I love conspiracies as much as the next paranoid nutter. Here’s one I came across recently — actually, it’s not terribly new, it’s all about the 9/11 Pentagon Strike, but it’s presented really well as a web-streamed Flash movie. If you’re on dial-up it’ll take a long while to load, but it’s been put together with a lot of love and attention.

Pentagon Strike video (3MB, Flash)

No new TV

Jane and I were thinking that we’d have to buy a new TV for our living room. Every now and then (and more frequently than we’d like) the picture would suddenly cut out until one of us got up and waggled the SCART lead in one of the sockets at the back of the set. How annoying!

I got a catalogue from Maplin today and flicking through it got me thinking. Maybe I could fix it myself. If the SCART socket is broken perhaps I could desolder it and replace it with a new one; they only cost 85p at Maplin. I e-mailed my friend Robin who runs a TV repair shop in Inverness called Telly On The Blink. I don’t need a new socket, just resolder the one I have, he suggested.

Robin on the Blink
Robin on the Blink in his TV shop in Inverness.

So I did just that. (Dad had taught me to solder before I went to university — though I can’t remember why, but it’s a skill that has come in very handy more than once.) And, do you know … it worked! I had nothing to lose, we’d have to spend over £100 for a new TV anyway, but in this throwaway consumer society it was nice to be able to fix something rather than just bin it for a newer model.

Robin also managed to identify why people’s faces sometimes go green on the screen: the TV is too close to a magnetic source; in our case, one of the speakers from Jane’s hi-fi. It’s been a good and productive day today. Thanks Robin, you’re my hero of the day!

Deep Impact photo story

Last month I was involved in the Deep Impact 2005 youth leaders’ training weekend in Aviemore. I received in the post this morning a report of that weekend. Very encouraging with comments about how it had enabled some people to connect with God in a new and dynamic way.

The last item of the report features the following photograph of me with my friend Andrew Howie on one of the sofas in reception. Made me laugh, a lot.

Photo story