Archive for the ‘england’ Category
The National Trust have a really interesting little tool on their website which lets you look at the geographical incidence of surnames in Great Britain in 1881 and 1998.
I was quite surprised that my surname is so (relatively) localised to the Midlands and East Anglia, with a much lower incidence in the north and south of the country, in both 1881 and 1998. I had assumed it was equally common throughout the country. Then I started checking my grandparents’ surnames. My father’s mother’s maiden name was Cartmail. Which in 1881 only occurs in three counties altogether, with by far its highest incidence in my home county. In 1998 there were insufficient people registered for it to be on the database. I bet I’m related to all of them.
My mother’s father’s surname was Lees. This is still found mainly in the Midlands and in Scotland but is much more widespread than it was 120 years ago. My mother’s mother’s name was Byard. There is a high concentration of these in Derbyshire and again, this is a name that has spread over the last century.
So, where do you come from?
And here! The wardrobe doesn’t quite go across the whole wall. There will be space for some storage boxes. This is the room that needs most attention, I think. I have some curtains made, that just need hemming before they go up. And there’s a chair that I covered in the curtain fabric that will also go in here, and some pictures to go on the walls. It definitely needs some bookshelves though, to really give it a homely feel.
So, we’re nearly there. The main thing that hasn’t yet happened is bookshelves, but apparently they wanted to wait a few months to give the house chance to settle before they get put up. It is amazing to look at these photos and see things that were only in my head now here in reality.
I don’t think I’ve given a progress update here for a very long time. Anyway, the good news is that it is almost done! The bad news is I’m 500 miles away and so I haven’t seen it yet. But there are pictures!
I’ve just heard back from the exceptionally efficient Tyndale House(!), a mere eight or nine months after I first sent my application. Anyway, the good news is that they’ve offered me residential accommodation for four months from March to June next year. I’m not sure how all the practicalities will work out, but my supervisor is keen for me to go, and I’m looking forward to it as well. I’ve really enjoyed the couple of days I’ve spent working there. The library is excellent and the opportunity to hang out with other biblical scholars will be really valuable.
Plus, Cambridge is not quite so remote as Dingwall.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I watch this programme. Quite often. Okay, every day. Almost. I generally find myself closing down the laptop and packing up my things at around 4.30pm just so I can get home in time for the business end of it.
If I were in charge, I’d rename it (after getting Noel Edmonds some better shirts, of course), ‘How Greedy Can One Person Be?’ If I were really serious, I’d do some real research but as it is, I’m going to make up the statistics:
73% of contestants end up settling for an offer lower than one they had previously been given.
98% of contestants willingly gamble sums of more than £10,000 in hopes of winning ten times that sum.
0% of contestants understand the basic principles of probability.
0% of Noel Edmonds understands the basic principle of probability.
4.5% of contestants do have the £250,000 in their box.
4.5% of contestants do have the 1p in their box.
0% of contestants are more or less likely than any other to have either the £250,000 or the 1p in their box.
100% = probability that, in the long run, the banker wins. Especially if you define ‘the banker’ as ‘the production company.’
Also, as another entry in my occasional ‘How the US is different from the UK’ series, it should be noted that in the UK version of the programme, there are no scantily clad models holding the boxes. Instead, they have a pool of contestants, all of whom are allocated a box and then at the start of the programme one is randomly chosen to play. The others stand around in a semicircle and do the opening of the boxes.
