Blogging Meet-up (of sorts)

Our friends Izaac and Sarah are visiting us this week. So tonight we’re having dinner with Andrew and Simone. A chance to turn the virtual into the real. Should be fun. I told Simone she had to come up with some controversial conversation topics. Shouldn’t be too hard.

Stay tuned for reflections on what it’s like to meet those people in real life, from the other people.

Lava Lamp Love

I love my lava lamp. I picked it up for $15 from a market about eight years ago – much to my father’s chagrin. “It’ll never last,” said he. It has thus far proved him wrong. And he was, at one point, admittedly envious.

I’m told that Andrew and Simone’s boys like some of the stuff I post here – and I know they’ve been working on their own lava lamps… so here’s a Lava Lamp recipe I found at “What’s that stuff“… a cool site exploring the ingredients of stuff. Sadly it seems most of the ingredients are a “trade secret” or not available in the home laboratory… but this is a start.

Water and wax, which the original patents name as main ingredients, remain components of the commercial recipe, says Tom Spain, vice president of sales, marketing, and product development for Haggerty Enterprises, the official U.S. manufacturer of Lava brand lamps. Additional agents, he explains, help the wax gently plume upward instead of breaking apart into bubbles as it is heated and keep wax from sticking to the sides of the container.

Walker’s U.S. patent mentions additives such as dye, mineral oil, carbon tetrachloride, and polyethylene glycol (PEG), but the exact formula of commercial lamps is a trade secret. Spain tells C&EN that only five or six staff chemists know the formula and are in charge of occasional reformulations. Densities must be recorded for each batch of wax that Haggerty makes, which is mixed in 5-foot-tall vats in factories in China.

Last but not least, the water layer is added to the cooled wax very slowly so as to avoid creating emulsions, which are cloudy-looking oil-water mixtures. In fact, the recipe for the water layer is carefully adjusted to perfectly complement the density of each unique batch of wax.

Circular Reasoning and the Bible

This is an amazing infographic depicting the 63,000 cross references within the 66 books of the Bible.

It’s available in much bigger formats at the source. I found it at Andrew’s blog.

The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc – the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.

One of the lines from atheists that annoys me is that Christians only believe the Bible is true because it says it’s true (circular reasoning).

I have two things to say to that.

One: If the Bible said it wasn’t true that would be reason not to believe it.

Two: The “Bible” as we know it was only bundled together in around 363 AD. The “circular reasoning” should instead be treated as cross referencing and corroboration from multiple sources. Not one self referencing source.

That is all.


Holidays are almost over. We’re back in civilisation today. We had lunch with Andrew and Simone.

Which reminds me of the news of some import that is worthy of note.

Last Monday we had our interview regarding candidacy with the Presbyterian Church of Queensland – we passed. We’ll, if all goes according to plan, be studying at QTC and working at Clayfield (with Andrew and Simone) next year.


Anonymous comments aren’t much fun for anyone. Unless they’re loaded with unintentionally funny vitriol. I can almost imagine how much fun this comment on Simone’s blog would have been to write. It’s from an old post of hers critiquing a Christian rewrite of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (which for those of you who are culturally arrogant is the same as Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah and the one on the Shrek Soundtrack). You can hear the Christian rewrite here. You can read the comment in its original context here. And you can indulge in a little bit of voyeurism by checking out Simone’s husband Andrew’s public but thoughtful disagreement with his wife on whether lacking cultural sophistication is sinful here.

Here’s the anonymous comment. Beautiful.

Ok, first of all, you do not know the first thing of what ‘christian’ means if you ever put it in quotes. so dont do it again.
second of all, if someone says “i just want,” you have no idea if that is true or not; just because you are selfish does not mean that everyone is.
lastly, there is no right or wrong in how you listen to music. i mean, that is the stupidest thing ive ever heard! why would there be music if poems would do? i am a recording artist and song composer, so i should know.

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