Monday, December 29, 2008

Video for NCYC09

Just to avoid doing more prep work right now I thought I'd post one of the audio-visuals I've prepared for Bible Study at NCYC09 in Melbourne... way too much to do, way too little time!!

It's for "Ugly" theme day as an open ended intro about us 'getting ugly' in response to who Jesus spent time with and who we are called to be and what we're called to build... the world lived according to the values of God!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

"No Line on the Horizon" U2

OK so I couldn't resist after all....
The reports are that you could get your hands on new U2 on 2nd March 2009.
"I'll believe it when I see it" but some new tracks, songs that didn't make it for "Atomic Bomb" and a re-energise group working with Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite [The Captain] promises at least some interesting moments ahead of Easter if it all comes to pass!!
See for details of course.

"Valkyrie" rated tbc at Openair Cinema Sydney

After some internet drama I was able to book the annual sojourn to the Openair at 'Mrs Macquarie's Chair' in Sydney. We've been going along once or twice each season since it began in 1997. It's a brilliant night out with certain quirky features:
  • It's a temporary grandstand with tiered seating of locked together sebel plastic chairs where the screen is on two pylons in the harbour and the hydraulics haul it into place at 8.15pm for a series of arty adverts [one year even an actual boat on the water featured alongside an ad]
  • You must pre-book and arrive before 6pm [it wasn't always so popular but since St George took over from Phillips as major sponsor and as word got around you now have to have a system to get your dinner table and the best seats]
  • Watch as various punters: get in the wrong queue, try to sneak in to the shortest line, attempt to sneak in bottles of wine, entertain those nearby with stories of rich relatives, their season tickets at the STC, anecdotes from the last 11 years of lining up, or repeatedly need to phone their slack friends who've let them line up for 2 hours only to arrive just as 'gates open'
  • One of us heads straight for the seat markers and the less well known left stairs with free Lindt chocolate in hand, the other charges up to the dinner tables to reserve a space where there's not enough for all despite a recent expansion
  • We choose to sit in the centre on an aisle with the crossover aisle right behind us so when we lean back it isn't into someone elses lap or dinner
  • With seat markers in place we choose bangers and mash, thai beef noodles or fish n chips from Belinda Franks caterers by tagging at the long tables and then proceed to eat as slowly as possible, adding coffee and drinks so as to divert the seagullers trying to guilt you into giving up your table
  • Only when absolutely necessary we move to our seats with extra softdrinks stowed, newspapers and magazines aplenty and take one more photo of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background
  • Rain ponchos are distributed on the rare occasion rain is possible [needed twice in eleven years]
  • Choose a movie under 2 hours or thereabouts if possible because of the seats

  • Having parked across from the entrance by circling the headland we are well placed at movie end to retry the side stairs, hustle up the hill and getaway quickly with a stop in 20-30mins for a softdrink or snack proior to the 2 hour drive home!!

  • "One year" we say "we must try out the Moonlight Cinema at Centennial Park where you take your own deckchair."
For 2009 we managed to secure tix for "Valkyrie" the reason for Tom Cruise spooky Beatlesesque hair cut 18 months ago. It's based on the story of the attempt by insiders to kill Adolf Hitler and the names besides Cruise give me some cause to think it'll be a good film.
Click the title or go here to check it out

Happy Christmas from Pumphouse via U2

While heavily into preparations as part of my team who are leading a 'surfing level' Bible Study at the upcoming NCYC09 in Melbourne!! I pause for an early 'HAPPY CHRISTMAS' to my two or three readers out there!! With the help of U2 [I will say nothing about their 'it's like nothing else we've ever recorded' line or the slated release dates for their new album or indeed the video recording in London]

U2's cover of Greg Lake's 'I Believe in Father Christmas' is among cuts from The Killers, John Legend, Jay-Z and Coldplay on (RED)WIRE, a groundbreaking new digital magazine service supporting the fight against global poverty. Check out RED WIRE!

GetUp on Climate Change

The activist network 'GetUp' has put together a funny TV spot making the point that with the Rudd government measly 5% carbon reduction target they've released a policy not too dissimilar to one that John Howard might have been dragged kicking and screaming towards.
While they've 'wedged' Malcolm Turnbull they've fallen way short of their own Garnuat Report and rhetoric.
GetUp are previewing the spot here and asking for donations to get it on air during the Aussie Boxing Day cricket Test in Melbourne telecast by the Nine Network.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don Bradman's 1948 Australian Cricket 'Baggy Green' Cap

A piece of history is up for auction today... if only I had a lazy few hundred thousand dollars!

For the non cricket mad readers... in the game of cricket there is no greater player than 'The Don'... playing both sides of World War 2. and bringing people to the grounds when news spread that he was batting. He had no peer in his ability to make big scores at all levels of the game and led to specific tactics being developed by English Captain Douglas Jardine and enacted in the so called 'bodyline' series in the 1930's.

