Friday, September 29, 2006

A photograph of a smiling face

Greetings, one and all, and welcome to todays post, one which I personally find highly amusing. I have been hearing a lot about an internet face recognition site in recent weeks ( should any of you care to visit after reading this) and the hilarious consequences of its "matching" of your face with celebrities. The idea that Jack Sykes should have the same face as Britney Spears is one of those things that just shouldn't be thought about to deeply!

Anyway, I found the website and so submited a picture of myself. The first matches were, how can I put it, not what I expected!.
Calista Flockhart, known only to me as "the girl who's going out with Harrison Ford" and Pavel Nedved, the Czech midfielder who should be admired for his hair if nothing else!

Then came the middle range of matches, and whilst I have always thought I bore a resemblance to Tom Cruise I was rather surprised that my face can apparently belong to both Gladiator Russell Crowe and that girl from Pirates of the Carribean et al.

Moving into the upper echelons of matching now with 70% was Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum, a man who I always admired for the immortal line "that is one big pile of . . . . " and my second most likely match, Country Star Willie Nelson!?. Hmmm, I definately did not see that one coming, however he certainly looks like a very happy man with a beard so I guess I can live with it.

So now, I'm guessing, you're all on the edge of your seats pondering the questuion of who my face most resembles. I had several guesses and even a few wild hopes of who I may secretly look like (according to the massive authority of this random website at least).

Well . . . . I was wrong.

You, if you had a guess . . . . . .are also wrong

The man my face resembles with 76% accuracy is in fact . . . .

Yes, the Top Gear presented affectionately refered to as the Hamster!

Well I dare say it could have been worse . . . . Imagine how impressed Britney must have felt when she was matched with the one and only Jack Sykes . . . . .

Thursday, September 21, 2006

How 'bout talking about yourself?

I haven’t posted for ages so I thought I’d post this survey someone emailed to me!

Name; Magnum

Birthday: 14th April

Birthplace: Nottingham

Current Location: Liverpool

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Brown

Height: 5ft 7in

Right Handed or Left Handed: Left

Your Heritage: British

The Shoes You Wore Today: Rapid fading white Trainers

Your Weakness: I’m terrible at communicating with people

Your Fears: None

Your Perfect Pizza: Ham and Pinapple

Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: To understand where God wants me next year!

Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger: So, How are you?

Thoughts First Waking Up: Do I really want to go running. . . . .really?

Your Best Physical Feature: I have no idea

Your Bedtime: Generally pretty late

Your Most Missed Memory: The view over Lough Erne and my sudden desire to move to Ireland

Pepsi or Coke: Neither – I don’t like fizzy drinks

MacDonalds or Burger King: Neither, I find both quite nasty – ask Cathy Midmer!

Single or Group Dates: Single

Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Neither

Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla

Cappuccino or Coffee: Proper Coffee, far too many cups a day if possible

Do you Smoke: Cigars, occassionally

Do you Swear: No

Do you Sing: Yes, though not very well

Do you Shower Daily: Yes

Have you Been in Love: Pass

Do you want to go to College: No, though I would like to be called Doctor, so maybe an online university thing you can buy!!!

Do you want to get Married: I would like to, but you never know what lies ahead

Do you believe in yourself: Yes

Do you get Motion Sickness: No

Are you a Health Freak: Not at all

Do you get along with your Parents: Yes

Do you like Thunderstorms: Yes, they are truly amazing

Do you play an Instrument: Yes – Guitar, keyboards and occasionally trombone

In the past month have you Drank Alcohol: Yes

In the past month have you Smoked: No

In the past month have you been on Drugs: No

In the past month have you gone on a Date: No – (U.C.C.F. rules)

In the past month have you gone to a Mall: No

In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos: No

In the past month have you eaten Sushi: Yes

In the past month have you been on Stage: Yes – at a church youth event as guest guitarist and talk about relay

In the past month have you been Dumped: No

In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping: No

In the past month have you Stolen Anything: No

Ever been Drunk: Yes

Ever been called a Tease: I really doubt it

Ever been Beaten up: Yes

Ever Shoplifted: No

How do you want to Die: Good question – I’d like know it was coming, maybe diagnosed with cancer or something so I could say all my last goodbyes etc

What do you want to be when you Grow Up: Honoring to God (ooooh that’s cheesy)

What country would you most like to Visit: Ireland (again, and again) – I love it

In a Boy/Girl..

