Just starting work on my Church of England Newspaper article for February so here's the archived January one.
Happy New Year. Welcome to another year at the column which wastes its time surfing to save you the bother. And all this browsing is educational. Oh yes it is. Look at how the award winning Duck Diaries chronicles the life of a mallard who just happened to chose a school playground as home. Fantastic. Wack wack.
It seems to have been the season for web-site awards. Do they have virtual dinners and emailed acceptance speeches? We should be told. Anyway I note that Cowforce, the educational wing of Send a Cow won Yahoo!’s (looks wrong but the apostrophe is part of the legal name) charity website award. In the same awards Pledgebank won best innovative website. They enable people to promise to do things if others will join them or support them and thus the apparently powerless can begin to change the world a bit. Best weird and wonderful award went to Trolleyspotting which walks the precarious line between an art project and too-much-time-on-your hands-get-a life. Fun though. Where have you seen a discarded shopping trolley?
Did your resolutions include Bible reading? Crosswalk, ‘the intersection of faith and life’, have a good Bible in a Year Plan. You may have to run to catch up, or just go for a year from February 1st. There’s a progress tracker too for those who want to read nerdily. BibleMaster helps you access different, mainly American, versions of the Bible and search for words, phrases or verses. For those who like free Bible software try investigating e-Sword; some of its claims seem outrageously good. If all this is just a bit too US of A for you then visit Joe’s Canadian Rant and listen to a man more proud to be North American than you could possibly believe. Close all the dialogue boxes that ask you for passwords if they pop up and you’ll still get to hear him. Lasts less than a minute.
Last month I promised some non-Ridley ordinands’ blogs. I surfed. I found. Try The Church of Ireland’s Gary McMurray at The Thoughts of a Random Ordinand, Wycliffe’s Sean Doherty at Sean’s Blog, the enigmatic, but also Oxford-based Cuddblog (learn to spell cemetery, there’s a love), the still Oxford but more visual Matthew Firth at The Life and Times of an Anglican Ordinand or Nigel Wright, an accountant training in his spare time. God stuff and quality musings. I meant to type good stuff but I think I’ll leave it.
Need a new car this year? Autosave comes highly recommended and the clergy can borrow cash through the National Car Loan Scheme. That said, I found that leasing will get you a much better car for the same monthly commitment with no hidden extras to worry about. There’s a clergy group scheme on Saabs, Chevrolets and Vauxhalls at Saab Contract Hire, for instance.
If you need to save some money to afford the monthly payments on your CEN-sponsored Aston Martin try one of these sites to pick up free stuff – Freebiers Club UK, Freebie Hunters Blog, freestuffjunction, Free UK Stuff and SmartFreeStuff. Many thanks to The Guardian Guide to free stuff for some of these links.
Want a bit of distraction after all this resolve and saving? The two games of the month, my month anyway, are Linerider and The Invisible Mouse. In the first you draw a line and then a guy sledges down it. Try not to draw bumps. In the second you have to move the cursor from one place to the next but it disappears.
To make the youth and children’s work go with a swing, or simply to have something up your sleeve for an extra unexpected ten minutes, visit the Eventwise. They’re a corporate hospitality group.
Five of the top ten brands of the year were internet-based or linked – the search engine (and more) Google, the music-lovers site at Apple’s iPod, video sharing through YouTube, selling stuff on eBay and the internet service provider Yahoo! Get connected.