Saturday, 24 April 2010
thesis pre-viva date finally confirmed as 22nd june 2010 in oxford OCMS. will go there a week earlier to acclimatize to time zone difference, as well as meeting with my 2 supervisors, one in oxford and the other in cambridge (the reb hates the bus ride from oxford to cambridge which takes 3 hours zigzagging thro small towns and villages! would you believe in UK that there is no direct express bus between the 2 major cities?).
also just booked flights to UK but because it is summer time, mas flights were not cheap by this time. a return flight costs ~rm 5,500! so had to try airasia for the first time on a long distance haul. with luggage fee, meals, seat booking plus taxes and convenience fee (they charged rm 5 for each transaction becos i use credit card to pay!), everything came up to rm 3,928. but still managed to save about rm 1,500 cf. MAS, so no real complaints whatsoever (only whimpering).
real difficulty is leaving malaysia at 1am in the wee hours of the morning on tuesday and arriving same day at 8am in stansted airport.
note: my colleague asks me to go to cambridge when i arrive since it is only 1 hour away from the airport. very tempting! but go to look for a place to stay!
Friday, 23 April 2010
facebook birthday wishes to my first OT disciple and fellow colleague in seminary, elaine goh:
happy birthday to limudi,
finding joy and satisfaction,
happy birthday to limudi,
well-wishes and confetti.
climbing the 40th hill,
many more years still.
finding joy and satisfaction,
from lecture to lection.
old testament to hebrew,
may your tribes grew.
under the watch of Israel's God,
all the days on earth you trod.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
an interview with israel finkelstein, well-known israeli archaeologist. in case you thought he was a biblical minimalist or maximalist, read what he has to say himself:
The Devil Is Not So Black as He Is Painted
BAR interviews Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein is professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University and has codirected the excavations at Megiddo since 1994. Recently, he was the recipient of an award that provides a fund in excess of $4 million for a scientific study of the history of ancient Israel. Editor Hershel Shanks and Professor Finkelstein discuss, among other things, whether or not there was an Exodus from Egypt.
Hershel Shanks: Israel, I know that you are not a Biblical minimalist, and you’re not a Biblical maximalist either. You regard yourself as a centrist. But many people refer to you as a Biblical minimalist. How do you account for that?
Israel Finkelstein: To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I believe that I’m indeed in the center. I never take a sweeping view on Biblical history. You’ll never catch me saying, “Everything is not historical” or “Everything is historical.” For me, there’s never a black-and-white situation.
Most of us agree that the actual compilation [of the Biblical text] is relatively late. So the question is whether everything earlier is not historical and everything from the time of the writing of the text is historical. My answer is no. There are indications that earlier material contains germs of historical memories from the formative days of early Israel. On the other hand, when the text is soaked with ideology and with the theology of the later writers, even for events close to the time of the writing, not everything is completely historical.
Why people don’t understand this is beyond me. Not only do they tend to stick labels on what I am doing—you know, the minimalists say that I am a maximalist and the maximalists say that I am minimalist. They also stick [modern] political labels on what I am doing. This is absolutely incorrect to do.
for the rest of the article, read here:
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
MYSTERIOUS DESERT LINES WERE ANIMAL TRAPS
Mysterious lines on the deserts of the Near East are massive ancient hunting tools, made up of low stone walls.
- A series of low, long walls are cleverly constructed traps that used the landscape.
- Gazelle, ibexes, wild asses and other large herding animals were the targets.
- No one is sure why the kites were abandoned.
British RAF pilots in the early 20th century were the first to spot the strange kite-like lines on the deserts of Israel, Jordan and Egypt from the air and wonder about their origins. The lines are low, stone walls, usually found as angled pairs, that begin far apart and converge at circular pits. In some places in Jordan the lines formed chains up to 40 miles long.
Were they made by some weird kind of fault? Ancient astronauts?
A new study of 16 of what are called desert kites in the eastern Sinai Desert confirms what many researchers have long suspected: The walls form large funnels to direct gazelle and other large game animals into killing pits. What's more, the kites are between 2,300 and 2,400-years-old, were abandoned about 2,200 years ago and are just the right size to have worked on local gazelles and other hooved game.
SLIDE SHOW: Want a closer look at these desert kites? Click here to find out exactly how ancient hunters rounded up their prey.
"The research shows that the construction of the kite was actually more sophisticated than it seemed before, their use was more diverse than we thought, and the ancients' knowledge of animal ethology was deeper and more intimate than one would think," said Uzi Avner of Ben-Gurion University-Eilat, in Israel.
for the rest of the article, pls read here:
Sunday, 18 April 2010
jeff kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid. the book is now made into a movie and will be released in spring. if you have not read the book, it is fun. the reb only read the first 2 volumes. probably 5 or more volumes out by now..
see the website below for 11 clips from the movie.