Friday, 20 May 2011

Journeying back to Ume

Here's a map of my planned trip back to Umeå to see the degree show and talks at the Design Institute. It's been three years since I left the Introduction to Industrial Design (IID) course, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the graduation work of my far more talented class mates and friends who stayed on for their Masters courses.

I just though I'd share my planning map since I've tried to follow a more interesting route than just flying direct. This was partly due taking the train is greener, but mainly because this journey seemed so much cooler & interesting (anything to not use Ryanair again :). Hopefully I'll feel the same way after all the hours on the tracks.

I managed to fit in a trip to Twickenham on the way, just couldn't pass up a chance to see the IRB Sevens tournament. Hopefully Wales will do me proud - annoyingly I couldn't make the first competition day (especially since so many friends will be there then) but hopefully Wales will get through in the main competition on Sunday. It would be so annoying to be stuck there alone with smug English people all around if that didn't happen!

Hopefully I can put my neat new camera into good use and post plenty of pics along the way. I'll have no excuse to get plenty of reading done either.

Ps. Thanks to 'The Man in Seat 61' for the much needed travel advice.

View Umea 2011 in a larger map

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Professor's Speech

The other day the movie "The High and the Mighty", 1954 was on TV (I love Film 4 and TCM). I didn't pay much attention to it, just enough to realise that it must have been one the fist 'disaster' Hollywood movies, playing on the newness of commercial airlines appeal back in the 50's. The funny thing about this movie is how many 'characters' they manage to squeeze onto the plane, each getting his/her own speech time to hopefully get you to care whether they live or die on this supposedly doomed flight.
To cut a long story short (I still haven't watched the whole movie) I was struck by the Professor's story. Check out his speech to fellow scientists, obviously involved in the testing of atomic missiles. Watching the original clip it's easy to make fun of the overly dramatic acting and melo-dramatic music but the thought of global destruction was many peoples minds.
Science as a study of nature is all well and good, but it's what you do with the knowledge that counts. I hope you find something interesting about the Professor's dilemma from these clips (there isn't a video clip available to share, but I found it better to read it than have the overly dramatic music in the background).

Prof. Flaherty. Welcome.
Are we to believe you are at last resolved to abandon the arts and return to science?
If so, we rejoice.
We have sorely missed your help, and advice.
You're doing all right.
You'll find out how to blow up the world all by your little selves.
It won't be long now and blooie. Congratulations.
Professor, we all appreciate the fact that you've been under enormous strain.
We deeply regret that a man of your calibre no longer sees fit to cooperate with us.
I had a seat on a nice little campus even if I wasn't making much money, or my students didn't know what I was talking about.  And I played pretty good golf and I slept nights.
I was happy because I figured it was still God's business to monkey around with the universe.
He can fix a star so it'll burn for a billion years.
Keep going and you'll find out how to burn one up in a minute.
Did any of you ever bother to look at the lagoon out there?
It's beautiful and blue, and the people around it are brown and kind and they did know how to laugh and sing. Only now all the fishes in the lagoon are dead.
And the people are scared forever. They don't sing anymore.
You found a way to blow out a window 65 miles away from the impact point.
Only, suppose there's a mother standing in that window with a baby in her arms?
Professor, I suggest you go to your tent and rest for a while.
I'll arrange transport back to the States for you at the earliest possible moment.
Yeah, do that.
I want to find a shepherd in the hills or a mountain in the mist, and paint their picture, before it's too late.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Group Bible study notes

Just thought I'd share some notes that I got from my sister on ideas for when you next do a group Bible study.