Monthly Archives: March 2007

Making Invisible Children Visible

I find this news story today. Charity says Uganda army raid killed 66 children and it reminded me of talking to a Invisible Children representative at the MeWithoutYou concert. Essentially what happened is that a British Charity reported that 66 children had been shot by troops, run over by armoured cars, and crushed by a cattle stampede.

The military is saying that they were after cattle rustlers who often dress up in school uniforms and dress in women’s clothing, and steal thousands of cattle. “We never targeted children at any time”, he said.

So I am interested on what the truth is – I believe all children should be visible children, and that the whole world needs to care about the children in Uganda.

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Filed under Africa, love, mission, politics, Uganda

Arm Yourself with American History?

I got an email today from somebody saying:

Arm yourselves with your Godly American History, it will empower you to do all you can to make a difference in your nation!

But I think God would say:

Arm yourselves with your Sword of the Spirit, it will empower you to do all you can to make a difference in the Kingdom of God!

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Filed under Christianity, Religion

Internet access for emerging villages

Intel modifies Wi-Fi to add mileage

Wi-Fi normally reaches a few hundred feet – creating a “hot spot” where people can connect to the internet using their laptops, for instance at Starbucks.  Intel just announced a technology where the range of Wi-Fi has been extended to 100 kilometers (60 miles!). This has big implications to Villagers in Africa who will now be able to connect to the internet using a wifi antenna and a computer . This has been possible using WiMax – but a WiMax tower costs 15-20K, and a wi-fi tower only costs $700-800.

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Filed under Africa, Sustaining Technologies

The United States has lost its position as ‘Technology King’

According to this BBC article the World Economic Forum has the list this way:

1: Denmark (3)

2: Sweden (8)

3: Singapore (2)

4: Finland (5)

5: Switzerland (9)

6: Netherlands (12)

7: US (1)

8: Iceland (4)

9: UK (10)

10: Norway (13)

Notice that Singapore beat the United States! I think the methodology of this study may be wrong though – India is in 44th place, and China is down nine places to 59th. 

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Filed under America, Computers, Technology, Uncategorized

Mozambique update – missionaries transform arms to ploughshares

After the devastating cyclones have left hundreds of thousands homeless in Mozambique – another terrible disaster happened last Thursday. An arms depot, with stockpiled weapons from the 1992 Mozambique Civil War,  blew up just outside Maputo, Mozambique – killing 101 people.  There are a lot of children unaccounted for.

A Christian missionary group called “Transforming Arms to Ploughshares” is doing the dangerous work of collecting and hauling away hundreds of unexploded rockets. They are retrieving a dozen unexploded weapons a day. They are holding a prayer meeting this Saturday (March 31)  at the armory for the village of Magoanine which is “still reeling and in grief”.

These missionaries mainly collect and destroy weapons since it was established in 1995. “Transforming Arms to Ploughs” or “TAE” is an internationally recognized weapons-for-tools exchange program that has lead in the “collection, destruction and transformation of more than 700,000 weapons” in Mozambique. They have exchanged weapons for sewing machines, hoes and bikes.  In September 11, 2006 a whole community exchanged its arms for a school! A local artist transformed some collected arms into a sculpture – “a memorial to transformation and peace”.

Here is the article 

and some sculptures made from “recycled” assault rifles, bazookas, automatic pistols

and a link to Christian Aid

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Filed under Africa, Christianity, mission, Religion, Sustaining Technologies


You can find Calcutta anywhere in the world. You only need two eyes to see. Everywhere in the world there are people that are not loved, people that are not wanted nor desired, people that no one will help, people that are pushed away or forgotten. And this is the greatest poverty.

– Mother Teresa

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Filed under Christianity, love, mission, Religion

J.R.R Tolkien’s Latest Book – The Children of Hurin

J.R.R. Tolkien is coming out with a new book – The Children of Hurin. Amazon says this is  “The first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades—since the publication of The Silmarillion in 1977”, which I think is fairly prolific for a dead author!

Actually it is an incomplete manuscript that has been finished  by Tolkien’s son  – Christopher Tolkien.

There is a three day on-line party to celebrate including the following contest:

  • Win the Deluxe edition of The Children of Hurin signed by Alan Lee and Christopher Tolkien. Just fill out this form and enter “Hurin” as the code and “signed” as the answer. Contest will run until April 17th.
  • The Children of Hurin date to the First Age of Middle Earth which is documented in a book called the Silmarillion. Hurin was a great warrior who fought the Orks. This is a sad story of what happens to his children.

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    Filed under books, free

    Kansas Wins!

    Kansas wins in a close game and advances to the Elite Eight! Three more games to go. The next game is Saturday night.

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    Filed under basketball, Kansas, Kansas Jayhawks, March Madness

    RIP: The Father of Fortran

    John Backus died of old age on March 17, 2007 (born Dec 3, 1924). He led the team that first implemented FORTRAN in 1957, the first high-level programming language. His first assignment for IBM, in 1950, was to write a program to determine the phases of the moon.  He won the A.M. Turing award in 1977  “For profound, influential, and lasting contributions to the design of practical high-level programming systems, notably through his work on FORTRAN, and for seminal publication of formal procedures for the specification of programming languages. “


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    Filed under Computers, history

    Jeopardy History – the three way tie

    Here is the three-way tie in Jeopardy – the first time this has ever happened in the Jeopardy game-show history. I have a season pass to this show on TIVO (translation: I have my DVR set to automatically record Jeopardy every night) but TIVO kicked out before the show finished recording, so I didn’t get the last three minutes of this historic broadcast (Friday, March 16, 2007), but I knew about it since I watched the next one where all three players reappear as champions. Fortunately, I found it on YouTube.

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    Filed under Jeopardy, Popular Culture