I notice that the papers from the EA Symposium on the atonement from summer 2005 have finally been published. I haven’t read it but I have just skimmed through the contents list (see the sample pages here and I’m struck by both the omissions and the inclusions. Here are the chapters (one of the more irritating, though less significant, omissions is the use of the Shift key to provide suitable capitalisations):
1. atonement, evangelicalism and the evangelical
alliance: the present debate in context . . . . . . . david hilborn
2. the redemption of the cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . .steve chalke
3. the theology of the atonement . . . . . . . . . . . . i. howard marshall
4. atonement in the old testament . . . . . . . . . . . .christopher j. h. wright
5. the atonement in the new testament . . . . . . . . geoffrey grogan
6. why did christ die? an exegesis of isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 . . . . . . . . . . . .sue groom
7. penal substitutionary atonement in paul:an exegetical study of romans 3:25 – 26 . .rohintan k. mody
8. the atonement in hebrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . steve motyer
9. must we imagine the atonement in penal substitutionary terms? questions, caveats and a plea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . joel b. green
10. penal substitution: a response to recent criticisms . . garry williams
11. atonement, creation and trinity . . . . . . . . . . . graham mcfarlane
12. the logic of penal substitution revisited . . . . . . oliver d. crisp
13. towards a unified theory of the atonement . . . . . david t. williams
14. bernard of clairvaux: theologian of the cross . . . . tony lane
15. ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven:evangelical accounts of the atonement . . .stephen r. holmes
16. “live much under the shadow of the cross”:atonement and evangelical spirituality . . . . . . . . ian randall
17. the message of the cross is foolishness:atonement in womanist theology; towards a black british perspective . . . . . . . . . lynette j. mullings
18. atonement in contemporary culture: christ, symbolic exchange and death . . . . anna m. robbins
19. penal substitution: a pastoral apologetic . . . . . . derek tidball
I’m sure the inclusion of some of these extra papers that weren’t given at the conference will be worth reading – Oliver Crisp and Tony Lane’s look particularly interesting. But, um, where’s Mike Ovey’s paper on Christus Victor? And why on earth was the womanist nonsense included (I went to the seminar, so I know what I’m talking about)? It’ll be interesting to see whether Sue Groom has changed anything in her paper in light of some of the devastating comments she got from the floor.
I’ve just watched an item on The One Show about teenage pregnancy. A number of things struck me:
- Apparently one of the things that gives the government concern with respect to teenage pregnancy is that children of teenage parents are more likely to live in poverty than children of slightly older parents. Aside from the inherent problems of using a relative measure of poverty, this reveals an extraordinary attitude in the government which could be summed up as “Poor people should not have children”; or perhaps “The most important thing parents can do for children is give them Stuff.” Or, and you can call me a cynic if you like, “Teenage parents are ruining our chances of meeting our goal to eradicate child poverty.”
- Another concern expressed in the programme was that teenage parents are missing out on their own experiences of youth. Or, we might say, “Children get in the way of your right to immaturity.” Having a baby certainly cuts down on your opportunities to go out late at night and perpetrate knife crime, I suppose. That may not be such a bad thing.
- There seems to me to be a complete failure to distinguish the fourteen year old who falls pregnant the first time she has sex with a casual boyfriend from the eighteen or nineteen year old who is in a long term relationship (and may even be married) who chooses to have a child. The former is certainly far from ideal for many reasons, but the latter seems to me eminently desirable.
Worse even than this was the presenters’ decision to ask their studio guest what she thought about the problem. Jackie Collins showed exactly why she should never be put in charge of policy-making (though to be fair, I don’t think she’s planning to seek political office any time soon). Education was her first suggested solution. Upon being challenged by the fact that 50 years ago there was significantly less teenage pregnancy despite the absence of sex education, she had no answer. Though she also clearly buys into the “Poor people should not have children” line, since apparently it’s fine for Bristol Palin and the other Spears girl to be pregnant, if only it weren’t such a bad example for others. Oh dear, oh dear.
Hmm. From the BBC website:
Councils say they have followed Treasury advice by investing surplus money to deliver the highest return for taxpayers.
So, let me just go over what has happened here.
1. The government (local and national) extracts too much money compulsorily from taxpayers.
2. They then invest this money ‘to deliver the highest return for taxpayers.’
3. The investment fails and the councils go back to the national government who say, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll just compel the taxpayers to give us more money to make up.’
Now, what I want to know is why on earth local councils have sufficient excess funds that they are making investments? What right do they have to say, ‘We’ll take your money and invest it on your behalf’? If they have more tax than they need, they need to GIVE IT BACK. Or at the very least, tax at a lower level in the following year.
I understand that councils need to maintain a certain level of working capital, but I cannot see why they should have any long term investments. And I absolutely do not buy the argument that this is somehow best for the taxpayer. What’s best for the taxpayer is to PAY LESS TAX.
One can only hope that the current crisis compels a complete rehaul of the taxation system as well as the banking system. Let the people rise up and protest!