Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

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So to make up for it, here’s an absolutely brilliant video of three Irishmen taking the mick out of themselves as they head off to celebrate St Patrick’s Day!

This should appeal to all my friends around the world with Côte d’Ivoire connections… not to mention spud afficionados, flag experts, Irish dancers, Welsh (or should it be Scottish) people and drinkers of the Irish national brew!

Looking forward to your reflections and comments by pigeon post, postcards… or even comments here on the blog.

A very happy belated St Patrick’s Day!

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Maybe you’ve heard about the criticism directed at Bible translators in recent months. Maybe you haven’t. My friend and colleague Eddie Arthur blogged on the topic a wee while ago. I came across it again this evening and couldn’t resist sharing it.

Eddie started with a light-hearted dip into the archives of missionary prayer letters as Roman missionaries in Britannia write home to supporters …

Dear Friends,

Well we’ve been in England for a year now and we are slowly getting used to life here. You wouldn’t believe the weather. The climate is no where near as comfortable as the weather back home in Rome, it is far too cold most of the time. You wouldn’t believe what the nationals call summer – it’s more like a cold spring… We are also getting used to the local food, which isn’t very inspiring. The English boil everything till it has no flavour and have never heard of olive oil, garlic or herbs and, what is worse, an amphora of wine costs a whole week’s support…

Of course, the nationals don’t speak Latin, so we’ve been learning the local language so that we can teach them about Jesus. It’s hard going, but we are slowly getting there. One of our concerns has been to find a way to communicate Christian truth in English. It takes time to think of how to express even the most basic ideas. For example, how should we say “Deus” in English. We could use the Latin word, but that would make Deus sound foreign, so we’ve decided to settle on the English word “God”. There are some more difficult questions still to come. 

Meanwhile, our…. (the fragment ends here.)

And here is what we know of the reply.

… What do you mean you are using the English word “God” to describe “Deus”. Don’t you know that the Northern European “Gods” are nothing like the God of the Bible. They drink, they fight, they kill people. What is worse there are lots of them. They are nothing like the “Deus” of the Bible. If you use the word “God” you will be changing Christianity entirely, it will be a false Gospel, heresy. The word “God” could simply never be used to describe the loving Triune Deus of the Christian faith. The Father, Son and Spirit are nothing like Odin, Thor or those odious “Gods” from the frozen north. I demand that you change…

… and then Eddie addresses the current issues that Bible translators are facing.

OK, this isn’t entirely serious, but it does illustrate a serious point. Over the last few months, Bible translators have been criticised for using the word “Allah” to translate the Greek “θεὸς” in some contexts. We are told that “Allah” is not the same as “θεὸς” so we should find another word to use.

Of course, this issue is a lot more complex than the purveyors of sound-bite theology would have use believe.

Read the rest of Eddie’s blog and follow the links to helpful comments from the Canadian Bible Society…

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The tree in question


A Bible translation consultant colleague was drafting an account of an incident which happened recently in Ivory Coast. He e-mailed it to colleagues for comment re accuracy. Below is a short extract.

First draft:

Apparently, we heard later, a green mamba had gone up the trouser leg of Didier’s younger brother, sitting near a tree. He had stood up, and shaken it off, and those near him had killed it!

There remained some ambiguity about whether or not the mamba had gone up the inside or outside of the trouser leg. Accuracy is so important in these things!

Second draft:

“Apparently, we heard  later, a green  mamba had slithered on to the trouser leg of Didier’s younger brother, sitting near a tree. Shocked, he had stood up and shaken it off, and those near him had killed it!”

A wannabe consultant sent the following suggestions…

Excellent! Just a few minor comments to assist the accuracy, clarity and naturalness of the translation.

Apparently [seems to imply some doubt whether or not any of this happened], we heard [was it a reliable source or mere hearsay?] later [how much later? Is the time lapse element crucial?], a green [do we need to clarify the shade of green?] mamba [pronunciation: ‘mam ba] had slithered [definition required] on to the trouser leg [which leg?] of Didier’s younger brother [same mother, same father?], sitting near [one metre or two?] a tree [which species of tree?]. Shocked [implies presence of electricity], he had stood up [calmly, in panic, leapt, with a scream?]and shaken it off [was this in the style of a traditional Kouya dance step?], and those [very vague: who were these people who killed one of God’s little creatures so gratuitously?] near him [see above] had killed [what implements of death dealing were used?] it [one may have forgotten by this stage what it refers to]!

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Spot what's missing?

In Leadership Lessons from Superman’s Underpants, Skye Jethani concludes with this paragraph:

So, there are four leadership lessons I’ve taken from the controversy surrounding Superman’s underpants. What do I think about the decision to abolish the briefs? I will withhold my opinion until I see the movie. In the end, if it’s a great script with strong acting and fantastic action, I will forgive this blasphemy against my childhood hero. Good storytelling covers a multitude of sins.

So, what are the four lessons?

What indeed is the controversy about Superman’s underpants?

It’s a good read for anyone involved in church leadership or speaking to multi-generational audiences like church congregations on a Sunday – but you really should read it for yourself. You’ll find it entertaining too – I did!

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Samson and Goliath

Humphhhhh! Disappointed that only Alan in Belfast commented on my recent post Belfast Photo Puzzle. Perhaps my enjoyment in taking some photographs on a beautiful sunny morning around the once famous Belfast shipyard just didn’t scratch my readers where they were itching.

This area now rejoices in the name Titanic Quarter! Yes, in  N. Ireland we have shed our hang-ups about the Titanic and decided to rejoice in the glorious history of our shipbuilding industry. And why should that be? Well…

1. As the chorus of a Belfast song goes: “Don’t blame me and don’t blame Jimmy; she was alright when she left the Yard!”

2. Centenaries can change perspectives – and besides the cruise ship business is bringing 33 ships and 58,000 passengers to Belfast this summer  – and they are hungry to find out more about the origins of the infamous Titanic.

By the way there is a brilliant walking tour that is a must-do if you are in Belfast – Titanic Walking Tours  – it will turn you into a Titanorac!

Crystal Serenity Cruise Ship Belfast 27th July 2011

But what’s all this about Samson and Goliath and what’s the photo at the top of the page? Well, the photo shows Samson and Goliath, the two giant cranes that dominate the Belfast skyline.

As I was doing some photo research, I came upon a UTV story about Samson and Goliath from earlier this year.

One of the most iconic features of the Belfast sky-line could be set for a revamp, as part of plans to make the Harland and Wolff cranes “more relevant” for 2012.

Initially I was filled with horror, but read it for yourself… horror turned into smiles.


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Look at this photo carefully

Ryanair defends use of “sky oars” in new sub-economy Galley Class

Ryanair has robustly defended the introduction of ‘sky oars’ in their new sub-economy class. Each oar is operated by a row of three passengers and the designer, Patrick from Marketing, thinks they could help propel the aircraft. Stripped to the waist and heavily manacled, passengers in the new ‘Galley’ class can expect to save up to 20% on the price of a ticket.

Having flown from Belfast to Luton this evening with Ryanair competitors easyJet, I found this quite hilarious. You have to read the whole article, especially to appreciate this punch line:

… it is nice to be able to whip the customers again.

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Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our third and final (for now at least) suggestion for fixing the UK’s economy.

I should add, Mr Cameron, that I am slightly apprehensive that some of my readers are equating these ideas with some of your current policies eg the NHS and weekly bin collections and thinking that I, like you, am totally serious in my suggestions.

The third suggestion should definitely be taken with a pinch of salt…

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Thanks to a friend for forwarding these suggestions to me: original source unknown.

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