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The Watering Hole News, Issue #003 -- teaser here
April 12, 2013
| "Our windows determine our views, no one can see the whole picture".
Publisher: Carel Snyman
Website: Life and Matter.com
Blog: The Life And Matter Blog
From The EditorHallo everybody. First of all I apologize for the delay in posting this month’s newsletter. I do, however, have a valid and enjoyable excuse. We have just returned from a refreshing week of camping in the Kruger National Park – with no access to the internet or other means of following what is happening in the outside world!
As always, observing wildlife in it’s natural environment acts as a rejuvenating tonic. What a privilege to be able to experience God’s creation in the raw on such a large scale! Even an all night rainstorm couldn't put a damper on our enjoyment.
Aren't campers are a marvelous breed though? Two neighboring sites were most unfortunate. The water build-up from the heavy rain caused their aluminium-framed gazebos to collapse. They were left with only two unusable, warped and twisted frames. However, undeterred, these folk just took it in their stride, adapted, and continued enjoying their camping experience.
I was wondering what they were going to do with these frames that were now impossible to fold up and transport. However, on the last day, our immediate neighbor pulled out his toolbox and with the help of his son started dismantling his frame section by section. It wasn't long before the mangled frame was reduced to a neat pile of metal sections, tied in a bundle ready to be stowed with the rest of their camping gear.
What strikes me in retrospect are the life-lessons to be learned from these people. We so often treat phrases such as, “Consider the glass as half full instead of half empty” as mere clichés. These folk opted for the positive approach and thereby left with memories of a happy vacation despite a few setbacks.
They could just as easily have opted for a different course of action. They could have decided to end their vacation then and there, possibly also incurring further expenses through having to arrange with park officials for the disposal of the wrecked frame. Becoming a despondent family returning home all the poorer for having only memories of a spoiled vacation.
Surely this proves that such positive phrases, if lived by, are life enriching and are definitely more than just mere clichés? How else can you live a life overflowing with gratitude? Let us count our blessings, we have so much to be grateful for!
To quote Pepper Blair: “Never fear the head winds, for they can lift your wings.”
All the best,
Will Computers And Artificial Intelligence Eventually Wrest Control Of The Planet From Us?This has long been a scenario of science fiction. Super computers that are capable of abstract reasoning far superior to ourselves were originally developed as tools for enhancing the quality of life for humanity. However, combined with nano-technology, these machines eventually become capable of self improvement and reproduction. They eventually achieve a level of sophistication where they develop a form of group identity. This in turn leads to an emotionless and ruthless instinct for self-preservation. The outcome is that they then take over the planet, thereby enslaving all mankind. The moral behind this scenario is in effect, that, in trying to “play God” through the use of technology to create ever more sophisticated machines, we end up being enslaved by our own creations! How real is this chilling prospect? Will humankind eventually be replaced by more intelligent and efficient machines? Is this what the future holds in store for us? Fortunately we are periodically reminded of the superiority of our divinely created intellectual capacity over the capability of any humanly created machine. Click on the link below to watch a demonstration of this unbelievable capability:
Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic"
Just amazing! Click on the highlighted url below to watch an awesome short video!
Matter Matters: The Physical Sciences.
Amazon: Lungs Of The Planet
The Amazon in South America is the largest, most diverse tropical rain forest on Earth, covering an area of five and a half million square kilometers (2.1 million sq mi). Amazon: Lungs Of The Planet
Life Matters: The Social Sciences
A Beautiful, Touching Story: from a generous South African musician.
As a bagpiper, I've played many gigs up in Gauteng, but not so many since recently moving to Cape Town. Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at the municipal cemetery in Kraaifontein.
I now stay in Simonstown and was not familiar with the Northern suburbs, so I got a bit lost on my way there. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left, and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The guys had already started filling it in and, not really knowing what else to do, I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played ‘Amazing Grace', the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together.
When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say: "Jislaaik, I never seen nothin' like that before in the twenty years I've been putting in septic tanks."
....Apparently, I'm still lost.
Life And Matter Homepage: Recent Updates
Click on each highlighted footnote to view:
Jesus Christ: The Ultimate Paradox
Truth, Beauty, And Goodness:
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house - each morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably, as each may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice – meet them all at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from God!
Life Enhancing Pearls From Pepper Blair:
Sweet End of Day
Moonlit water was aglow
When I heard an angel say,
"Here is one sweet end of day.
"Here is one sweet fall of night,
Sensuous and double-bright...
"Sensuous and double-dazzling.
Earth this eve is beautiful.
I would give my better wing
To be less than spiritual.
"I would even give my halo
To be less than heavenly.
Some awe only flesh can know;
Some grace only blood can see."
Copyright 2012-2013 by Pepper Blair, love-pb-poetry.com
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