Saturday, 21 February 2009


Steampunk is a genre and subculture which, according to Wikipedia, has been around since before I was born. It has only recently come to my attention, but it's done that with a bang.

Steampunk consists of fantasy and science-fiction set in a Victorian-like era. The genre includes books like Joan Aiken's Dido Twite books (Black Hearts in Battersea etc.), Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines and Stewart and Riddell's Edge Chronicals.The work of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells could be considered proto-steampunk - they are, essentially, emulated by steampunk writers, whether intentionally or coincidentally.

I haven't seen any notes on steampunk movies, but I suppose The Golden Compass would fall into that category. There are likely more, which I would recall if I'd watched as many movies as I've read books. Steampunk music and design are also developing, although seem somewhat undefined as yet. Perhaps that means I'm not so late to jump onto the bandwagon after all.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Marie Curie

Looking for the image? Click here. (I removed it because the copyright does not reside with me. I still get found through Google Image Search, though.)

We're having a youth event with a theme of people we admire: everyone has to dress as one of their role models and explain why that person is admirable. After much uncertainty, I'm thinking that I'll be going as Marie Curie.

She won the Nobel prize twice, in different categories (Physics and Chemistry), for her experiments in radioactivity and the discovery of Radium and Polonium.
She brought up two daughters, and Irene went on to also win a Nobel prize (also jointly with her husband).
In an era when higher education for women was far from the norm, she made her way through two university degrees before going on to meet her husband doing research work.
She maintained her pride in her native Poland, but remained a good French citizen.

I'm not sure what impresses me most, but I'm very impressed. I'm sure I haven't listed everything impressive that she did either!

Saturday, 14 February 2009


On Sunday our church hosted the circuit induction service. While the induction itself was obviously important, what's stuck with me more is the genuine and natural cross-cultural aspect of the service, particularly in the worship.

The worship was opened by our worship team, with some loud, awesome Hillsong-type songs (I guess about half of them were actually Hillsong songs). There were prayers in English and also a prayer in Zulu. That was nice.

What was great, was that the Woman's Manyano members who were there for the induction spontaneously began singing the traditional (?) African hymns during the offering and the greeting of the new ministers. It made me realise how much I enjoy those songs, even though I hadn't sung them for years. It was fun to pound on my bible and try to figure out the words (well, it would've been better if I'd actually known them, but still)!

The sad thing is that we're still fighting it to some extent. My friends weren't quite sure why I was thumping my bible so enthusiastically, and the Manyano lady in front of me seemed to have to explain to her friends why she was dancing so much with the worship team's songs.

The two of us, though, experienced a truly cross-cultural service, as I see it, rather than one that's trying to look that way. And nobody was unhappy about it or anything!