Playlist Meme

Here’s something I found on Psion-champion Ewan Spence’s blog, which was inspired by Feet up!.

1. Open up the music player on your computer.

2. Set it to play your entire music collection.

3. Hit the “shuffle” command.

4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing.

Here is my list:

  1. Chris Cornell – Wave Goodbye
  2. Superjoint Ritual – The Knife Rises
  3. Alabama Thunder Pussy – Crying Out Loud
  4. Fish – Old Crow (moving on) (Demo)
  5. The Cooper Temple Clause – Promises Promises
  6. Peter Gabriel – Bread & Wine (‘Last Temptation’ soundtrack)
  7. Pantera – The Badge
  8. Del Amitri – Move Away Jimmy Blue
  9. Prong – Rude Awakening
  10. Oldsolar – Cut

Not bad. Mostly rocking! Phew!

The earthquake actually moved the earth!

The details of the recent Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting aftershocks and tsunami can be read about at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.

Some of the details are astounding, with regards the sheer power of the earthquake. For example:

The shift of mass and the massive release of energy very slightly altered the Earth’s rotation. The exact amount is yet undetermined, but theoretical models suggest the earthquake may have shortened the length of a day by as much as three microseconds (3 µs) and caused the Earth to minutely “wobble” on its axis by up to 2.5 cm (1 inch), or perhaps by up to 5 or 6 cm. However, due to tidal effects of the Moon, the length of a day increases by 15 µs every year, so any rotational speedup due to the earthquake will be quickly lost. Similarly, the natural Chandler wobble of the Earth can be up to 15 m (50 ft).

More spectacularly, some of the smaller islands southwest of Sumatra may have moved southwest up to 20 m (66 ft). The northern tip of Sumatra, which is on the Burma Plate (the southern regions are on the Sunda Plate), may also have moved up to 36 m (118 ft) southwest. Movement was likely both vertical as well as lateral. Measurements using GPS and satellite imagery are being used to determine the extent and nature of actual geophysical change.

We live on a living, moving planet; it would be good for us to remember that. We tend to believe that we can control our environment, that we humans are above nature — we are most definitely not.

The human cost I cannot comprehend. If it were up to 6,000 lives I could compare it to the population of my hometown, Selkirk. If it were more than 18,000 lives I could compare it to the population of Hawick … but even that is getting too big for me to comprehend. But more than 150,000… I struggle to grasp what that means. I struggle to make that real and concrete and comprehensible in my own mind, in my own experience.

At church this morning we were exploring new and small ways to keep raising money for the appeal. So far, our immediate response was to send £1,100 with an additional £300+ being added in Gift Aid. Not bad for a congregation of fewer than twenty.

My (perhaps, cynical) fear, however, is that other causes will be forgotten, or that governments will push through undesirable policies while everyone’s attention is drawn elsewhere. Am I just being paranoid?

The Photon Connection

I’ve been tidying up my study this evening and I discovered the A4 poster for the 1982-83 IEE Faraday Lecture that my dad, Keith J. Saunders lectured, called The Photon Connection.

The Photon Connection

It was while doing the Faraday Lecture that Dad collapsed with a brain haemorrhage, on the Ides of March, 15 March 1983. Apparently, he was being interviewed by the BBC in Nottingham shortly after having delivered the lecture, when he collapsed and was shortly after rushed to hospital. And thus began a fifteen year illness.

I’ve also got his original script, which one day I’ll scan and post on this site. It’s great…! Hertz was a German who wore a peaked cap! (That one was for Griff!)

Cellardyke … the royal visit

Blimey, we’re exhausted! Today was our third visit to the house in Cellardyke this week, and it was really beginning to show in our energy levels. Having already visited Tesco, the local Civic Amenities Site (the dump!), WH Smith at the Gyle (shopping centre) and B&Q (affectionately known in our house as “Bob & Quentin’s”… but it would appear it really stands for “Block and Quayle”. I digress…) we met my Mum off the bus and drove her to Cellardyke.

Cellardyke Kitchen
Mum and Jane in the kitchen at Cellardyke, following our first heated lunch in the place.

While Jane cracked on with painting the lounge walls, Mum and I explored the cellar (discovering what looked like a treasure chest, but containing only blankets and sheets) and the garden, which will need a lot of work done to it in the Spring. I am still delighted each time I climb the garden and can look out over the roof of the house to the Firth of Forth and the Isle of May. I don’t think I shall ever tire of that view.

The filler in the small(er) bedroom had dried so I began to rub it down in preparation for painting, only to discover that not only did some of it need re-filled I had also missed ten rawlplugs buried deeply in the opposite wall. How do you remove them, without also removing chunks of plaster? The only way I know how to remove them at all is to screw in a fresh screw, and with a pair of pliers give a healthy yank. More filling. More waiting. I went to make myself useful in the kitchen.

Mum had gone for a walk by now, so I turned off the gas fire, cranked up my personal CD player (through speakers) and began to rub down the kitchen wall with a wire-brush in preparation for … guess! That’s right: painting! The wall — which is at the front of the house — shows signs of damp. Some paint was flaking off, in other areas the paint had a chalky texture. I consulted my Big Boy’s Book of Interesting DIY Things and it helpfully advised us to treat the outside wall with something like Thompson’s Water Seal… during dry weather. In Scotland?! They are surely taking the piss! And the inside with some kind of anti-damp primer sealant fixer stuff. I’ve just spent a good few minutes checking out the Thompson website, and I have to admit getting quite excited about water sealing products. Sorry!

We finished the evening at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar for fish and chips, before a long, weary and wet drive to Selkirk and back. A fine day.

Tomorrow, we stay at home!

Simply Alt.Worship

I recently discovered this website

which has some wonderful articles and resources for worship, and worship that pushes the boundaries of what is usually encountered in traditional church services. I’m looking forward to getting into this site a lot more in the next few weeks.

I’m really looking forward to the Deep Impact 2005 weekend from 14-16 January. I’m leading one of the sessions about good online Christian resources, and last night the organiser, Iain Clyne, invited me to play bass guitar in the worship band, which is being led by Andy Flannagan. I’m so looking forward to it, and seeing some old friends again, particularly Andrew Howie.

This year my intention is to simplify my life a little more, and get deeper into prayer and worship. The new house should allow me that opportunity to get away from the usual pressures and busy demands of e-mail, and the distractions of my PC.