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Christians Only Social Networking

29 March, 2006 1:40 PM

I've just seen one of the more bizarre blogging tools out there - Xianz is it's name and it's promoting itself as 'MySpace for Christians'.

It's an invitation only social networking and blogging tool which at a first glance seems to me like a site with a real 'holy huddle' kind of mentality.

While I do see the importance of spaces for Christians to gather and interact with each other I do worry when such places become exclusive and loose their fuzziness.

Forgive me if I'm wrong - but I tend to remember someone saying something like 'Go into all the World....' rather than 'run away from it'.

Rather than dragging Christians out of places like MySpace (I'm not a massive fan myself - although I did start a page a couple of weeks ago) I wonder what would happen if we all decided to become actively involved in the community there.

The last thing most Christians that I know need is another place to go and hang out with Christians. Instead I think we need to step outside of our comfort zones and actually learn to speak the language of and engage with the world that we're called to 'go' to.

Maybe I'm just not getting it (perhaps partly because a lot of their areas seem to be 'members only' area) but it doesn't really work for me (quite literally as looking at one of the pages on it just crashed my browser).

found via TallSkinnyKiwi

Introducing 'A Dozen Steps'

10 December, 2005 10:09 PM

Many of you will know that I've joined with three other bloggers to start a blog network in the past few months by the name of b5media. In partnership with quite a few other bloggers we've launched over 50 blogs already on a wide range of topics. The latest one to launch is one I'm very excited about. It's called A Dozen Steps and is a blog about 12 step recovery programs written by Anne Wayman.

This is the type of blog topic that I'd like to see added in numbers to b5 - a blog that has the potential to bring life to those strugging with the issues that it faces. If you know anyone that you think might benefit from Anne's wisdom and encouragement feel free to pass the URL along to them.

::my four walls:: blogathon

29 July, 2005 8:03 AM

Lucas from my four walls is having a 24 hour blogathon to raise money for the Heifer Project. Stop by and lend him some support and make a donation if you can. Having done two blogathons I know how much it means to have a little support so show Lucas some love! :-)

London Explosion

7 July, 2005 7:19 PM

Update: Thursday 21 July: There are reports coming through that there has been further explosions and/or suspicious packages found at 3 underground stations and on one bus - eerily similar to what happened two weeks ago. Reports are appearing online in some of the following places:

- London Subways Evacuated
- Tube Explosion Reported
- Tube Cleared After Minor Blasts
- Incident on London Bus

Reports are coming out that detonators have gone off of at least 3 bombs but the bombs themselves that they were attached to apparently did not explode.

Original Post from 7 July: Watching the news here in Melbourne at the moment where they've gone live to London to cover the London Underground and Bus Explosions.

We have family who use some of those tube stations so are of course interested in what's going on there.

I'm quite amazed by the explosion of bloggers covering the story.

Technorati's biggest searched for term is London with plenty of other similar terms. Looks like people are turning to the internet for news (update - technorati now seems to be down - perhaps as a result of the increased searches?).

Hoping and praying it isn't as bad as some of the 'experts' who are commentating on the explosion are saying it could be.

Update - this post was getting quite long and unruly so I've edited it into two sections - firstly News Articles on the London Explosions and secondly Blogs following the story. I also will update our family news as it comes to hand bellow.

News Articles and Reports on the London Bombing in order found

The Age (subscription required) has a report is up. They write:

'A number of people were killed in a series of explosions on London's transport system at rush hour on Thursday morning, causing chaos in the British capital, police and transport officials said.

Several blasts hit the underground network and police said there had been at least three explosions on buses in the city.

A source at the Metronet consortium that runs part of the capital's underground network said "there were three explosions and there have been some fatalities".

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the blasts had caused "terrible injuries".

The causes of the incidents, a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations met in Scotland, were unknown but police said many of the city's underground stations were affected.'

India's NewIndPress wrties:

'A series of explosions rocked London's transport system at rush hour on Thursday morning, causing numerous casualties and leaving millions of passengers in shock, police said.

The causes of the incidents -- which occurred one day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations met in Scotland -- were unknown but police said many of the city's underground stations were affected.

