An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Saturday, 28 January 2006

A new template

It is almost a year since I started blogging - so I thought it was time to change my template. I like this one as it is plain and simple.

All of life redeemed update: van Woudenberg

I have now added some more pages to the All of Life Redeemed website. Rene van Woudenberg, a professor of philosophy at the Free University, has kindly agreed to put four of his articles on the site (my thanks to Gregory Baus for first sending me these articles). The articles are:

I have also changed the template of the main index page - let me know what you think of the template. I may well change all the pages to this.

Epistemology as Theology

James Beilby, the editor of Naturalism Defeated? Essays on Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism, has a new book out soon on Plantinga: Epistemology as Theology (Ashgate, 2006):

Alvin Plantinga is arguably one of the most influential philosophers of our time. Much of his career has been devoted to explaining and defending the intellectual acceptability of Christian belief. Recently he has developed a comprehensive, rigorous, and distinctively Christian religious epistemology.

This book presents the development of Plantinga's religious epistemology before considering Plantinga's mature religious epistemology in detail. Locating Plantinga's most recent work in the context of his theological assumptions, his previous work on religious epistemology, and in the context of the current debate over how knowledge should be characterized, Beilby blends theological and philosophical discussion to offer a unique perspective on Plantinga's influential proposal.


Friday, 27 January 2006

Seerveld's cultural guidelines

This week's Comment looks again at the work of Calvin Seerveld. Gideon Strauss looks at Seerveld's cultural guidelines for artists. Gideon writes:

I am convinced that these guidelines are not only helpful to artists, but that they can be transposed to almost every sphere of human action. What I am going to try and do in this article is to generalize the guidelines, to show how they can provide us with hints for engaging culture beyond the realm of the arts.


Thursday, 26 January 2006

What is your ecological footprint?

Take the ecological footprint quiz to see how many hectares are need for your lifestyle. I needed 2.8 hectares, which would mean 1.6 planet earths are needed if everyone lived as I do! I think mine was lower than the UK average because we eat as much organic food as we can and I use public transport to get to work.
[HT maggi dawn]

Tuesday, 24 January 2006

History of Reformational Movement part 5

Theodore Plantinga's History of the Reformational Movement has been updated [HT Rudi Hayward on thinknet] with part 5: When the Scriptures fell open:
Cornelis Veenhof (1902-83) experienced the early days of the reformational movement as a student. In this excerpt from one of his books, he tells about the excitement generated by Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven and Schilder during the 1930s. The book is Om de "Unica Catholica": Een beschouwing over de positie van de bezwaarden onder en over de synodocratie (Goes: Oosterbaan Le Cointre, 1949). This excerpt is taken from pages 52-56 (translation mine). -Theodore Plantinga

John Frame and the 'Amsterdam' theology

John Frame's polemical critique of Dooyeweerd - though Frame acknowledges it was more a critique of 'Toronto' (ostensibly the early days of the ICS) than Dooyeweerd - is now on-line (HT Gregory Baus via thinknet). The Amsterdam Philosophy: A Preliminary Critique is available here. It is part of a project to put all John Frame's and Vern Poythress's works on-line. One day we might see something similar for Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven!!

Frame in a 2005 preface to the on-line edition writes:
This booklet was published by Pilgrim Press in 1972, in the midst of some theological warfare. Representatives of the Amsterdam Philosophy were then taking a militant stance against traditional Reformed theology, and the controversy created partisan battles on the campus of Westminster Seminary, where I was a very young professor. It also threatened to split churches, Christian schools, and other Christian organizations. As a member of a committee of the Ohio Presbytery of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, I was asked to write a brief study of the movement, and the booklet resulted. Originally it was published together with another essay by Leonard Coppes, the Chairman of the Committee.

