Yet another reality show

There are no prime-time adrenaline-pumping heart-wrenching shows about architects (as there are of doctors, lawyers, cops, etc). And the few movies I’ve watched which had an architect character invariably had them drawing enormous blueprints by hand (like anyone does that any more) and carrying around large rolls of paper under their arm.

Well, now we’ve less to complain about. Pop over to Architecture School to watch students design and build affordable housing in New Orleans. A reality show about architecture!

Lunar eclipse

Last Saturday night, I got to see my first lunar eclipse. Or at least the first that I remember. Here’s what I saw over a period of about 1hour 45 minutes, starting at around 10pm:

Lunar eclipse 16 Aug 08
Lunar eclipse 16 Aug 08

I’m a sinner

I’m aware that in some of my posts I come across as more than a little self-righteous. In Context, context I said that the Laodiceans were “not very good believers”. In Patriotism, I mentioned the Chinese and sin in the same paragraph in a rather unclear way.

So, to set things straight, I believe that every member of the human race is a sinner.  That would include me, you, the Laodiceans and even the 1-billion plus Chinese. We are all in need of a Saviour. That Saviour’s name is Jesus Christ. If I am to be considered better than anyone else, it is not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what Christ did on my behalf.

I find that this video, John Piper is bad, conveys this truth, with a little humour thrown in: Continue reading

Patriotism

Patriotism, according to  George Bernard Shaw, is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. The Chinese have taken the idea to a whole new level, though. In less than a week we learned of fake fireworks, possibly underage gymnasts, and IMHO the most egregious, the declaration that a 7-year-old with uneven teeth was unfit to be the face of China. All this done in the name of national pride. Ironic how the things that were supposed to make them shine in the world’s eyes have left them shuffling their proverbial feet in embarrassment. That’s just the way sin works: first the pride, and then the fall.

To be fair, some of the Chinese efforts at putting on a great show are just plain cute. Like the Olympic mascots, the Fuwa– Beibei, Jingjing, Huanghuang, Yingying and Nini. Their names spell out “Beijing welcomes you”, which is the refrain of this catchy Olympic song.

Other nations, like my beloved Kenya, don’t have much to sing about. Our sole rower was second last (see the Aug 13 entry). Our boxers went out in the first round. How is it possible that Togo has a medal— in canoe/kayak slalom of all things— and we are at quota zero (as of writing this post)?

Currently tops in the medal table in Africa is Zimbabwe— 4 medals— all from the same person, Kirsty Coventry.  I wonder about her. She is clearly a world-class swimmer and could swap her passport and not lose much. Why does she continue as a Zimbabwean? Patriotism?

Which brings me to our very own Swahili-speaking blue-eyed boys, Jason and David Dunford. They’ve done Kenya proud. Jason got to race that GOAT (Greatest Olympian of All Time, and no, I didn’t make that up myself) Michael Phelps twice. Jason was even  the Olympic record-holder for a brief seven minutes! Unheard of in our parts! He came in fifth in the final, but with such worthy opponents, he was just great. Will we see him again in London in 2012, still in the green, red and black? I liked the way he tugged at his t-shirt, right where ‘KENYA’ was printed whenever his name was announced. Patriotism?

If you’ll excuse me now, I need to go prepare for my patriotic task—sitting in front of the telly with the cat at my feet…

Update

Kenya went on to win 14 medals- 5 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze. The next best performance (9 medals) was 20 years ago in Seoul, the only time we won a gold medal in a non-athletics event. So, this time, there was a lot of pride, but there were also polemics, with an athlete being denied a chance to run, and eventually being evicted from the Olympic Village after dark. How shameful. Definitely not patriotism.

Go Kenya!

I was idle enough to watch almost the entire opening ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad, aka the Beijing Olympics. Quite a spectacular show they put on! All that money— and secrecy— certainly paid off.

When the Kenyan team appeared, I was horrified. Seriously. Were they actually wearing t-shirts???!! There was one other team worse dressed than us— I don’t recall from where— who had on nondescript blue and white track suits. I can only hope my compatriots make up for their bad dressing with a haul of medals (even though it was possibly some higher-up who made them wear that stuff).

I bet you didn’t know that Kenya has a rowing team! True, it is comprised of only one person, but the fact that he even qualified is reason enough to be amazed.

One thing I didn’t know was that there were white dudes on our team. And we did not import them.

Kenyan Olympic Team
Part of the Kenyan Olympic Team

I wish the team all the best- whatever their sport or genetic makeup!

Mosquitoes

Any time I go to the kitchen and living-room area, I’m assaulted and most often bitten by a mosquito. And I’m not the only one who wonders how these insect vampires fit into Romans 1:20. Why didn’t they die out in the flood or something like that?

A little girl in the U.S. asked another question of mosquitoes, and her mom sent it in by email to Albert Mohler’s Ask Anything Wednesday radio programme. She wondered, “Did God make mosquitoes before Adam sinned, and if so what did they eat?”

His answer: Continue reading

Creative, creative, creative!

Great ideas that are well-executed  are a rare thing to come by. I happened to come upon a site, containing a handful of wedding pictures, that had my inner designer gleefully doing cartwheels. From the pictures, you have an idea of the personalities of bride and groom (even if only one of them was the one with the grand ideas, the other had the sense not to veto the brilliant idea)— quirky, fun-loving, and not afraid to do something unusual. Here’s the three creatives according to me: Continue reading