"It is too early to state what has happened," a London police spokesman said. "I cannot comment on reports of bombs, but we have had multi-reports of explosions around London."

People were seen streaming out of one underground station covered with blood and soot. Passengers were evacuated from stations across the capital, many in shock and with their clothes ripped to shreds, witnesses said.'

BBC reports:

'Large numbers of casualties have been reported after at least six explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London. Scotland Yard confirmed one of several reports of explosions on buses in the city - in Tavistock Place - but said the cause was not yet known.

UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke said several explosions in central London had caused "terrible injuries".

All Tube services and bus services in central London have been suspended.'

CNN is reporting soldiers on the streets and six casualties (unconfirmed).

- BBC have a series of Eyewitness Reports. Here's one:

'"All the lights went out and the train came to an immediate halt.

There was smoke everywhere and everyone was coughing and choking, but remained calm. We couldn't open the doors."

She was in a carriage next to one where an explosion happened.

She said the adjacent carriage was "black on the inside". She saw people who appeared to have their clothes blown off, and bodies lying inside the carriage. '

- CNN has a timeline of the events of the London Explosion.

- Sky News reports 90 injured and 2 casualties.

Tony Blair is speaking now and confirms that this is reasonably clear to be terrorist attacks. He will be leaving the G8 meeting in the next few hours to go to London for a report before returning to G8 afterwards. G8 will continue in his absence.

He vows to defeat terrorism - a barbaric act.

He said it's reasonably clear that this is tied to the opening of G8.

- News on the financial markets response to the London explosions can be found at Markets plummet after London blasts .

- Sky News is reporting 90 injured and 2 fatalities. They also report a massive rescue operation at Kings Cross Station.

- Speculation is already beginning about who is behind this terrorist attack - with Reuters reporting it fits the Al-Qaeda pattern.

- pictures of the aftermath of the explosions are pouring into Yahoo News.

- The International Olympic Committee are getting the word out that they don't believe the London Bomb Explosions have nothing to do with London winning the Olympics yesterday. Source. Instead most experts are tying it to the G8 meeting starting today.

- BBC is offering live video coverage of the situation in London.

- Forbes reports that the House of Commons has been suspended until later in the day.

- a European al-Quaida group has claimed responsability for the London bombing according to NY News Day. They write:

A group calling itself "Secret Organization -- al-Qaida in Europe" has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London, a German magazine reported Thursday.

Der Spiegel magazine reported that the group posted its message on a Web site popular with Islamic militants, which it did not name. It said the group claimed the explosions were in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- French Govt raises terror alert
- London Hospitals Put on Major Incident Alert after Multiple Blasts-
- 12 dead, scores injured in London blasts (subscription needed)
- European Central Bank holds rates

- Four London Blasts Kill 40, Injure 300
- London mayor: This was mass murder
- London blasts throw G8 summit into crisis
- Interpol offers team to help London
- - The Sun has many reports on the explosions and the reactions from around the UK and the world.
- Putin condemns terror attacks in London
- Blogs Respond to London Blasts

Tony Blair has made (read this time) a second statement in an hour or so - standing in front of the G8 leaders. He says the attack is an attack on all nations.

- stories coming through from Ambulance sources now about the death toll:

23 dead at Kings Cross
9 dead at Edgware
7 dead at Aldgate
2 Dead at Russel Square
Over 1000 injured

- Information on London's tubes, buses, trams and river services.
- Another picture of the evacuation of the tube.
- At least 45 die in London Blasts
- London financial centre rattled but trades on
- Yahoo News has set up a dedicated page to follow this story
- News Now has a similar page.
- Follow the story on Googe News here
- MSN's London Bombing Results
- Queen Elizabethe 'Deeply Shocked'
- Bush offers U.S. condolences to London
- World leaders pledge united front
- Pope Benedict deplores London attacks
- European Markets Dive on London Blasts
- London's congestion charge has been suspended to allow people to travel by cars. Also some public transport will be free when it reopens (and from main line stations) to allow people to clear the city.
- Thames Link Continuing to Run Services
- Washington Raises Terror Threat To Orange For Rail Systems
- UN Security Council to condemn attacks