Favourite Eye Color: Don’t really mind

Favourite Hair Color: Depends on the person – I don’t have a preference

Short or Long Hair: Long

Height: No great preference though not 6 inches taller than me if possible!

Weight: Depends . . . .

Best Clothing Style: Again, depends on the person – it wouldn’t take much to look cooler than me

Number of Drugs I have taken: None

Number of CDs I own: Far too many

Number of Piercings: Depends really – I’m not a massive fan

Number of Tattoos: Hmmmm, not a fan but probably depends on the person again

Number of things in my Past I Regret: To many – but “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15) one of my favourite verses!

Monday, July 10, 2006

People take pictures of each other . . .

I apologise for the lack of posting recently and also that this is such a small and strange post, but I felt that I should share this news with the world.

I have discovered that "Big Phil Scolari", coach of the Portuguese and Brazilian football teams of recent years has a secret identity and submit the pictures below as evidence. . . . enjoy!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Philosophers philosophise, but rarely look you in the eyes

I have been accused of using this blog to write bitter diatribes about women; well actually I have been accused of using this blog to recreate the style of Ike Graham the lead character from the film Runaway Bride. In any case today’s column will, I hope, be a stinging criticism of a form of government and lifestyle whose appeal, to be entirely honest, escapes me.

That form is Marxism.

Only last week I was bombarded with endless leaflets bemoaning capitalism and vigorously advocating Marx as the saviour of the world. I was presented with multiple copies of the socialist worker newspaper (refused on the grounds that we have real toilet paper in our house at the moment) and generally harassed by people who normally wouldn’t have looked at me, never mind spoken.

By Wednesday I felt I had suffered enough and politely enquired what was so great about Marxism anyway? A question that, I have to tell you, remains unanswered despite the vast swathes of students claim to follow him.

To all students out there, please help me out here, what is the attraction? Is it truly that you and he have seen through the corporate red tape that divides and conquers our society? Or is it merely a last desperate attempt at anarchistic rebellion before graduation and a life in the real world? Maybe it is even overwhelming respect and admiration of that towering symbol of communism, the beard, which in Marx’s case and indeed his accomplice Friedrich Engels surely belongs somewhere on Salisbury Plain rather than attached to a person?

Whatever it may be; let us take a look at a few facts of communism, the only surviving form of Government based on Marxism. Firstly it’s worth pointing out that Marx’s critique: Das Kapital, where he outlines many of the beliefs adhered to by communists was never even finished. The first volume was published in 1867 and yet Marx didn’t manage to have the other volumes published before his death in 1883. Could it be that, despite claiming to have them ready at the time of the first publication Marx did not in fact now the conclusions of his own work? The other volumes were “edited” and published by his colleagues Friedrich Engels and Karl Kautsky between 1893 and 1910. Now if in 1867 Marx claimed the books were ready, how come it took him and two friends over 40 years to produce them?

Secondly, we have the mass of evidence presented by the former USSR and its complete failure to make communism work for 50 years before the people, or die Leute as Marx termed them, the very ones who were supposed to want and benefit from the system overthrew there leaders.

And finally, my most damning evidence for the failure of the system comes from Marx himself. One of the few opinions myself and Marx share is this; “After a period of time the state control of production and income for the benefit of the people will end”. Sadly however this agreement was to be short lived as Marx thought that it would end because the state would cease to exist having handed “power to the people” to quote the second most well known Marxist, Wolfie Smith of BBC comedy Citizen Smith. This however I’m afraid to say is nothing more than an idealistic dream as we see that the divide between those with the power, namely the government, and those without, namely everyone else, grow ever wider until their ultimate end when corruption and theft have reduced so many to so little and those remaining finally break free from their oppressors to retake what’s left of there country. The classless society will never come about this way, if at all. In the “people’s republic of China” the private sector accounts for 50% of their economy, whilst in Vietnam the figure is even more anti-Marxist. This leaves the little known country of Laos and Cuba as the only true exponents of Marxist Communism in the world today, and you only have to look in the seas around America to see how desperate Die Leute are to escape, sailing for freedom on anything bigger or drier than a Ryvita biscuit.