In a sport where a batsmen's average either side of 50 runs per innings is a fair achievement and special players average 60, Bradman averaged 99.94. Part of the legend is of course that he needed only four runs in his final innings to average 100 but was dismissed for zero [a duck].

The 1948 Australian team swept all before them and were undefeated on an extended Tour and in some 31 first class cricket matches including 4-0 with one draw in the Test Match series v England, becaming known as the 'Invincibles.'

This is the Don's 1948 cap and is up for auction in Melbourne later today!!.

Some of the notable touring party members are:

Like any person the legend is larger than life with the occasional story about a catholic/protestant split in the team, Bradman's clash with officials over a newspaper job and later as an administrator.
Former Australian Captain Ian Chappell dared to criticise Bradman for resisting the players attempts to gain greater financial reward from playing the game. Chappell said he thought Bradman would have been more understanding as a former player, that he felt he was treated like a child and as though the money was coming out of Bradman's own wallet!!
I think he mostly likes to be seen as the only one game to speak out more than seeing the issue or the accurate history as being important!! He continues to make media comment in favour of those 'on his team' as measured by ability to down a beer or twelve while there's no doubt he was also an inspiring and successful Aussie skipper.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Row 'M' Seat 30 "Seven Pounds"

"It is within my power to drastically change his cirumstances, but I don't want to give that man a gift he doesn't deserve."

Angela 'scoop' Bishop's entertainment wrap for TEN this morning on TV included a sneak peak at Will Smith's new movie due here in Oz in January!!
"Seven Pounds" Ben (Will Smith) is an IRS agent who is deeply depressed and guilt-ridden over mistakes from his past. He sets out in his job to help seven strangers. When he meets Emily (Rosario Dawson), a beautiful woman with a heart condition, he falls in love with her, thereby complicating his plans. Woody Harrelson also appears as a blind pianist who befriends Ben.
It's from the makers of 'Pursuit of Happyness' so it's probably more than the marketing that's a similar feel to that film!!

Other cinema to look for now/2009:
'Frost/Nixon' December
'Valkyrie' January [the reason for that Tom Cruise hairstyle]
'Star Trek' May
'Terminator Salvation' with Christian Bale as John Connor
'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' June
'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' July [should have been November 2008]
'The Seventh Python' July
'GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra' August
'Dirt Music' based on Tim Winton's novel September

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Worship Unplugged # 55 Prayer Hands

Here's one idea I didn't get to do at the recent Advent Retreat! It was inspired by one photo from the 'We're Not Afraid' website that began in response to the 2005 London bombings.

It involves inviting everyone to write a prayer or response on the palm of their hand with a permanent marker and taking photos of each hand. Poison ball activist and U2 doppleganger Bradon tells me they walked the proverbial tightrope recently at North Rocks by doing this all on one evening... you see you take the photos and plug them into Photostory with a sound track and you have an instant audio-visual for prayer, reflection or sending out!!

The North Rocks mob were asked 'what can you offer?' It could be a response to any challenge or invitation, prayers of the people, a commitment, 'one' word...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Did Coldplay copy Joe Satriani?

No coincidence that media outlets have news of Joe Satriani's lawsuit against Coldplay just as they grab seven Grammy nominations!! This youtube video demonstrates the similarity but like many other similar cases there are probably two likelihoods:
1. There are actually only a limited number of chords so eventually similar songs emerge
2. An 'out of court settlement' before Coldplay's tour

Check it out for yourself!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

'Woman at the Well' Advent Retreat

Last weekend I was able to contribute input to our tertiary students 'Advent Retreat' which focused on 'Practicing our Faith'. On Saturday I was talking about 'stories' and one such story was the 'Woman at the Well' using a pretty good modern daramatised first person drama posted on youtube by 'lalaland481'!!

I am posting it here so collaborators on our NCYC Bible Study in January can see the kind of thing we might want to get people to do on video ahead of time of 'live' in the space.

More on the Retreat input soon!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Life Ahead CD in aid of 'The Buttery' Rehab Centre

The current Rolling Stone has an advert and article explaining this great collection of B sides and rarities from some of Oz best rock and rollers and beyond!!

Grab a copy of the double CD here

Monday, December 01, 2008

Unreliable Idea: 'Previously'

I went to the bookshop for another title but picked up a copy of 'Previously' which I and other are still working on for a few different uses the story immediately suggests!
Each little story picks up a well known fairy tale character e.g. Jack who was puffing from having climbed down a beanstalk... Previously he had.... and then as it goes back over his story it links to the next one and so on...
At the weekend I used it at a Tertiary Students Advent Retreat inviting them at the end of a long year to write a 'Previously...' about where they were coming from to be in that space and then be able to be 'in' the moment on the weekend at hand...

I'm sure it wouldn't work everywhere with every group but it went OK this time around...
It would work in a different way with: kids; in resource ministry training, in Intentional Interim Ministry or short term roles helping people unpack the past... check it at your local bookshop before you buy!!