Blogs Covering the London Bombing


- The Guardian Blog has a good coverage of latest developments in London including pictures
- another blog covering this story is Syntagma
- A few pictures are starting to appear on Flickr (also here).
- Blog Herald is also covering the story from a blogging perspective.
- Reaching for Lucidity has a good coverage also
- - a picture taken on a camera phone and uploaded to MoblogUK shows the view in one of the trains just after the explosion. See it at Alphies blog (picture is now on BBC's webpage).
- There is another picture from a camera phone moblog of Liverpool station just after the evacuation at this moblog.
- Softpedia has first hand accounts of the explosions from witnesses.
- Anna who has family in the area of the blasts is also blogging about the London bomb explosions. I hope the news is good Anna.
- Perfect.co.uk is also blogging about it
- as is Europhobia.
- Demlog is another blog following the story in London.
- Wikipedia is on the case and has a comprehensive page going.
- About This Boy has a useful page of links also.
- Tim Worstall is covering it also.
- Instapundit is too
- Big News is also blogging about it.
- Monjo Blog has a good series of links, reflections and information.
- Yorkshire Ranter

Update - We just got word that our family are safe. V's parents were going to catch a bus into the affected area this morning but for some reason her sister said they shouldn't.

V's brother in law was a work close to one of the explosions and had his windows rattled. Close but safe thank goodness.

- Brother in law just emailed this through:

' I was sitting at desk, talking to work mate on phone (landline – gsm nw congested by this time) (he was two trains behind one that exploded) and on the other phone to my boss who was saying he was ok, but miles away… when BOOM…. It felt weird… I put the phones down..went outside – everything seemed so quiet…then there were sirens…loads of them from multiple directions… and then helicopters… Crazy crazy times my friend.

, , , ,

Guess-the-google

6 July, 2005 1:05 PM

If you're easily addicted to simple online games you shouldn't go to Guess-the-Google - a game where you're given a series of 20 pictures from Google's images and have to guess what keyword triggered them.

My highest score was 279 - no where near the highest recorded one.

I'm a.... Cultural Creative

15 May, 2005 7:59 PM

Got to love these survey/meme things...

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

94%

Postmodernist

63%

Existentialist

50%

Fundamentalist

44%

Romanticist

44%

Idealist

38%

Modernist

13%

Materialist

13%

What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com

Postcards from the Corporate World Reminder

5 April, 2005 10:44 AM

Just a reminder to Melbourne readers that Thursday night is Postcards from the Corporate World. Hope you can make it along.

American Idol Winner

19 March, 2005 1:57 PM

bo-bice.jpgcarrie-underwood.jpg
American Idol this year is hotting up after a great competition last year when Fantasia Barrino became the American Idol Winner in front after 65 million Americans cast their votes.

This year the American Idol Results will make the winner either 21 year old Carrie Underwood from Checotah (OK) or 29 year old Bo Bice from Helena (AL).

The competition to be the American Idol Winner is hot - with internet polls at American Idol Blog neck and neck. At the time of publishing this Bo Bice was just edging out Carrie Underwood - but really the American Idol Crown is anyone's!

Update - The Winner of American Idol this year is Carrie Underwood.

Last to leave American Idol this year was 20 year old Vonzell Solomon from Fort Myers.

'A postal letter carrier, Solomon endeared herself to fans with her emotional openness. Always an underdog, she had tried out once before for "Idol" but was rejected. This time, she made it all the way to the top three, which is sure to yield her a recording contract.

"My 'American Idol' journey has been crazy - a lot of emotions balled up into one. But it's been all worth it," Solomon said in a video montage played after host Ryan Seacrest announced that she had received the fewest votes.'

- Source

Darren has just added lyrics of - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - by U2 over at his Alternative Hymnal.

Update - for some reason that page has been taken down - you can get the lyrics at U2 Discography - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in the mean time.

badgeitunes105x31dark

Related Links:
- review of U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Lyrics
- U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Information
- U2's 'Bomb' lacks firepower - Review

Track Listing
1. Vertigo
2. Miracle Drug
3. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
4. Love and Peace or Else
5. City of Blinding Lights
6. All Because of You
7. A Man and A Woman
8. Crumbs From Your Table
9. One Step Closer
10. Original of the Species
11. Yahweh

Murphy's Law Calculator

17 October, 2004 9:06 PM

This is a very useful link - it actually calculates 'Murphy's Law' for you! Very cool.

