Church

‘Jesus’ Mobile Phone Advert Banned

Watchdog received almost 100 complaints that Phones4U advert ‘mocked and belittled’ the Christian faith.

Good!

Phones4U

The advertising watchdog has banned a mobile phone ad featuring an image of Jesus Christ after receiving almost 100 complaints that it “mocked and belittled” the Christian faith.

Phones4U ran a national press campaign featuring a cartoon-like image of Jesus Christ giving a thumbs up and promoting “miraculous” deals on Samsung Android phones at Easter.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 98 complaints that the ads – two versions ran in national press – were offensive and the use of the term “miraculous”, especially during Easter, was disrespectful to the Christian faith.

Phones4U, which is known for its cheeky advertising, said it had aimed to create a “light-hearted, positive and contemporary image of Christianity relevant to the Easter weekend”.

The ASA said the imagery and text of the ads “gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs”.

It added that they were “disrespectful” to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence. The ASA banned the ads from running…

That it is! Mocking the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Read the rest here.

I’m just glad that they’re still willing to ban this sort of irreverent advertising.

Culture

Israel Foils Multiple Terrorist Attacks in Jerusalem

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed today that in recent months it had arrested dozens of Hamas terrorist suspects who belonged to 13 different terror cells operating in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The cells were planning a number of terrorist plots including the abduction of an IDF soldier and a suicide attack:

The cell plotting the attack in Jerusalem was based in Hebron and had manufactured two explosive devices using fire extinguishers loaded with six kilograms of explosives and wrapped in a metal ball to increase collateral damage. The suicide attack was scheduled to be carried out on August 21 in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood in Jerusalem and the cell was in the advanced stages of plotting the abduction of an Israeli soldier from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of the capital.

The Shin Bet and police captured two explosive devices: One in the home of Azhak Arfa, a 23-year-old resident of Ras al-Amud in east Jerusalem, and the holder of an Israeli blue identity card.

Arfa worked until his arrest in a Jerusalem mall near the Central Bus Station and was recruited into the cell by Hassin Kussama, a 36-year-old resident of Hebron who was a known Hamas operative and explosives expert, who also served as an “engineer” for the cell. A second device was discovered in Kussama’s home in Hebron.

The above was here.

Church

One Reason the Early Christians Liked the Codex

Ignatius Insight Scoop:

…. was that it helped  differentiate them from the Jews, who kept (and still keep) their sacred  text in the form of a scroll. But some very alert early Christian must  also have recognized that the codex was a powerful form of information  technology — compact, highly portable and easily concealable. It was  also cheap — you could write on both sides of the pages, which saved  paper — and it could hold more words than a scroll. The Bible was a long  book.The codex also came with a fringe benefit: It created a very different  reading experience. With a codex, for the first time, you could jump to  any point in a text instantly, nonlinearly. You could flip back and  forth between two pages and even study them both at once. You could  cross-check passages and compare them and bookmark them. You could skim  if you were bored, and jump back to reread your favorite parts. It was  the paper equivalent of random-access memory, and it must have been  almost supernaturally empowering. With a scroll you could only trudge  through texts the long way, linearly. (Some ancients found temporary  fixes for this bug — Suetonius apparently suggested that Julius Caesar  created a proto-notebook by stacking sheets of papyrus one on top of  another.)

Over the next few centuries the codex rendered the scroll all but  obsolete. In his “Confessions,” which dates from the end of the fourth  century, St. Augustine famously hears a voice telling him to “pick up  and read.” He interprets this as a command from God to pick up the  Bible, open it at random and read the first passage he sees. He does so,  the scales fall from his eyes and he becomes a Christian. Then he  bookmarks the page. You could never do that with a scroll.

Right now we’re avidly road-testing a new format for the book, just as  the early Christians did. Over the first quarter of this year e-book  sales were up 160 percent. Print sales — codex sales — were down 9  percent. Those are big numbers. But unlike last time it’s not a  clear-cut case of a superior technology displacing an inferior one. It’s  more complex than that. It’s more about trade-offs.