As I read the booklet today, I think my tone was far too shrill. The booklet also contains far too much smart-alecky stuff. I suppose I could have entirely rewritten it, but that would have made my 1972 efforts look better than they were. I prefer now to let readers judge me as I deserve, warts and all. I also think that the basic points of the pamphlet were never answered, though I received a lot of invective, and a lot of undocumented charges that I just didn’t know Dooyeweerd. On those issues also, I will let readers judge.

Andrew Basden has responded to Frame's original booklet here. Wether or not Andrew has answered the basic points of Frame's critique let the 'readers judge'.


Saturday, 21 January 2006

Runner's Introduction to philosophy - 2nd instalment

Theodore Plantinga has now added a second instalment to 'Runner's introduction to philosophy'. The notes cover lecture 16 on human identity to lecture 26 (law and religion). The lectures took place at Calvin College where Runner was professor of philosophy from 1951-1981. He died in 2002.

The first instalment is available here.

H. Evan Runner never wrote an introduction to philosophy, but from these notes we can see the contours of his approach.

Al Wolters has written of Runner's importance here.

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Friesen, Dooyeweerd and the Encyclopedia of the Science of Law

Dooyeweerd's Encyclopedia of the Science of Law Volume 1 , translated and published in 2002, has come under scrutiny by Glenn Friesen. Glenn has examined the first 100 or so pages of the first volume and has found some problems with the translation and interpretatrion of Dooyeweerd. Glenn maintains:

There are also many statements in the Introduction and in the footnotes to the text that attempt to “correct” Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. These statements are based on philosophical ideas that are not Dooyeweerd’s own.

To a large extent, these attempts to correct Dooyeweerd appear to be a result of the longstanding tendency in reformational philosophy to interpret Dooyeweerd’s philosophy in terms of the philosophical framework developed by his brother in law, Dirk Vollenhoven.

Glenn has done Dooyeweerd studies a great service by making public his critique here, it was originally submited to the Dooyeweerd Centre, and no doubt there will be further discussion.
[HT Theo Plantinga Thinknet]


Theistic philosophers on the web

Theistic philosophers on the web is just that - a list of 132 theistic philosophers.

If you classify yourself as a philosopher and a theist and want to be on the list contact them at:
phil_theist [at]

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Online papers in philosophy

The blog suitably titled Online papers in philosophy reports on changes to webpages hosting philosophical papers - there is an impressive list.

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Calvin Seerveld

Calvin Seerveld, is senior member emeritus of philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. He was senior member of Professor of aesthetics 1972-1995. Before that he was one of the original faculty of Trinity Christian College in Chicago. He received his PhD in philosophy and comparative literature from the Free University in Amsterdam in 1958.

He is perhaps best-known as the author of Rainbows for the Fallen World (1980), a semi-popular introduction to Christian aesthetics.

His other books include:

  • Voicing God’s Psalms (with audio CD) (2005)
  • In the Field’s of the Lord: A Seerveld Reader (ed Craig Bartholomew) (2000)
  • Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves: Alternative Steps in Understanding Art (2000)
  • Take Hold of God and Pull (1999)
  • A Christian Critique of Art and Literature (1995/1963)
  • On Being Human: Imaging God in the modern world (1988)
  • The Greatest Song, in critique of Solomon (1988/1967 & video 2001)
Seerveld's books are available from Tuppence Press (in North America) and the Christian Studies Unit (in the UK) and Piquant (in the UK)

On-line works include the following:

Gideon Strauss' Seerveld texts

A Christian tin-can theory of man
Reformational Christian philosophy and Christian College education

Visual and audio media

Tapes are available from here

mp3 on imagination

Brief quicktime clip

On Seerveld:

Gregory Baus Seerveld’s Hineinlebenshaltung

Byron Borger

Reviews of Seerveld's books:
  • In the Fields of the Lord here
  • Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves here


Some more on-line articles:

Update 2
J. Mark Bertrand on Seerveld here

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Friday, 20 January 2006

Seerveld on cultural guidelines for artists

Calvin Seerveld has an article 'The strategy of giving away gifts: cultural guidlines for artists' in this week's WRF Comment.

