Archive for the ‘Understanding Others’ Category

Noah funeral 4b.jpgTwo funerals this year so far; one shocking, one elegiac. Both with foreign condolences; one military, the other medical.  Both with plenty of food after; one pushed down with tea, the other with vodka.  Both with memories of lives lived; of 11 weeks, and of 96 years.  Both funerals are worth a thought.  But I’ll tell you of baby Noah’s now.

How can a funeral capture both the sense of loss, the genuine loss; and the sense of hope, confidence?   And also a mysterious third dimension- that it is better to have genuinely loved and lost, is better than never having loved at all, so never suffered the loss?

Lament
This funeral did work us for the tears: ♫Benedictus, Karl Jenkins; ♫Jealous of the Angels, Katherine Jenkins; ♫ Brahms’ Lullaby, Celine Dion. (more…)

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Phone daze.jpgAfter the honeyoon, comes the fall back to earth.  My new companion always wants to chat in the middle of the night.  Wants to know what I’m up to and will never switch off.  And there’s jealousy in the family too.  My wife tells me I prefer the new phone to her (“exchanging for the latest model” takes on a new meaning).  Notifications: were a major the enemy.  Chirps and squeaks at all hours.  WhatsApps from Haiti, when their 10pm rumination caused my phone lighting up and tinkling at 4am.

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Police Body Video.jpg

Smile -here- for the (police) video

“You are being watched”.  Does your behaviour change?  Try asking that when your car approaches the speed cameras on the trunk road.  We know what the norms are.  But we conform when being watched.  Or so the police themselves have found.

A Cambridge University study has found that police body cameras can dramatically reduce the number of complaints against officers.   It showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.  Almost 2,000 officers across four UK forces and two US police departments were monitored for the project. Dr Barak Ariel, who led the research, said no other policing measure had led to such “radical” changes. (more…)

Tay_bot_logo.jpgThe trendy fashion retailer, Rag & Bone, held their latest show on Saturday, entitled “A Last Supper”.  Instead of Jesus hosting they promised a robot, to entertain the New York celeb guests with witty conversation.  In the end, as dinner was served, a projection on the wall displaying a “3D point cloud” of guest’s actions as processed by an artificial intelligence system, with voice and dance displays managed interactively.

Managed?  Clever, though not “Artificial” but human.  And the “Intelligence” was not machine created, but human made. (more…)

web3-gaurdian-angel-public-domain.jpgMy grandson surprised me a few weeks back.  We were drawing “spooky” drawing, when he suddenly turned and told me ghosts did not exist.  Well do I agree, so he does not have nightmares?  But then condemn his imagination to sterile literalism?  Is what exists, only what you can see, measure, touch?

It’s not true either.  Beyond sight there’s a world of spirits, unusual presences (which we give names like angels, demons, archangels).  And beyond them – God.  Kids see or sense more than we do.

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New Year.jpgWell?  Have you made yours yet?  Or made any?  New Year resolutions, that is.  That was the question that was put to me by Dave[1] last night.  Or early this morning to be accurate.

He cheerily told me that he once made a list , lost it, and months later found the list and discovered he’d met his resolutions.  Well done him.  But I can’t say I have made any.  No gym membership beckons.  No diet, yes the Christmas cake gets no reprieve.  No hair implants (not this year anyhow).

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millennial-christmas.jpgLet’s hear it for tat?  Millennials are buying non-traditional Christmas decorations this season – choosing to decorate their trees with unicorns and mermaids rather than tinsel, new research has found.[i]  The research found that 45% of the UK’s households will be overlooking Santa Claus and his reindeer in favour of more interesting decor.

Unicorns will also be nestled amidst tree branches leading up to Christmas as 24% of the 2,000 people surveyed said they plan to decorate with the mythical creatures.  Others from the younger generation have decided they will express their Christmas spirit through mermaid, dinosaur, and prosecco bottle ornaments.

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