On the one hand, the e-book is far more compact and portable than the  codex, almost absurdly so. E-books are also searchable, and they’re  green, or greenish anyway (if you want to give yourself nightmares, look  up the ecological cost of building a single Kindle).  On the other hand the codex requires no batteries, and no electronic  display has yet matched the elegance, clarity and cool matte comfort of a  printed page.

That is a lengthy quote from an engaging and thoughtful essay, “From Scroll to Screen”, written by Lev Grossman for the New York Times (Sept. 2, 2011). Grossman puts his finger directly on something that I’ve experienced over the past few months as I’ve tested, used, and formed a wary like/dislike relationship with my Kindle (a Christmas from “the family”): the unique ability the reader of a traditional book (codex) possesses in jumping to and fro throughout the book, something that so far has not been replicated in any real way on devices such as Kindle. It is, for me, the biggest drawback and most frustrating aspect of the Kindle; it also gives me hope, however, that the physical, traditional book will long be with us, as it possesses several characteristics that really cannot be reproduced or truly replaced by a digital device…

Long live the traditional book indeed!

Rest here.

Bible Archaeology

Debunking Cornuke’s Paul’s Shipwreck on Malta

Via Bible Places:

Robert Cornuke is well known in evangelical circles as a non-archaeologist with several astonishing archaeological discoveries. His latest video describes “possibly the Biblical find of this century!” He claims to have discovered the four anchors from Paul’s shipwrecked vessel off the coast of Malta.

Gordon Franz does us all a service by evaluating Cornuke’s presentation. He notes a series of minor mistakes, but he focuses on the four pillars of Cornuke’s case, concluding that:

1. Cornuke’s video misleads in claiming that only his location has the ocean depths as given in Act 27.

2. Cornuke’s video fails to inform viewers that there are other qualified bays that have a beach.

3. Cornuke’s greatest mistake is claiming that sailors would not have recognized the east coast of Malta.

4. Cornuke’s argument cannot account for the specifics of the shipwreck as described in Acts 27.

Franz’s article expands upon each of these points and addresses other problems with this sensationalized “discovery.”

St. Thomas Bay as seen from Munxar Reef, location of Cornuke’s discovery
Culture

Zoo Primates are Introduced to iPad Enrichment Activities

Gosh, and I don’t even have one!

By Jan Uebelherr, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Milwaukee –  Primates all over America are discovering the  Apple iPad – and that includes Mahal and his surrogate mother, M.J., two  of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s orangutans.

The zoo is using  four donated iPads, plus another belonging to a volunteer, for  enrichment activities that include free apps (finger painting, music)  and videos of other animals at the zoo…

The gorillas were wary of the new device, and remain so.

“They  were all very scared,” said Richard, the primary gorilla keeper. “It’s a  different species. Orangutans are curious about everything. Gorillas  are afraid of everything.

“Because it’s something new and  different, they’re real hesitant to even approach it. Hodari, the  youngest one (16), had the most curiosity. … Hodari was able to figure  out the finger painting,” Richard said.

“Maji (an older  gorilla) just wanted to break it. He couldn’t figure out what the whole  thing was, and he just wanted to get hold of it.”

But the inquisitive orangutans were another story.

Mahal’s first look at the iPad was a photo of himself. His reaction: He threw his arms into the air and clapped.
“They  were enthralled,” Engel said. “One of the first things we did was take  advantage of the built-in camera on the iPad, and turn the camera on  them, because they’re used to looking into a mirror and recognizing  themselves.”

Engel and the keepers looked for other ways to  use the iPad and came up with videos of other animals in the Milwaukee  zoo as well as other zoos.

M.J. likes to watch videos of  Tommy, a male orangutan who was separated from Mahal and M.J. about a  year ago after he became rough with Mahal.

“Mahal loves the  penguins,” said Engel, who made a video of them at feeding time. “He  just sat there watching them, with his arms folded across his chest. He  jumped back when the penguins flapped a wing…”

Khan and Engel also use free apps – some of them mimicking the  enrichment activities they already use, but with less mess, such as the  finger-painting app.

“The reason I liked that one is if I give them regular finger paints, they eat ‘em,” Richard said. “It’s like coloured pudding…”

‘… discovering the Apple iPad?’ Spoilt apes!