Thursday, August 25, 2016

When movies and technology intersect

Overnight Tesla Motors announced that its new battery will enable one of its new cars to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.5 seconds. They're calling this "ludicrous mode." Perhaps they were thinking of the movie Spaceballs, Mel Brooks' 1987 science fiction parody.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Needless embarrassment

As I mention on this blog, I hold a Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing and Editing. I have rarely used this qualification, at least in the sense of being a published author in my own right. Somewhat ironically, I once misspelt the word "editing" on my resume. 

I was reminded of this mistake today at work while processing some back issues of a periodical. Its founding editor had moved on to take up a pastoral role in Texas, and the new editor wrote an editorial to introduce himself to its readers. In the heading, editorial was misspelt as edtiorial. Hardly an auspicious start. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A frightening development

This afternoon in Melbourne, refugee activists protesting against the Australian government's offshore detention policies stormed the stage as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a major economic address.

It's just as well that this incident has prompted a security review. This review needs to establish how these protesters were able to pass security checks. They were only carrying signs and shouted angry slogans, but they could easily have been carrying weapons.

This comes only a few days after a Victorian state MP was assaulted on an inner-city street.

One hopes that political violence doesn't become a permanent part of Australian political culture, from either the left or the right.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Paragon of virtue

Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Mack Horton has sparked a controversy by calling his Chinese rival, Sun Yang, a drug cheat.

In retaliation, Chinese media has attacked both Horton and Australia, describing the country as an "offshore prison," and "on the fringes of civilisation."

Considering that China consistently rates among those countries with the world's worst human rights records, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Snuffing the flame

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have officially began with a spectacular opening ceremony that showcased Brazil to the world. To represent your country at the highest level of competition is the greatest honour that an athlete can achieve. It takes years of training, discipline, and commitment. As Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement once said, the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part." How right he was.

I don't have a sporting bone in my body. That doesn't stop me from respecting the sporting achievements of others. As for me, I decided to concentrate on getting an education instead. Hopefully my educational achievements count for something in God's eyes, but other areas of my life have unquestionably suffered. I regret this. If I had my time over again, I would do things differently, and I would have a more balanced life, and be a more contented person today. It's like winning an Olympic bronze medal, and regretting that I missed out on the gold by a nanosecond.

At times like this I cling to God, and His work of salvation in my life, and the knowledge that what I have in Christ is worth more than any medal (1 Peter 1:7), or having my name in a record book. My name is inscribed in the book of life (Romans 8:37-39, Philippians 4:3), and will remain there long after sports records books have turned to dust.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

You know my name

According to statistics compiled by the United States Social Security Administration, and recently highlighted in an episode of ABC TV's Planet America, the name baby name Hillary has dropped dramatically in popularity in the years since Hillary Clinton became first lady of the United States in 1993. Fast forward 23 years, and she is the first female candidate nominated by a mainstream party for the office of President of the United States. If she wins the election in November, then expect this trend to continue for at least the next four to eight years.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Brothers in pedantry

Another day, another website that contains a punctuation error. This time it's for the Dire Straits experience tour, in which two of the original members of the band will team up with some other musicians to perform their hits live.
I immediately noticed an incorrectly used apostrophe in a paragraph on the main page. In the context of this sentence, its is possessive, and correct. It's is short for "it is" and "it has."

Why this error wasn't picked up before uploading I'll never know.