'Mathematicians have now come up with a rule for predicting the law of “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". They say the formula allows people to calculate the chances of Murphy's law (or Sod's law as it is also know) - and to even try and beat the bad luck.

Previous studies have found the law is not a myth, but this is the first time a formula has been calculated.'

Read more at Murphy's Law Formula - Easy to Use Calculator

Vioxx Recall

30 September, 2004 10:18 AM

vioxx.jpgYou will no doubt have heard of the Vioxx Recall in the news in previous weeks. Below are a list of helpful resources related to the recall and some information to help you wade through the Vioxx Recall news.

Despite VIOXX’s treatment of a wide range of pain-inducing health problems, the list of potential side effects in substantially longer. While the occurrence of each side effect no doubt varies from person to person, the extensiveness of the list, combined with recent corroborating evidence, is quite telling: VIOXX can be very dangerous.

Side effects for VIOXX include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding
- Serious allergic reactions, including the symptoms and signs of swelling of the face, lips and tongue
- Trouble breathing
- Heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular events, such as blood clots
- Serious kidney problems, including acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure
- Severe liver problems, including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure

The following side effects of Vioxx are less severe, but occur more frequently:
- Respiratory infections
- Headache
- Dizziness
- Diarrhea
- Nausea, vomiting and upset stomach
- Heartburn
- Stomach pain
- Swelling of the legs and/or feet
- High blood pressure
- Back pain
- Tiredness
- Urinary tract infection.

Get more information on the Vioxx Recall at:
- FDA Vioxx (rofecoxib) Questions and Answers - information about the Vioxx Recall from the US Food and Drug Administration.

- FDA News - FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Vioxx as its Manufacturer Voluntarily Withdraws the Product - Press Release from the FDA. 'In June 2000, Merck submitted to FDA a safety study called VIGOR (Vioxx Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research) that found an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes, in patients taking Vioxx compared to patients taking naproxen. After reviewing the results of the VIGOR study and other available data from controlled clinical trials, FDA consulted with its Arthritis Advisory Committee in February 2001 regarding the clinical interpretation of this new safety information. In April 2002, FDA implemented labeling changes to reflect the findings from the VIGOR study. The labeling changes included information about the increase in risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke.'

- Vioxx Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke - 'Following a three-year study involving the drug, it was concluded that withdrawing Vioxx from the market would be in the best interest of the patients. The drug, a popular pain reliever used worldwide by millions of patients, has also been connected with higher incidences of respiratory and liver and kidney dysfunction.'

- Vioxx Recall May Bring Flood of Suits to Merck - 'Last week's decision by Merck to halt sales of Vioxx, its blockbuster painkiller, could lead to an onslaught of new lawsuits against the company.

Hundreds and perhaps thousands of new Vioxx lawsuits are likely to be filed, lawyers said, with many of them class actions that aim to represent large groups of Vioxx users who have taken the drug for extended periods. Indeed, radio advertisements seeking plaintiffs are being broadcast and some suits were filed almost immediately after Merck's recall announcement on Thursday.

"Our lawsuit was in the works but the filing was accelerated by the recall," said Don S. Strong, a lawyer who filed a suit against Merck on Thursday in the United States District Court in Oklahoma City.'

- Vioxx Recall - Merck's Arthritis Drug Pulled From The Market - 'Vioxx (rofecoxib) was launched in 1999 and has become a blockbuster hit for manufacturer Merck & Co. After recent safety concern flattened its sales to a still highly profitable $2.55 billion in 2003 alone, Merck has announced it is issuing a voluntary withdrawal of Vioxx. Clinical trial data has shown Vioxx increased the risk of blood clots linked to strokes and heart attacks, and after Merck's data safety monitoring board overseeing a long-term Vioxx study confirmed the increased risk of serious cardiovascular events, they recommended the study be halted and a recall be issued.'

- Vioxx Recall - 'The news that the popular arthritis drug Vioxx is being pulled from store shelves by its manufacturer has surprised many people who have found it helpful for arthritis for years.