If all this has failed to dissuade you from picking up the baton or indeed beard of Karl Marx then I fear there is no hope left. Head for an army surplus store, consign your career to the scrap heap and be prepared for a big I told you so from, well, every one else. Still you’ll save money on razor blades . . . .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You even mystify me by the way you talk

This blog is based on a real conversation this lunchtime; only the names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

What follows is a series of quotes that I found particularly amusing

Cathy: I asked for tap water at the cafĂ© and they wouldn’t give it me
Magnum: Why didn’t you try the bar?
(points to bar the length of the room about 20 yards away)
Cathy: Ah

On viewing a picture that looked strangely like herself (mainly because it was)
Cathy: It can’t be me, I don’t own that top!

On feeling a banana to see if it was soft
Cathy: I could do an obstetrics test to see which way the baby is
Magnum: You do know that’s a banana?
Cathy: Sorry, I’ve been doing obstetrics for too long, everything feels like a foetus
Magnum: And we’re done with the muffin (which up till that point I had been enjoying)

Disclaimer: The more astute amongst you will have realised that, in fact, the names were not changed at all.

I also include news of a legalise cannabis march in London last week. According to one member, it started as a march but ended up as more of a wander! And of course the times managed to run with the headline that the turnout for the march was High!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

When work is over. . . .

Todays post is somewhat of a cheat. I read this story in the times today and thought it was wonderful and should be shared with all of you. It's long but worth reading. . . . . this is Arthur

IF THE US economy had more workers like Arthur Winston then George Bush would not fret so much about spiralling social security and medicare bills.
Mr Winston retired from his job as a bus maintenance worker in Los Angeles yesterday. It was his 100th birthday and, in a 90-year working career, he has had only one day off — when his wife died in 1988.

Nine years ago, he received a Congressional citation from President Clinton as America’s “Employee of the Century”. In the same year LA’s transport authority renamed its South Bay bus depot the “Arthur Winston division”.
But still he carried on working, reporting at 6am each day to supervise cleaning and refuelling of the city’s buses, so that he could support his family. His wife and four children are now all dead. “It wasn’t heavy work, that’s the main thing,” Mr Winston said yesterday.

Sergio Rubalcava, a fellow worker, said that Mr Winston began each work day by bending over to touch his toes to demonstrate that he was fit: “He’s incredible”.
Mr Winston’s story is one of black America over the past century. Born in Oklahoma, he began picking cotton when he was 10. When droughts and storms ruined several crop seasons, his family headed west and in 1924 he found work as a janitor with a railway company.

Apart from a four-year stint parking cars, he has been working in public transport in the city ever since. The job he had really wanted was driving a bus, not cleaning it. But black people were not allowed such careers in the 1920s.
Dana Coffey, a bus service manager, said that Mr Winston had shown what hard work and dedication could accomplish. “Whenever someone complains the work is too hard, the hours too long, I tell them to go see Arthur,” she said. “No one has ever heard Arthur complain.”

Mr Winston said: “Don’t get me wrong. I had my bad days, but there was no use just laying around the house, so I came in.” How will he cope with retirement? “I’m kind of nervous,” he replied. “But I won’t be sitting down, no sir. Man my age sits down, he might not get up. I’m too smart to sit down..”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You kept reminding me of what I am

The title of todays blog is taken from a song called "once a thief". The lyrics go something like ; Once a thief, always a suspect. Once a liar, never be believed.

The song then centres around the idea that because the protagonist was once a thief he will never be allowed to forget it and as my title has it, people keep reminding me of what I am. This then somehow lead me to start thinking of what we are as christians, and what we once were and how it is very easy to forget that. (It is difficult to follow my thought patterns sometimes, I know!)

Being entirely honest with you all, I know I frequently think about how good it is being a christian and make the distinction between myself and secular people. Obviously a Christian there are some differences but I often get caught in the trap of thinking or saying "why would you do that" or "what sort of people are interested in that". Then later on I think about it some more and realise I know exactly, what sort of people.....people like me. Without the grace of God I would be in exactly the same position as the people I condemn, even if I don't mean to do it, when I think how I am now better than them, having been saved.

