Monday, 22 February 2016

Extreme food hygiene

The Hittites had laws that forbade a chef from cooking with a large unmanaged beard or long, unmanaged hair. They were required to have a bath before cooking. It was forbidden to allow an animal to wander into the kitchen.

Sounds fairly familiar.

The penalty for these? Death for the chef and his/her family.

Sunday, 21 February 2016


"I'm not talking about rewards," said Paul, leaning forward. "I'm talking about gifts. This," - he touched the tip of the blade lightly with one finger - "is a gift, from me to you. You don't owe me anything for it, now or ever. All you have to do is take it. All right?"
From 'Knife' by R J Anderson

Friday, 19 February 2016

Resurrection eggs

People who are clearly more organised than me seem to have started pinning Easter Sunday School ideas already.

So here is something I used last year for telling the story - actually a last minute thing put together in a few minutes.

I've kept it simple because a) egg boxes in the UK usually only have 6 humps, and b) I think it's  better to concentrate on a few incidents.

The eggs did have numbers on them, but they wiped off.
The children took turns opening them, and then I explained each one/asked questions.
  1. Soldier for Jesus' arrest. A lego soldier would have fitted too, or a cocktail sword would work well.
  2. Cross - made in a few seconds with a lolly stick and a glue dot. Did you know you can cut lolly sticks with scissors?
  3. Darkness - piece of black paper.
  4. Temple curtain - little square of cloth. Red/blue/purple if possible.
  5. Stone - for the tomb.
  6. Nothing! The tomb was empty!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Ye olde artwork

Here's another from the archives. Not sure what age, but secondary school, 1st-4th year (age 12-16).

I remember doing this very clearly. I had a flat plain, but the teacher made me add layers of hills to create depth, which was annoying, because now the girl and the dog are not beside the lake. Learning how to show the topography I wanted in a convincing way could have been more useful.

He also wanted me to have something like a vine wrapped round the tree with someone trapped in it, which I refused. Melodramatic was not my aim, but an everyday scene. Worldbuilding, not dramatic events, is still what I like about sci-fi (tho' no objection to a bit of drama too.)

I was particularly pleased with the smoke from the village - it still looks good.

A bit of aerial perspective would have helped.


Since we've started getting election stuff through the door...

Egyptian dates

"all the dates of the Eighteenth Dynasty, are open to dispute because of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding the recording of a Heliacal Rise of Sothis in the reign of Amenhotep I.[8] A papyrus from Amenhotep I's reign records this astronomical observation which, theoretically, could be used to perfectly correlate the Egyptian chronology with the modern calendar; however, to do this the latitude where the observation was taken must also be known. This document has no note of the place of observation, but it can safely be assumed that it was taken in either a Delta city such as Memphis or Heliopolis, or in Thebes. These two latitudes give dates twenty years apart, the High and Low chronologies, respectively."
Wikipedia article on Thutmose III (probably the Exodus one)
So that's why they're so contradictory!
Very irritating. I like things to be cut and dried.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Meta Phariseeism

"God, I thank you that I am not like other men, especially not like that Pharisee over there."

Far far too easy to do. God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Christian Youtube comments

"Scrolling through the comments and noticing one thing: Christians fighting with each other  simply because you are from different denominations. Satan doesn't even need to do anything, you people just do it yourselves."
Youtube commenter
Seriously guys - no matter how wrong someone's belief or practice is, do you really think spewing hate-filled bile over Youtube is going to achieve anything whatsoever?

We do not need to agree with someone's theology. We do not even need to accept that their version of 'Christianity' is legitimate at all.

But we do need to always behave in a Christlike manner.

Non-girly valentines colouring pictures

Because God is Love even if your gender (or personal taste) is not attracted to pretty hearts, lace, fluffy bunnies and folk art birds with patchwork effects :-)

Seriously, though - there's a theological problem if love is always portrayed as sweet and fluffy.

And we do boys a disservice by designing so much kids' Christian stuff to look girly.

Click on them to buy - 50p each, print as many as you like for personal use (home, school, church...) Not for commercial use.

Friendship between two very different aliens!
John 13v34 - Love one another.
Children of different races.
Jesus loves us all.
OK - this does have hearts, but it's no toooooo girly.
1 John 4v16 - God is love.
A computer with an important message.
1 John 4v16 - God is love.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Why did the chicken cross the road?

"Why did the chicken cross the road?
It begins over five thousand years ago with the domestication of the red junglefowl in southeast Asia and the development of paved roads in the Sumerian city of Ur."

(Alt-text on this comic)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Updated website

I've just updated my portfolio website:

It really needs a proper redesign, and I'm working on that. However, it's proving rather tricky. Being a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades makes it more complex than if I just did one thing.

So I thought it was more important to update what I had, instead of waiting until I finally got the new one figured out.

What I've done:
  • Changed the logo.
  • Done some tweaking to the design (removed shadows, added lines, etc).
  • Most importantly - made sure it actually has some of my recent work on it!