Health Team reporter Christine Webb spoke with doctors who said--don't worry -- there are alternatives.

Dr. Doug Jones is a clinical immunologist at Rochester General Hospital who often prescribes Vioxx.

On Thursday, he took boxes Vioxx off the shelf and instead will prescribe Bextra or Celebrex for his patients. These medications are also used to treat the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis and are safe to use.'

- Vioxx Recall May Cost Merck $2 Billion - 'Merrill Lynch maintained a "neutral" rating and $33 target price on Merck but lowered its earnings estimates on the pharmaceutical company, saying the Vioxx recall could result in a reduction of ongoing pretax income of about $2 billion. The research firm cut its 2004 and 2005 earnings estimates to $2.54 and $2.67, from $3.14 and $3.34, respectively.'

- Vioxx Recall Leads to Worldwide Spam Reduction - 'Pharmaceutical giant Merck's surprise withdrawal yesterday of its anti-arthritis drug Vioxx (also known as rofecoxib) caught more than just Wall Street by surprise. Although most media attention was focused on arthritis sufferers and other patients who were taking Vioxx for general pain relief, spammers — who prefer to call themselves "bulk email providers" — were dealing with their own anxiety issues.

"Vioxx is an important drug for us", says acknowledged spam king Pone Leray. "There are literally millions of people out there with arthritis and similar conditions who have been able to find relief using Vioxx. Now we can't market it to them anymore. We've had to temporarily suspend many of our mailings while we figure out how to best deal with the problem."'

Press Release
Merck Announces Voluntary Worldwide Withdrawal of VIOXX®

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 30, 2004 - Merck &. Co., Inc. today announced a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of VIOXX® (rofecoxib), its arthritis and acute pain medication.  The company's decision, which is effective immediately, is based on new, three-year data from a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the APPROVe (Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on VIOXX) trial.

The trial, which is being stopped, was designed to evaluate the efficacy of VIOXX 25 mg in preventing recurrence of colorectal polyps in patients with a history of colorectal adenomas.  In this study, there was an increased relative risk for confirmed cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, beginning after 18 months of treatment in the patients taking VIOXX compared to those taking placebo.  The results for the first 18 months of the APPROVe study did not show any increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular events on VIOXX, and in this respect, are similar to the results of two placebo-controlled studies described in the current U.S. labeling for VIOXX. 

"We are taking this action because we believe it best serves the interests of patients," said Raymond V. Gilmartin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck.  "Although we believe it would have been possible to continue to market VIOXX with labeling that would incorporate these new data, given the availability of alternative therapies, and the questions raised by the data, we concluded that a voluntary withdrawal is the responsible course to take."

APPROVe was a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to determine the effect of 156 weeks (three years) of treatment with VIOXX on the recurrence of  neoplastic polyps of the large bowel in patients with a history of colorectal adenoma.  The trial enrolled 2,600 patients and compared VIOXX 25 mg to placebo.  The trial began enrollment in 2000.   

VIOXX was launched in the United States in 1999 and has been marketed in more than 80 countries.  In some countries, the product is marketed under the trademark CEOXX.  Worldwide sales of VIOXX in 2003 were $2.5 billion. 

Results of the VIGOR (VIOXX Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research) study, released in March 2000, demonstrated that the risk of gastrointestinal toxicity with VIOXX was less than with naproxen, but indicated an increased risk of cardiovascular events versus naproxen.  However, in other studies including Merck's Phase III studies that were the basis of regulatory approval of the product, there was not an increased risk of cardiovascular events with VIOXX compared with placebo or VIOXX compared with other non-naproxen non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  Merck began long-term randomized clinical trials to provide an even more comprehensive picture of the cardiovascular safety profile of VIOXX.

"Merck has always believed that prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials are the best way to evaluate the safety of medicines.  APPROVe is precisely this type of study - and it has provided us with new data on the cardiovascular profile of VIOXX," said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president of Merck Research Laboratories.  "While the cause of these results is uncertain at this time, they suggest an increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular events beginning after 18 months of continuous therapy.  While we recognize that VIOXX benefited many patients, we believe this action is appropriate."

