shortland street publicity costs

I’d absolutely love (or maybe hate?  or both?) to know how much the huge (several ‘windows’ wide and several stories high) ads for shortland street (which I saw today in Auckland city-centre) cost to make, install, display and dispose-of…  It’s a freekin’ TV show…

(on a different tack, the two ‘by-lines’ I remember from the ads were: 1) “Trust no one”, and 2) ‘Lust makes fools of us all”.  Yawn…)

an end of the pax americana?

Obamas turn has come to rule the American empire.

Will it continue to be a mass-consuming empire of greed?

Only time will tell.

Here is a thoughtful, timely and read-worthy critique by Brian Walsh entitled:

Barack Obama: A Post-Imperial Presidency?

And yes, the same question could’ve/should’ve been asked had McCain won the election…

buying rubbish

It’s ‘inorganic rubbish collection’ time in Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand.

Northcote street-sides are loaded down with previously-wanted, cheaply-made, briefly-enjoyed and hastily-discarded stuff.

Interestingly, a rather large percentage of the items you’ll see piled outside homes in the area can be seen in pre-broken, pre-rusted or pre-outdated condition in store advertising fliers like the “Outdoor Living ’08” catalogue from the Warehouse (the near-exact New Zealand equivalent of ‘Wal-Mart’ – that corporation-of-all-corporations emanating from the U.S.).

Yes, the American disease of paying far-too-little for far-too-much is migrating shopping mall by shopping mall to New Zealand. Continue reading “buying rubbish”

making sense of sheldrake

[copied from excerpt from YouTube video (embedded below) of a talk given by Rupert Sheldrake at ‘Google Tech Talks’ on September 2, 2008 entitled “The Extended Mind: Recent Experimental Evidence”]

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 75 technical papers and ten books, the most recent being The Sense of Being Stared At. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College Cambridge.

We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited. Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. And people’s intentions can be detected by animals from miles away. The commonest kind of non-local interaction mental influence occurs in connection with telephone calls, where most people have had the experience of thinking of someone shortly before they ring. Controlled, randomized tests on telephone telepathy have given highly significant positive results. Research techniques have now been automated and experiments on telepathy are now being conducted through the internet and cell phones, enabling widespread participation.

I’d love to hear critique of Sheldrake that takes him seriously and respectfully enough to be patient, thorough and non-reactionary. I’m not ‘convinced’ by everything he says (probably not smart enough to know either way!), but I find it fascinating, and enjoyed a recent lecture on Sheldrake by Robert Mann. Continue reading “making sense of sheldrake”

wright – ‘wisdom in a troubled time’

In this sermon to head-masters/mistresses, Wright touches on quite a few important concerns – especially for our time.  In particular, he focuses on at least two examples of foolishness ( 1) economic foolishness demonstrated in the current ‘crisis’, and 2) the foolishness of the so-called ‘evolution-creation debate’) and the need for wisdom.  Good stuff, Bishop.

700 billion

700 billion is an incredible amount of money.

I fully admit I know very little about the complexities of the recent situation with the folding-in of large banks in the US.

But I find the hype and hollering about impending financial crisis (not to mention the proposed 700 billion dollar bail-out) to be an insult to the rest of the world, which has much bigger problems than losing their mansion or their high-powered job.

The stark difference in standard of living needs to be kept firmly in mind here.  Yes, people in the US (and perhaps other developed parts of the world which are financially linked to it) appear to be in for some rough times (I honestly don’t know what will happen), but there is a difference between losing a $100,000 home with all kinds of conveniences, and (for example) having to move in with a relative’s house for a few years on one hand, and never even dreaming what it would be like to have your own house, car, blender, toaster, television, electric razor and cotton sheets at all on the other hand. Continue reading “700 billion”

another science and faith article…

Here.  Interesting stuff…

being responsible with your bits

This post over at Scoop highlights the reality (whether we like it or not) that the ‘anything goes’ mindset (and more specifically the outworking of that mindset) toward sexuality is not healthy – literally.  It does matter where you put your bits.

For me, an interesting angle is that of self-control.  We have the ability to control even the most basic and ‘natural’ desires.

Clearly, none of us controls our ‘self’ as well as we may want to (if we are audacious enough to believe that we even should control ourselves).  Apparently, something more than short-term national campaigns is needed – according to the article:

The effects of the ‘Hubba Bubba’ campaign haven’t lasted. More young people are getting STIs, not fewer.  What’s needed is a renewed emphasis on education and personal responsibility. Young New Zealanders need an attitude change.

Maybe re-claiming the value of the human body and sexuality would help just a tad?

the logic that allowed public porn

Judge Nicola Mathers had this to say in regards to the ‘Boobs on Bikes’ parade in Auckland.

It is ‘not offensive per se for women to be topless’; her court was not one ‘of morals and it was her job to stick to the law’; and that “It may well be that the parade is tasteless but equally it may be that in a more mature society the vast majority might consider it harmless.”

My comments on each: Continue reading “the logic that allowed public porn”