How, wonders Toronto philosopher and professor Calvin Seerveld, can modern art—from advertising to architecture, painting to PR—be a language of healing insight, if Christian artists themselves cannot distinguish their art as Spirit-lit, collaborative, and patient?

Calvin G. Seerveld is Senior Fellow Emeritus in Aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and the author of several influential books, including Rainbows for the Fallen World.

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Spoken worship

Gerard Kelly, who used to attend my mate Richard Russell's church, has started a new blog: Spoken Worship for his poetry. He has made the poetry available for use in worship events. [HT jonny baker]

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Skillen on Christian politics

In the Bruce's interview Jim Skillen answers the question: 'How would you sum up your Christian politics?'

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that believers have become carriers of God's reconciliation in Christ. In other words, God is reconciling - rectifying, setting right, restoring - "the world to Himself in Christ" and "has committed to us the message of reconciliation". That process continues to unfold right up to the moment at the feet of Him who sits on the throne, on the footstool where we dwell in God's one and only throne room. Just before this Paul reminds us, "We live by faith not by sight."

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Thursday, 19 January 2006

Jim Skillen interview

An interview by Bruce Wearne with Jim Skillen has been put on the All of Life Redeemed website. It was first published in the Fiji Daily Post.

Jim is the president of the Center for Public Justice and is author of numerous books on politics, including:
Articles on-line by Jim include:
MP3 interview


In the comments Gregory notes that an article by Skillen on Kuper is available on his Kuyperian site here.

Another article on same-sex marriages is here.

And there is another interview here.

On Iraq and a just war here.

Christian politics in the 21st century

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Monday, 16 January 2006

Plato's beard

The largest philosophy department in the US (Notre Dame) now has its own unofficial blog: Plato's Beard

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More new music

Mark in a comment to my previous blog recommends Last FM as a way of finding new music. See his comments about it on his blog here. My last fm profile is here.

Other places of finding some new music are: (this is particularly good for post-rock); epitonic, and 3hive. All of them offer free and legal downloads.

Google has recently introduced a new music search, which may prove useful.

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Sunday, 15 January 2006

New music

If you want to find more music that sounds like your favourite bands then try Pandora. Type in the name of your fav and they will stream music of a similar style. Unfortunately, only US citizens can register to access it for more than 20 mins.

On-line philosophy conference

There is to be an on-line philosphy conference. For details see the new On-line philosophy conference blog.

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More philosophy blogs

Want to find a philosophy blog? Try the EpistemeLinks database here. It has almost links to nearly 100 philosophy-related blogs using filters. The filters include; title, author and topic.

A search for 'Philosophy of Religion' blogs yields:

A search for 'Philosophy of Science' has:
Obscure and Confused Ideas
Philosophy of Biology
Studi Galileiani

A search for blogs by 'Philosophy Departments' gives:
Daily Phil
Desert Landscapes
Fake Barn Country (the link provided for this is old it's now here)
Orange Philosophy
Saint Lawrence Philosophy Blog
Show-Me the Argument
The Web of Belief
This Is Not The Name Of This Blog (this is not there anymore)
UCSB Philosophy Blog
Undetached Rabbit Parts (this blog finished in Dec 2005)
and last but not least a blog from my old University:
University of East Anglia Philosophy
which has moved to here.

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Best blond(e) joke in the world?

This may well be the best blond(e) joke in the world: here.

I don't feel (too) bad about posting blond(e) jokes - as my 8-year old is blonde and tells them.

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Saturday, 14 January 2006

Philosophical blogs

A list of blogs, compiled by philosopher David Chalmers, 'devoted to topics in and around analytic philosophy, or that are by analytic philosophers' are to be found here.