Merck has informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory authorities in other countries of its decision.  The company also is in the process of notifying health care practitioners in the United States and other countries where VIOXX is marketed.  Patients who are currently taking VIOXX should contact their health care providers to discuss discontinuing use of VIOXX and possible alternative treatments.  In addition, patients and health care professionals may obtain information from www.merck.com and www.vioxx.com, or may call (888) 36-VIOXX (1-888-368-4699). 

The results of clinical studies with one molecule in a given class are not necessarily applicable to others in the class.  Therefore, the clinical significance of the APPROVe trial, if any, for the long-term use of other drugs in this class, consisting of COX-2 specific inhibitors and NSAIDs, is unknown.  The company will work with regulatory authorities in the 47 countries where ARCOXIA is approved to assess whether changes to the prescribing information for this class of drugs, including ARCOXIA, are warranted.  Merck is continuing to seek approval for ARCOXIA in other countries, including the United States. 

Merck will continue its extensive clinical program to collect additional longer-term data for ARCOXIA, its medication for arthritis and acute pain.

With regard to financial guidance, prior to today's announcement, Merck remained comfortable with its 2004 earnings per share guidance of $3.11 to $3.17.  The company currently expects earnings per share to be negatively affected by $0.50 to $0.60 as a result of today's announcement.  This estimate includes foregone sales, writeoffs of inventory held by Merck, customer returns of product previously sold and costs to undertake the pullback of the product.  Included in this cost estimate is the expectation of foregone fourth quarter sales of VIOXX of $700 million to $750 million.  In addition, Merck expects that worldwide approximately one month of inventory is held by customers and will be returned.

At this point it is uncertain which of these costs will be recorded in the third quarter and which will be recorded in the fourth quarter.  Therefore, at this point, Merck is retracting the third quarter guidance it had previously provided. 

Merck will report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 21.  At that point, the company will provide additional information regarding the costs for product withdrawal.

About Merck
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company.  Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly and through its joint ventures.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements.  The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance.  No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected.  Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.  Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements in Item 1 of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K (if any), which the company incorporates by reference.

VIOXX®  (rofecoxib) is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.

Net profits - Blogging for Dollars

23 September, 2004 11:49 AM

An article in today's the Age caught my attention today. The headline is Net profits: Your don't have to be a dotcom heavyweight to make money on the web.

Its a good article that scratches the surface of what is becoming more and more common for people wanting to make a few dollars on the side. I did a bit of an anecdotal survey a few months back on some of the top, middle and lower bloggers on the blog ecosystem and found that in all categories a significant number of bloggers have some form of income stream (or at least are attempting to have one) on their site - whether that be Ads, Affiliates, Tip Jars or directly selling products.

Of course some say that this is destroying blogging - and there are some examples of some who are selling their souls to make a few dollars - but I suspect it will become more and more common in the future. One of the things I'm toying with as an idea is to form some sort of a co-operative/network of bloggers who want to do some more commercial blogging. One of the hardest things about making a blog a viable source of income is that it can take a lot of time to build your domain's page ranking. To make it worth your time you need to be able to attract significant numbers of readers to your site and that means a high ranking of Google. This is hard to do alone but I suspect if we worked together - sharing a domain and know how it would be a lot easier.

Anyway - just thinking it all through at the moment and would be interested from hearing from anyone who was interested in the experiment.

Back to the article I quoted above - here is a taster:

'Fancy a work-from-home lifestyle or just a little spare cash on the side? The days of the dotcom bonanza are over, but dreams of making money from the internet live on.

Online riches may be just an illusion used to trap the unwary - an inventive array of get-rich-quick schemes, including the infamous Nigerian money scam, will quickly see the gullible fleeced - but for those willing to dabble in less lucrative, albeit legal, ventures, there are modest gains to be made.

Some people sign up for webpage ads, fill out surveys and join online marketing programs. Others turn their trash into treasure on eBay and put PayPal on their websites, hoping for tips and donations.'
Read more at Net profits

Mexican churches using cellphone jammers

23 September, 2004 8:57 AM

As someone whose been interrupted while preaching my fair share of times - I think this is a great idea!