I feel that I am rambling slightly and not making myself very clear so I will end by letting God (through Paul) explain. The following verse is from 1 Timothy 1:15-16 and somes up pretty neatly that God saves us when we are just as bad, if not worse, than everyone else.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners— of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

To this end I pray that everyone I know will keep reminding me of exactly what I am!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

That's why I remain yours truly, confused N10

O.K.... . .I'm gonna post today purely to avoid the continual barracking of "when are you going to update your blog?", despite the fact that I don't have a whole lot to say.
The title of my post today comes from a song on the new album by Ray Davies, a man who I talk about continually as the greatest songwriter in the world, period. His new solo album came out last week and debuted on chart at number 36, not bad for a dude in his sixties most famous in THE sixties!
Anyhow, it also makes a good title for my post as yesterday after having been up and working on my dissertation project for far too many hours straight, I attempted to leave a message as my msn sign in name asking for prayer for a meeting with my supervisor. It was only when I returned to this message after the meeting and some coffee that I realised it made no sense at all, it read

"please pray for me, dissertation dude at 3, work is hard, lost in santa fe, ants everywhere!"

If anyone can guess as to what that message means (imagine you read it on msn yesterday) please do let me know.

until then, I remain yours truly, confused, N10

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

There are so many lies around

Firstly I have to apologise for the complete lack of posting for about a month but with one thing and another I haven’t really had time.

Today’s post will concern mainly a question arising from last night hall group bible study on Joshua 2. The question being “Is it ever right to lie?” The background to this being that Rahab lies to the king in order to protect two Israelites spies. This then ensures that she is kept safe when the Israelites later take control of the land. Initially, the question was raised that by her lying she was serving God’s purpose because in Matthew 1 we discover she is in fact an ancestor of Jesus. I think it is important to say that I don’t think God ever wants us to lie to serve him; he was simply using the fact that she lied and was then spared. It is also true that had she not lied and had been killed God would have brought about Jesus’ coming to earth in another way; it would not have made it impossible to happen. Anyway, the debate “Is it ever right to lie” is what I’m going to talk about if I haven’t bored you all to death already.

Disclaimer: the following is my opinion so please feel free to comment and disagree as you see fit.

I think the first thing to say is that lying is wrong, always. God does not want us to lie to people and I think that is quite clear, it’s up there with things like murder that most people would agree we just shouldn’t do. My opinion from this point is that although lying is wrong, there are circumstances in which we all do it. The fact that I think something is wrong does not mean that I wouldn’t do it at some point.

The clichĂ© Hollywood example would be, someone is pointing a gun at the person I love and is going to kill her, I have a gun and can therefore take out the “bad guy” first, if I want to. Others may disagree but I am almost 100% certain that I would take the chance and shoot the other man, in order to protect the person I loved. This means that although I know killing is wrong, it would not prevent me from doing it if I thought it was necessary. This then effectively makes all situations like this a “means to an end” type scenario. If we value the end result highly enough then we will sacrifice principles and go against what we know is right to achieve them.
This ties in nicely with a point from a film I watched the other day, namely Batman Begins.

Liam Neeson’s character, Ducard, is intent on stopping the crime wave that is Gotham City. His means is by simply destroying it so that there is no trace of the evil remaining. Although you are meant to side with Batman, that this is not good, I can easily see how Ducard’s approach is reached and justified. The end, that the crime and evil in the city is ended for good, is so important to the man that he is willing to do something seemingly horrific and evil in order to achieve it.

I think that this lead to a sort of “everyone has there price” situation where it becomes simply a question of what we value highly enough to make us go against our beliefs. This would no doubt be different for everyone although there may well be some things that would affect many people.

Well there we go, that was a lot more than I intended to say, I hope I haven’t offended anyone and may have inspired some debate!
Moving to less deep subjects I was keenly watching the championship play-offs this weekend where Seattle beat Carolina and then Pittsburgh Steelers beat Denver Broncos. This deserves special mention as Denver have not been beaten at home all season and previously knocked out the N.E. Patriots, winners for the last two years.

So there it is, Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Seattle Seahawks – Sunday 5th Feb, about 11o’clock in England and sadly only available on Sky Sports 3 – I’m backing the Steelers!

Oh and one last thing especially for Angie

Detroit Tigers Rule!

Two guys called Magnum can’t be wrong!