Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today is π Day

Found this and got this from Wikipedia:
Pi Approximation Day is observed on March 14, because of the Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes' first rough approximation of π as being 3.14. (A few years later, Archimedes was able to calculate a much better approximation of π.) However, this date may be considered misleading, because 22/7 is actually a closer approximation of π than 3.14 is. Thus, a "correct" Pi Day could be found in the European calendar, 22/7, or July 22.

And it is Pearlie's Day as well - no approximation about that :)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life as a Photographer

I started on photography back in 2008, and where I am now as far as the graph is concerned is "Dammit, I suck".

Graph sourced from Lenscratch

Thursday, July 08, 2010

e-Books vs. Printed Books

Which would you choose? Would you rather buy an e-book or a printed book?

Why Printed Books?
They are personal
I have a relationship with my books. I spotted them, I acquired them, I read them, I noted on them, I referred to them and I grew with them. (I was re-reading Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline, some weeks ago since I last read it in 1985: I was so amazed reading what I wrote in that book 25 years ago.) I can never give them away. Each book has its story, and I don't mean its content.

They are social
Books are conversational pieces as well. When I have visitors (which is rare though), those who are book-lovers themselves would congregate in my mini library and chat away about books.

They can be a heritage
Some say this but I am not so sure about this one. I look forward to passing on my collection to my son, but would he have the same interests as I have so as to appreciate the collection that I have, and even if he did, wouldn't he require newer editions.

Why e-books?
They are convenient
So far I have purchased the Word Biblical Commentary (58 volumes) and the Tyndale Commentary Series (49 volumes) in CD format. This means I have access to 107 commentaries wherever I go with my netbook. I don't need them all at once but it helps to have access to any one of them wherever I am. The Pillar New Testament Commentary series and the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series are on my wish list. The Baker ones would be the more likely set to get since I only have one of its printed copies. I already have 4 of Pillar's 8 volumes, though 5 new volumes are on its way. I would love to have The New International Greek Testament Commentary series of 12 volumes as well, but the set is expensive and I already own 6 of the 12 volumes in printed copies.

They are text-searchable and easily accessible
This trumps it all. I can search, copy and paste text complete with footnote references, something you can never do with a printed copy. The best you could do with a printed book is to check the index pages. But you will only get what you need if the indexing is of good quality.

So which would you choose?
I am still undecided. I still love the smell and feel of books and the fact that I can easily put notes in them. It is still quite hard to read an e-book but I cannot forgo the fact that e-books are much more practical for me. I am already storing more than a hundred of them in my netbook and iPhone. Moreover, if I put them in my Dropbox, I can actually access them at home, at work, anywhere!

So, the conclusion is I WANT BOTH! But then, it would incur more costs. Sigh...


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Again, on pulpits

Life have certainly taken a different turn for me lately as far as my blogging is concerned - i.e. I wished I could spend more time thinking and writing but alas, by the time I get back home, my mind would be too fried to do much else.

However, what has been still burning in my mind is the treatment of pulpits in churches. I know the 1st century churches most probably do not have pulpits, and I know contemporary speakers these days desire to be more hip and happening and would traverse the entire chancel area to deliver the sermon. Maybe I am a tad too conservative. I get repelled by that. I always treat the pulpit as a symbol of the centrality of the Word of God and every speaker should respect it and stand behind it and to deliver God's message to the people in humility. In a sense it is more than a place to put your notes, it is submitting to the fact that we are only but a mouthpiece for the message of God to the people.

I suppose I would be ok with a church without a pulpit and the speaker can roam about but when there is one, there is a need to stand behind it.

Or maybe, that is just me ... that I need to loosen up.

But it is difficult for me ... the worst was when there was this speaker I encountered once, whose notebook where his sermon notes were could not startup and he walked to the back where the Powerpoint slide driver was handling his slides, and he delivered his sermon from there. You should have seen my face :) ... and I had no idea what the sermon was all about!