'Four churches in Mexico have resorted to illegally jamming cellphone signals using devices smuggled in from Israel to stop parishoners’ phones from ringing during services.'


Read More at Mexican churches using cellphone jammers

Priest Idol

20 September, 2004 9:37 AM

Friends and I have often joked about pitching a reality tv show to network producers that would be based around churches. We figure in most churches there are enough dramas and scandals to fill in 60 minutes of television every month. Of course we weren't serious - these are the sorts of ideas that come out when group of guys with too much time on their hands get together.

It seems that there must be a similar group of guys are because someone has come up with the idea of Priest Idol.

'Channel 4 will screen a new series which aims to boost a congregation in a parish with poor church attendance.

With the working title Priest Idol, the show will give a vicar 12 months to boost the church's turnout.

Backed by advisors, the vicar will be able to spend an undisclosed sum of money on anything he or she thinks will appeal to parishioners.

Being filmed in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the three-part series is due to be broadcast at the end of 2005.'

Melbourne Cup Results

18 September, 2004 2:03 PM

Get all the latest news on a variety of topics at Breaking News Blog.

The Melbourne Cup 2004 results are:

1. Makybe Diva
2. Vinnie Roe
3. Zazzman
4. Elvstroem
5. Hugs Dancer
6. Distinction
7. Mamool
8. Catchmeifyoucan
9. Razkalla
10. Strasbourg
11. On A Jeune
12. Media Puzzle
13. Grey Song
14. Roman Arch
15. Upsetthym
16. Another Warrior
17. Winning Belle
18. Lashed
19. Mummify
20. Don Raphael
21. Pacific Dancer
22. Hard To Get
23. Delzao
24. She's Archie.

The Melbourne Cup is being run at 3.10pm on Tuesday 2nd November in 2004. It's the 'race that stops the nation'. What will the results of the 2004 Melbourne Cup be?

Following is a list of Melbourne Cup information, articles, tips and llinks to help you prepare for your Melbourne cup day.

- Melbourne Cup - Official Site - 'The Melbourne Cup, it is the race that defines Australian horse racing, it's the race that stops a nation, people from all around Australia stop for the spring carnival. They engage in betting on the Australia spring carnival and it is also a huge part in the Australian racing history. Held at the Flemington race track in Melbourne and organised by the VRC the Melbourne Cup is definately a horse racing bookies dream.'

- Field for Melbourne Cup - all the horses listed with odds. Barrier draw will be added as it comes to hand.

- Melbourne Cup Jockeys - A list of the 2004 Melbourne Cup Jockeys - with their previous records.

- The Age - Horse Racing Page - with all the latest Melbourne Cup news, information on horses, jockeys, lead up races, tips etc.

- Culture and Recreation - Melbourne Cup - Australian Government page descibing the event.

- Melbourne Cup Blog - a blog with the latest Melbourne Cup news, tips, articles and gossip.

- About.com - Melbourne cup - the Countdown begins.

- Ozeform - Melbourne Cup. 'The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous horse race, and is truly the "race, which stops a nation".

All over Australia, millions of people tune in to watch or listen to the famous race - even proceedings in Parliament cease so that Members can hear it.

In Melbourne it is the reason for a Public Holiday and is considered the biggest tourist attraction in its home state of Victoria.

In many ways the Melbourne Cup is an anachronism - being a handicap and run over the unfashionable distance of 3200m - when in other countries the feature events are more likely to be run at weight-for-age and over 2000m to 2400m....'

- Racenet - Melbourne Cup - Melbourne Cup Stats including past winners, jockeys, horses, colors, barriers etc.

Happy Birthday Google

8 September, 2004 9:28 AM

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I'd like to wish Google a happy 6th Birthday. I love Google - it is rare that a company has such a massive impact so quickly. It is hard to imagine a world without Google (well it is for me) - they have really achieved do much in their 6 years - I find it difficult to believe that they've come so far so quickly.

When they first started I remembered thinking that their search engine was pretty cool - but I had no idea how it (and their other services) would change the way I use the internet - and ultimately earn an income.

So the question remains - what does one buy an international successful business that seems to have everything for their birthday?

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