Bible Archaeology

Uncovering Ancient Jerusalem

The Key to David’s City:

Eilat Mazar has resumed excavations in the (so-called) Ophel, and her partners at Armstrong College plan to provide regular updates. They begin with an on-location interview of Mazar.




Gravestones Embedded with QR Codes

iol reports on QR codes (Quick Response Codes) that are now being inscribed on some gravestones.

The next time you stop by the cemetery, you may learn a lot more about your dearly departed than a few ceremonial words.

A few companies are now marketing quick response (QR) codes for gravestones, which allow visitors to connect their smartphones to a website containing information on a deceased person, including photos, videos and testimonials from family and friends.

UK-based Chester Pearce Associates manager Stephen Nimmo said: “When you lose somebody… talking about them is very important, keeping their memory going is very important and this is just an add-on to that.”

QR codes have become commonplace on advertising campaigns, allowing a smartphone owner to scan the barcode on an ad to obtain more data about the product or campaign online.

Customers can also get their own QR code gravestones. US-based Quiring Monuments has a video for the firm’s version of the product. Of course, making data public after a person’s death raises issues of privacy and taste.

“It’s a new technology… there will be people who like it [and] people who don’t,” Nimmo said.

Chester Pearce charges customers $500 (R4 090) for the QR code service, which can be placed on memorial benches or plaques in addition to the grave sites.

Gill Tuttiet purchased one of the QR codes for her late husband, Timothy, and says he would have appreciated the forward-thinking gesture. – Reuters

Technology at work.


BTW. this blog has a QR Code, and for your convenience (see that’s what it’s all about), here it is:

See, technology is great? [Although I’m not so sure about the gravestone embedding.] And if you have no idea what I’m on about, take your Smartphone and scan the above pic. QR’s similar to the barcodes used by retailers but can be used (scanned) by your BlackBerry (my choice), iPhone, Android based or other camera enabled Smartphone to link to just about anything – and in my case, the blog. I have one for BlackBerry messaging too.



Ahmadinejad: ‘Enemies Destroy Iran’s Rain Clouds’


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused his country’s enemies  of enacting a sinister plan to create a drought by somehow destroying  the rain clouds before they reach Iran, several Iranian websites reported on Tuesday.

Well-known for his  anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, Ahmadinejad has made similar  remarks before and last year accused the West of devising a plot to  cause drought in the Islamic republic.

“The  enemy destroys the clouds that are headed towards our country and this  is a war Iran will win,” Ahmadinejad said on Monday, according to  several websites including the BBC’s Persian-language site and…

Iran has one of the world’s driest climates and officials have warned that a severe lack of rainfall in parts of the country has created drought-like conditions…


The Rise of the Corporate Chaplain

… Workplace chaplains like Bissell can be found at more than 1,000 companies in the U.S. and Canada. These chaplains are a rising regiment of corporate America’s human-resources army, as employers have found that a pastoral touch is often more appealing to workers than an impersonal hotline of the sort included in many benefits packages. A 2008 study by the Families and Work Institute found that more than 97 percent of companies with payrolls larger than 5,000 offer employee assistance programs, with anonymous counseling and referrals available by phone. Yet employees are “dramatically” more likely to use workplace chaplains than standard mental-health benefits, according to preliminary results from an ongoing study by David Miller and Faith Ngunjiri of Princeton University’s Faith & Work Initiative. At least half of 1,000 employees surveyed have used the services of a workplace chaplain—far more than those who use standard assistance programs.

At many companies the chaplains are in-house, their salaries paid by the boss…

There is more a Bloomberg Business Week.

… Employees say they appreciate, or at least aren’t offended by, the chaplains, who are usually ordained ministers. (Female chaplains from denominations that do not ordain women may be Sunday-school teachers or other church workers.) And employers like the regular reports chaplains provide, which can reveal the level of employees’ concerns about everything from salaries and overtime to troubles at home. Because chaplains are proactive, doing outreach rather than waiting for complaints to filter up, they hear more, and sooner, than do typical human resources professionals…

I wonder if there is something like this here in South Africa?