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Calvin Seerveld on Reformational Christianity 'Calvinian faith-tradition' and 'Reformational Christianity' - which is my pedigree for thinking, for developing a philosophy, for reading Scripture and praying, for living daily life - I mean (1) a life that would be deeply committed to the scriptural injunction not to be conformed to patterns of this age, but to be re-formed by the renewal of our consciousness so that we will be able to discern what God wills for action on earth (cf. Romans 1:12); and (2) an approach in history which honours the genius of the Reformation spearheaded by Martin Luther and John Calvin in the sixteenth century, developed by Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper in the nineteenth century, as a particular christian cultural tradition out of which one can richly serve the Lord; and (3) a concern that we be communally busy re-forming as an ongoing way rather than standing pat in the past tense (ecclesia reformata semper reformanda est).

Calvin Seerveld (Paternoster Press, 1999, pp. xvi-xvii)

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Three useful resource blogs

I have discovered three useful resource blogs: Christian Journals, Christian MP3s and Christian Scholars. These contain a plethora of links to - as one might suspect - journals, mp3s and Christian scholars. They are maintained by Angus Nicolson, who also blogs here. He also has a blog Christian Scholars Past - although at the moment that's a blank!

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Friday, 13 January 2006

Plantinga audio files lists the following audio files by Alvin Plantinga available on-line:
Evolutionary Arguments against Naturalism (Real Media)
The God Problem
Is Christian Scholarship Possible?
Pluralism: Defense of Religious Exclusivism
Warrant and Proper Function chapter 1
Alvin Plantinga and Hilary Putnam Discuss God's Existence
Against Materialism
Theism, Atheism, and Rationality

Tag: is an excellent website for 'Christian research and eduction'. At present they have Research databases for Philosophy of Religion and Biblical Studies. There are lists of recommended books, audio/ visual media, online articles and a course project.
We want to begin an initiative to give the public access to complete college courses online, free of charge, taught by some of the greatest contemporary Christian thinkers.

In the Twilight of Western Thought - study guide

I have updated my study guide to Dooyeweerd's In the Twilight of Western Thought on my In the Twilight of Western Thought blog. A guide to chapter 7, Dooyeweerd's third and final lecture on the relationship of theology and philosophy, is now on-line.

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Thursday, 12 January 2006

The Abraham Kuyper Society

Man-san 'Sander' Chan, who is studying at the Free University , has started a new blog: The Abraham Kuyper Society. He writes:

The reasons for founding an Abraham Kuyper Society are the following:
- Studying the works by Abraham Kuyper in groups of students and others who are interested, from different professional and scientific disciplines.
- Reintroducing a complete and coherent Christian worldview at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (founded by Abraham Kuyper in 1880).
- Studying the relation between Christian religion, politics, society and science.- Honouring God with all our minds.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2006

All of life redeemed site - one-year old

The All of life redeemed website is now one-year old. It has grown at a fantastic pace. At present there are the following articles available from the site - in no particular order:

Clouser, Roy Reason and Belief in God
Clouser, Roy Is There a Christian view of Everything from Soup to Nuts?
Clouser, Roy Is Theism Compatible with Evolution?
Clouser, Roy Two Watersheds of Biblical Interpretation
Clouser, Roy Is God Eternal?
Clouser, Roy A Critique of Historicism
Clouser, Roy On the General Relation of Religion, Metaphysics, and Science
Clouser, Roy A Sketch of Dooyeweerd's Philosophy of Science" in
Clouser, Roy The Uniqueness of Dooyeweerd's Program for Philosophy and Science: Whence the Difference?"
Clouser, RoyGenesis and Science on the Origin of the Human Race
Clouser, Roy Divine Accommodation: An Alternative Theory of Religious Language
Clouser, Roy Religious Language: A New Look at an Old Problem
Clouser, Roy A Critique of Descartes and Heisenberg
Clouser, Roy Aristotle's Theory of Incontinence
Wolters, Al On Vollenhoven's Problem-Historical Method
Strauss, D F M An Analysis of the Structure of Analysis (The Gegenstand-relation in discussion)
Strauss, D F M Reductionism in Mathematics: Philosophical Reflections
Strauss, D F M Does it make sense to distinguish between the natural sciences and the humanities?
Strauss, D F M Historical and systematic considerations relevant to an assessment of the position of the university.
Strauss, D F M Reason: Its Kaleidoscopic ideological interface.
Strauss, D F M The contemporary challenge to Christian scholarship.
Strauss, D F M How “rational” is “rationality”?
Strauss, D F M The Achilles' heel of positivism.
Strauss, D F M Is a Christian Mathematics possible?
Strauss, D F M The “Copernican turn” of biology in the 20th Century
Strauss, D F M Science and Scholarship in Historical Perspective
Strauss, D F M Intellectual influences upon the reformational philosophy of Dooyeweerd
Strauss, D F M Philosophical Perspectives on Leisure, Play and Sport.
Strauss, D F M The best known but least understood part of Dooyeweerd's philosophy.
Wearne, Bruce John Dawkins Versus John Calvin
Wearne, Bruce Christian Students In The University Crisis
Wearne, Bruce Evangelicals And Their Political Problems With Christian Education
Wearne, Bruce A Free University And Professional Formation
Wearne, Bruce Voluntary Student Unionism
Wearne, Bruce A Christian Study Centre and the Re-Formation Of Academic Qualifications
Wearne, Bruce Interview with Adolpho de la Sienra Garcia
Russell, Richard In Defence of Dooyeweerd and of Christian Philosophy
Russell, Richard Dooyewerdian diagrams
Tol, Anthony In memoriam: Vollenhoven
Roques, Mark Pub philosophy: Engaging the Great Philosophers with Beer, Cigars and Crisps
Roques, Mark The Rennaisance
Roques, Mark Maths and the Disenchanted Cosmos
Roques, Mark The Enlightenment
Roques, Mark Romanticism
Russell, Richard Dooyeweerdian Diagrams
Richard Russell In defence of Dooyeweerd
Gousmett, Chris Creation order and miracle according to Augustine
Gousmett, Chris A latter day Augustinian: Diemer on creation and miracle
Gousmett, Chris Miracles: signs of the coming kingdom
Gousmett, Chris Descartes and the theory of contingency
Gousmett, Chris The Christ of the Spirit in Athanasius and Kuyper
Gousmett, Chris Dooyeweerd on Faith and apostasy
Sewell, Keith The Idea of a Free Christian University
Sewell, Keith A High Challenge for Tough Times
Sewell, Keith That Was Then, This is Now
Sewell, Keith (ed) Hendrik Van Riessen The University and its Basis
Sewell, Keith (ed) Jan D. Dengerink The Necessity of Christian Universities
Sewell, Keith The Eclipse of History and the Crisis in the Humanities
Sewell, Keith The Bible, Science and Scholarship
Fackerell, Edward The Relationship Between Mathematics and the Christian Faith'
Fackerell, Edward A Christian perspective on teaching mathematics'.
Bishop, Steve Beliefs shapes mathematics
Bishop, Steve Mathematics and the myth of neutrality
Wolterstorff, Nick Dooyewerd: an appreciation

My thanks to all who have agreed to post their papers on-line.

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Monday, 9 January 2006

South African philosopher Danie Strauss has a new book published: Reintegrating Social Theory. According to the blurb:

When dealing with the key concepts of sociology the coherence between this discipline and the other academic disciplines automatically emerges. In order to transcend the shortcomings of one-sided sociological theories it is necessary to hold on to the worthwhile contributions made by each of them. This goal requires an analysis of basic concepts such as social order, social stratification, social constancy and dynamics, social differentiation and integration, social sensitivity, solidarity and consciousness, social consensus and conflict, social power and control, and social symbolism, meaning and interpretation. This work therefore aims at a reintegration of social theory by including a discussion of sociological trends of thought that have been prominent during the past two centuries. It turned out that the opposition between atomistic (individualistic) and holistic (universalistic) theories practically cuts through all sociological schools of thought

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Against the grain

Kenn Hermann has now started a blog: Against the grain. He writes:
This is a miscellany ….. Expect entries ranging from the just war and Iraq to Herman Dooyeweerd’s philosophy to Intelligent Design to favorite old books to the philosophy of technology to the implications of following Christ in a consumer culture and academia to . . . . You get the idea, very little is out of bounds. It will also be occasional, as workload and the Muse dictate.

