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June 11 - June 12, 2002



Wednesday 12th June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


The Most Successful Independent Artist in Australia’s History

I’ve never actually heard the Paul Colman Trio, a popular local Christian musical group, yet I feel I know them well. They’re from my part of Melbourne, and I keep reading interviews with them in Christian publications here. They often play at local Christian gigs. And I’ve heard several sermons from Paul’s dad Robert, a pastor at Crossway Baptist Church.


Asked in an interview when he became a Christian, Paul replied:


I don’t relate with the word ‘Christian’. There are way too many ideas about what it means. I’ve always believed in God, and I follow Jesus of Nazareth.


The Paul Colman Trio are now trying to break into America - perhaps hoping to replicate the success of another Aussie Christian superstar group, the Newsboys – and their promoters are talking about how the trio quickly established themselves as “the most successful independent artist in Australia’s history”.


Boy, that’s news to me. But I wish them well.


-posted 8:00pm, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

Mea Culpa to Spudlets…..Martin, who is the epitome of linguistic fussiness, is known to deftly catch my prolific typos, but it appears the head honcho of this blog is a bit distracted by World Cup soccer. I don’t have an excuse for my boo boo yesterday. You were very gracious, thank you!


John DaFiesole of Disputations and Praying the Post had kind words for us also.


I discovered some Australian Christians journal blogging at a site called diary-x. Interesting post on community.


EslerFried is as surprised as I have been, to find so little posted on line regarding the Burnhams. He is asking questions. Help him out.


Mark Byron says his local news lady got Gracia Burnham’s relational priorities wrong. He is correct in his reasoning. If you read Christianity Today’s coverage you’ll understand how, though we grieve the death of the people dearest to us, our first love is still God.


JunkYard Blog’s Bryon Preston was an article in the National Review Online. Way to go Mr. Preston. Preston also posts possible connections between Al Qaeda and Oklahoma City. Thanks to MidwestConservativeJournal for the heads up on that gem.


Sand in the Gears must have the same smart people reading his blog that read Martin Roth.


Tim Drake has an article on Catholic Bloggers in The National Catholic Register. You can read it on his blog Streams of Consciousness.




This story about a smallpox outbreak in a Pakistan newspaper has raised considerable skepticism since it appeared yesterday. The question I have is this: Why not small pox? Al Qaeda operatives move freely in the area, and have threatened to use biological weapons. Could a terrorist working with a batch of it recently, accidentally or purposefully released some into the population?



Books and Censorship

What is up lately with Europeans? An Italian writer, Oriana Fallaci faces legal battles in France for a new book entitled Rage and Pride. Fallaci is being accused of racism. On June 7, 2002, I posted a piece on the uproar over another Italian writer, Antonia Socci, in hot water for a book on Christian persecution in the 20th century.



Big Things Start with Small Ideas

Japanese researchers have launched a paper airplane with a laser beam. This article explains the practical implications.



It’s Rude, But Not Against the Law

A karaoke singer got kicked out of a bar for not drinking.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer to listen to sober singers.



Yes, Chimps Leave Fingerprints

This fast-fingered little simian has police scrambling in the UK. It’s a funny story, and what I like is the droll British sense of humor demonstrated by the writer, police and theft victims. I suspect someone trained this little primate. He has discriminating taste.



Invading the National Press Club

Some big name bloggers will address journalists at the National Press Club in Washington on June 28th. The questions the panel will face are rather typical for a political town, aren’t they? Link via C-log


-posted 9:10am, by Bene Diction



Tuesday 11th June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


Trust Me. I’m an Expert

Once every four years I make the decision to take a break from my writing work and give myself over to the pleasure of watching soccer’s World Cup on the TV.


Come to think of it, I do the same every four years for the Olympics as well. And for the rugby World Cup. And every January for the Australian Open tennis. And every Saturday for…no, never mind.


Anyway, to help me stay abreast of the soccer, I am using a World Cup pullout guide published here in Melbourne by The Age newspaper. It contains the schedules and details of all the teams.


It also has a “What the Experts Tip” section, with the forecasts of six soccer experts.


Here they are, with their tips:



Expert #1 – “Frank Farina – Socceroo coach”.

Winner: France



Expert #2 – “Paul Trimboli – Captain, South Melbourne”

Winner: France



Expert #3 – “Andrew Marth – Captain/coach, Melbourne Knights”

Winner: France



Expert #4 – “Johnny Warren – Socceroo captain, veteran of 1974 World Cup”

Winner: France



Expert # 5 – “Les Murray – SBS head of sport and Australia’s Mr Soccer”

Winner: France



Expert #6 – “Michael Lynch – Age soccer writer”

Winner: France


France is now out of the World Cup, and as I write is one of only four teams – of 32 competing - not to have scored any goals at all.


                             *          *          *          *


Last year the price of gold averaged US$270 an ounce, and at the beginning of 2002 most analysts were forecasting an average this year of around US$285. They may be right, but at present it’s more than US$320 and in an upward trend.


I used to be an expert. I was a securities analyst with a big merchant bank in Tokyo. Fund managers used to arrive daily from London, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and elsewhere, all looking for ideas on where to invest the tens of millions of dollars in pension funds entrusted to them by suckers (that's you) around the world.


I would tell them with great authority why Nippon Oil shares were going to out-perform those of Cosmo Oil, and why Canon shares were a Buy and Ricoh shares only a Hold. Then I’d take them drinking in Roppongi and Akasaka and they would faithfully buy what I recommended.


Sometimes the stocks I was pushing did well (experts aren’t always wrong), and sometimes they didn’t. But it was often hard to find much relationship between my reasoning and the stock’s performance. A toss of the coin might have been as effective.


Perhaps that’s how we should decide World Cup matches as well.


It would allow me to get a bit more work done.


-posted 11:40pm, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:


Catholic Anguish

Andrew Sullivan looks at the changes needed in the Catholic Church, in Time magazine.



Humane Treatment for Wounded ‘Martyr’

An 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist who was frisked by a robot after surviving his attempt at martyrdom is recovering and repentant in an Israeli hospital. He is surprised at being treated like a human being.


Zayman echoes the sentiment. "This Jewish policeman is better than many, many Arabs," he tells the Times:

He said he was "pushed" to make his attack not by Israeli action or a terrorist group, but by "the love of martyrdom." He added: "I didn't want revenge for anything. I just wanted to be a martyr."

Link via WSJ Best of the Web.




Bloggers are happily debunking the New York Times article that says there is an alleged feud between tech bloggers and war bloggers.  Jeff Jarvis has a foot in both camps and takes down the NYT.  Instapundit links up to other takedowns.



Blog Watch

Christianity Today continues coverage of the Burnhams.


As wildfires rage in Canada and the US, here is blogging at its finest. It is instant, personal and well linked in Colorado blog NoodleFood. Link via Instapundit


JunkYard blogger Bryon Preston was up late last night pondering Jewish Christian relationships.


Hawkgirl’s inside look at air cargo and air security.


While Russia deals with soccer violence fallout, journalist Peter Maass posts about a past soccer riot he covered, on his blog. Good sobering read.


Don’t miss your Tim Blair fix today.


Holy Weblog is on a roll. Where does she get this stuff?


Sudlets tackles tongues.


Confessions of a Jesus Phreak and Cut on the Bias have moved. Update your links.


He Lives has a post on remaking God in our own image.


Our friendly tech over at HealYourChurchWebsite has a fun post on usability. I noticed his Google problem isn’t fixed yet.


-posted 9:55am, by Bene Diction