s sister? (1 point)
            a. Anna
            b. Pippa
            c. Milicent
            d. Harry

2) Name the venue for the wedding. (1 point)

3) What will be the new title of William and Kate? (1 point)

4) Three points if you can name the three hymns that were sung in the service today: (3 points)

5) There was a lot of speculation about who would design Kate’s dress, but in the end, who was it? (1 point)
             a. Sally Bercow
             b. Sarah Burton
             c. Bruce Oldfield
             d. She made it herself

6) In which country were William and Kate when they got engaged? (1 point)

7) There has been quite a bit of fuss over the fact that the wedding is publicly funded – but how much was actually directly funded by the taxpayer? (1 point)
8) David & Victoria Beckham, were invited to the wedding, but which pair of significant British figures were left out? (2x0.5 points)

9) Which two living Prime Ministers were invited? (2 points)

10) There was a lot of fuss made about the kiss on the balcony of Buck House, but whose wedding kicked off the tradition? (1 point)

So, how did you do? Comment and post your scores - compare!
The score is out of thirteen - and the best mark at Globe today was 12. I was very impressed no team scored under 10, I clearly didn't make it hard enough!
But in case you struggled, here are the answers:

1) b) Pippa
2) Westminster Abbey
3) Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
4) Bread of Heaven, Love Divine all loves excelling, Jerusalem
5) b) Sarah Burton - the expected designer was a popular choice, and the dress was widely praised, with some even likening Kate Middleton's appearance to that of Grace Kelly. Sarah Bercow is the wife of the speaker of the House of Commons, and Bruce Oldfield was speculate as an alternative.
6) Kenya - they were on a ten day trip celebrating William's completion of an RAF training course.
7) Only the security was directly funded - this cost the taxpayer £20 million including all security on the day, anti-terror operations and bank holiday pay. Everything else was funded by the Queen and Prince Charles or by the Middletons themselves.
8) Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - at Charles & Diana's full state wedding, all living British Prime Ministers were invited, but not so here as it was not a state wedding.
9)  John Major and Baroness Thatcher - John Major was appointed guardian to William and Harry after Diana's death, and both are appointed to the Order of the Garter, the highest knighthood in the land, along with William.
10) Charles & Diana - a spontaneous kiss kicked off a tradition of a public kiss at royal weddings - today you got two - absolute bargain!

Royal Wedding

For proper pictures of the wedding see Denise's blog.

This is how it should've been done:

Thursday, 28 April 2011

How to get a football contract

According to the BBC, this one and a half year old Dutch lad has landed himself a 10-year contract with his local football club. This is clearly the way to get into the game - score a hat-trick and get your dad to post it on Youtube.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Double Dream Hands

I don't know how many of you have seen John Jacobson's Double Dream Hands video, but it's a bit of an internet classic and one of my coursemates loves it:

Well, he's released a new video called Double Dream Feet:

I just love how happy he is in his videos. He seems to basically churn out songs and choreography for musicals designed for schools to perform, based on the belief that all kids should enjoy music. There's an interview with him here, and if you're really interested, you can even download his catalogue!

As a bonus, here's a video of him performing Double Dream Hands with the staff of the Ellen Degeneres Show for her birthday - it seems she was quite a fan of the video. If anything it's even better in an ensemble. Maybe we should record a DCS version...:

God in the city

Sometimes I look at an environment like the finance industry, and wonder whether any Christians exist there, and how long they last. I had a few graduating friends who wanted to get into finance, which was news to me, as it didn't seem like the kind of occupation a Christian would be inclined to follow.

Well, turns out there are a surprisingly large number of Christians in banking. And as for how being a Christian squares with all that money-making industry, given the 'love of money is the root of all kinds of evil' and 'it is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God' bits in the Bible, it is helpfully pointed out that it is the love of money, and that money is a gift from God. The question is not whether you earn money or not, but what your attitude towards that money is, and what you do with it.

How to hack like the movies

I don't know about you, but I've always been bothered by the way hackers in films can get crack open any computer system in the world with a few key presses and a couple of seconds, no password crackers, no rainbow tables, no issues about connecting remotely, nothing.

Well, now you can too, with HackerTyper.

Also worth a read is this article on computer usability in movies by Jakob Nielsen. Check out the side article on the astonishing compatibility between human and alien computer systems at the end of Independence Day too, that scene always bothered me - although I think it's one the of those wonderful films that's so bad it's great...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Does the Bible's account of the Resurrection add up?

I was on the interwebs today and came across a 'quiz' by an atheist that included some questions about the events in the gospel accounts surrounding the Resurrection, with the purpose of showing that the Bible accounts were inconsistent.

I confess I hadn't noticed these before, so I had a look at the Gospel accounts to see if this was accurate, turns out there are a few apparent inconsistencies (pertaining who went to the tomb when, and who they met when there etc.). Here are the 4 accounts:

Dilemma, eh? Well, I had a look on the internet, and found what seems to be a pretty good accounting for the whole thing here.

As an interesting aside, it is also of note that the Bible characters confound the popular myth that is put round that people in those times where credulous and prepared to believe any old miracles, because they were superstitious and not naturalists like us. Well, in actual fact, I think the Jews of that time were probably not that different. Sure, they believed the Old Testament miracles, but there had been 400 years since the last significant prophetic activity - I imagine they saw miracles as a thing of the past.

However, more than that, firstly, Luke was a doctor, and he describes his intent to put together an orderly account based on interviews of eyewitnesses - he was systematic and thorough in seeking the facts.

Secondly, the couple on the road to Emmaus were also sceptical. They had been told that Jesus was risen, and yet rather than rushing to believe in a miracle, they were doubtful, and it was only when Jesus appeared to them, explaining how the whole Bible pointed to Jesus and His resurrection, that they actually believed.

Thirdly, Thomas was a thorough sceptic. Even when the other 11 said that they had actually seen Jesus, he still refused to believe until he saw Jesus for himself. He did not believe until he saw Jesus for himself.

Lastly, the Gospels also describe that Jesus explicitly told them that he must die and rise again, but when he did, rather than taking what he said at face value, the disciples debated what he meant by 'rising from the dead'. If they were quick-to-believe primitives, surely they would have worked out what Jesus meant? But they knew that dead men did not rise from the dead (even though they had seen Jesus do miracles, they were still slow to believe).

The Gospel account of the Resurrection is coherent, and is not simply the work of gullible, superstitious believers. The whole of the Christian faith hangs on the Resurrection - it is the evidence that proves that Jesus' redeeming work on the Cross worked. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 15 - if He did not rise from the dead, we will not also rise, and thus we have no hope for the future and of all men, Christians are the most pitiable. If we believe the Resurrection, we can believe anything else that the Bible says, because it is the summit - the whole Bible is aiming to this point.

The Resurrection is the central truth of the Christian faith - everything else stands or falls with it - so what do you think, do you find it credible?