Sounds like a blog worth reading!
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Sunday, 8 January 2006

All of life redeemed update

I have been updating the mathematics section of the All of Life Redeemed website - I have added some links to books and papers and have added two important papers by the Australian Edward Fackerell. The papers are: The relationship between mathematics and the Christian faith and A Christian perspective on teaching mathematics'. I have also added pdfs of two papers of mine: Mathematics and the myth of neutrality and Beliefs shapes mathematics. All four papers argue from the perspective that Jesus is lord of all and that the all includes mathematics.

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Saturday, 7 January 2006

G K Chesterton quote

I have never been able to find a reference for the often-quoted phrase attributed to G. K. Chesterton:
When a man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes in anything.
Now it turns out that Chesterton didn't even say or write it! According to The American Chesterton Society, it is probably an amalgam of these two quotes, found in Chesterton's Father Brown stories:
It's the first effect of not believing in God that
you lose your common sense.
["The Oracle of the Dog" (1923)]

You hard-shelled materialists were all balanced
on the very edge of belief - of belief in almost anything.

["The Miracle of Moon Crescent" (1924)]

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Friday, 6 January 2006

God and proofs

Hence every effort to 'prove' God is a denial of Him. In all such rationalistic proofs, God is brought before the logic of man's mind and required to 'justify' and 'prove' His existence. The god who is then derived or or 'proven' is the god of man's imagination, not the living God of Scripture. To prove means to establish by evidence, to show to be true, to test, and to verify. We cannot prove God. He is the Source of all proof. We are rather proven, tested, or verifed by Him. He alone can justify.

R J Rushdoony Systematic Theology Volume I (Ross House Books: Vallecito, 1994) p.661. [HT Forrest Schultz]

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Bands to look out for in 2006

Blueneck from Somerset
Fuzzylights from Cambridge
Ef from Gothenburg
Evaporatia report from Switzerland
Change of Plans from Istanbul

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Thursday, 5 January 2006

The 46 best-ever freeware utilities

Thanks to I have come across a list of 'The best-ever freeware utilities'. It's a great list and includes a lot of my faves.

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Wednesday, 4 January 2006

A new blog and a defunct blog

Derek Melleby of Aslan is on the Move has launched a new blog. It is the blog of the Center for Parent/ Youth Understanding (CPYU) College Transition Initiative.

Sadly it looks like Russ Reeves Tolle, Blogge is now defunct - shame.

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Monday, 2 January 2006

I have been using - a social bookmarker - for a few months now, but have always found it easier to use ctrl+D in Mozilla Firefox; but no longer! Thanks to jonny baker I have now found an add-in to Mozilla (here) that means at a click of a mouse the website can be added to and the tags easily inserted.

Another of the hundreds of reasons why Mozilla Firefox is far superior to ie.

You can check out my links here. The great thing about is that others' tags can be accessed; so for example check all the Dooyeweerd tags here and all the neocalvinism tags here.

Sunday, 1 January 2006

Sigur Ros - live in Iceland - and other music

A superb 132 min webcast of the Icelandic group Sigur Ros is available from here playing live in Reykjavik in November 2005. It is truly awe inspiring.

A search engine I have recently come across is the wonderfully titled singing fish. It will find many audio and visual files. It gives 120 responses for Damien Rice, 355 for Keith Jarrett, 6 for Esmerine, 137 for Kate Rusby, 302 for Bruce Cockburn but sadly none for Stafraenn Hakon or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. For S. Hakon you'll have to go here - and click on sounds. For GY!BE try here for an amazing mp3 of a live concert.

Update: there are some excellent mp3s of Stafraenn Hakon playing live here.

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