Linkage Archives

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Church Outsources Prayers to India

15 June, 2004 9:52 AM

'With Roman Catholic clergy in short supply in the United States, Indian priests are picking up some of their work, saying Mass for special intentions, in a sacred if unusual version of outsourcing.'

This is one of the more bizarre stories I've read in the last few days. Here in Australia many companies are outsourcing call centre and IT jobs to India, but I never thought the church would use the strategy.

'American, as well as Canadian and European churches, are sending Mass intentions, or requests for services like those to remember deceased relatives and thanksgiving prayers, to clergy in India....

While most requests are made via mail or personally through traveling clergymen, a significant number arrive via e-mail, a sign that technology is expediting this practice.

In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local residents are said for a donation of 40 rupees (90 cents), whereas a prayer request from the United States typically comes with $5, the Indian priests say.

Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, the auxiliary bishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese in Cochin, a port town in Kerala, said his diocese received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas. Most were passed to needy priests.

In Kerala, where priests earn $45 a month, the money is a welcome supplement, Bishop Adayanthrath said.' Source- NY Times

Living Room - The TV Series

21 May, 2004 4:09 PM

Just got an email heads up from Dave the Rave that over in NZ there is a TV show called the Living Room.

'The Living Room Series II is a weekly 30-minute magazine style TV programme. It�s about artists, musicians, filmmakers and other inspirational characters that operate away from established art institutions, record companies and production houses. '

Myers Briggs Personality Test Resources

13 May, 2004 5:39 PM

A number of people (both from LivingRoom and the blog) have asked me in the last few days where they can find information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ) personality testing. I've decided to make a bit of a resource page here including free online tests, resources to help unpack the test results and some fun personality test links. I hope they help - feel free to leave you own suggested resource in comments to improve this collection. Please note that the tests and resource here are not officially MBTI but are adaptations that of the original work done by Myers Briggs.

Myers Briggs Foundation - official page of the people who started it all.

Free Online Myers Briggs Personality Tests

Other Myers Briggs Resources

Athens Olympic Games - News

16 April, 2004 3:42 PM

In conjunction with our 2004 Athens Olympic Games page I thought it might be helpful to have a central page that lists some of the News resources that are covering the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

update - we've just started a dedicated Athens Olympic Games Blog to track all the latest Olympic News.

Get the full Athens Olympics Medal Tally.

Also check out our 2004 Athens Olympic Games Information page.

Athens 2004 Olympic Games

24 March, 2004 9:43 PM

Get the full Athens Olympics Medal Tally.

The 2004 Athens Olympic Games is approaching fast. Already the world is turning its attention toward Athens as athletes in hundreds of countries prepare. Controversy has already hit the games over whether venues will be ready in time and if they will be up to standard. As the Olympic Games get closer the range of sites dedicated to the Athens Games increase.

Following are some of the most useful sites on the web that will help both those attending the Olympics in Athens or those watching their country's Olympic team from home in the comfort of their own armchair. Feel free to add your own suggestions of Olympic links that you've found helpful below in comments.

update - we've just started a dedicated Athens Olympic Games Blog to track all the latest Olympic News.

Also check out our Athens Olympic Games News Site for services that offer the latest Olympic News from Athens.

2004 Athens Olympic Games Resources
- Official Athens 2004 Olympic Games- Athens Olympic Games Tickets
- Athens Olympic Tickets - International Sales
- BBC SPORT - 2004 Olympic Games
- Athens Olympic Games FAQs
- APADA - Athens 2004 Olympic Games
- NBC Sports Olympic News
- 2004 Olympics - Resources for Kids
- Matt Barrett's Athens 2004 Olympics Page
- Olympic Games 2004 Athens - Greece and Heraklion, Crete
- Athens Paralympic Games 2004
- Athens webcams 2004 Olympic Games
- 2004 Summer Olympics News
- FINA - Athens Olympic Games
- Olympic Summer Games News
- Athens Olympics Torch Relay

Olympic Games Resources (General)
- International Olympic Committee
- The Official Site of the Olympic Movement
- The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games
- The Olympic Games Timeline
- Centre for Olympic Studies
- World Olympians Associating
- Athens Olympics Blog
- Ancient Greek Olympics

Useful Athens Tourist/Travel Guides
- The Athens Greece Guide 2004
- Athens Survival Guide
- Travel Guide - Greece
- 2004 Athens Guide

Athens Olympics News Reports/Controversies
- Athens Olympic Security A Mess
- Athens 2004: Greece Prepares for Olympic Homecoming
- Top Olympic organisers express "absolute confidence" in Athens' preparations for 2004
- Will Athens be ready for the Olympic Games?
- Athens Told to Hurry Up
- Olympic venues will be ready in time, Greeks say
- Athens Olympics Apparel

Also check out our Athens Olympic Games News Site for services that offer the latest Olympic News from Athens.

Free Stuff

24 March, 2004 9:22 AM

We've joked for a while now at LivingRoom that we should start a website called '' which lists a whole heap of free stuff both online and in Melbourne. You see we're all cheap skates....

So I decided to do a bit of a search on google for free stuff... here is what I found:

Australian Free Stuff

  • iFree - Free Stuff for Australians - heaps of free stuff for Australians including screensavers, books, beauty products, software, health products etc

  • Aussie Seek - free competitions, offers, promotions

  • EmailCash - rewarded for reading email and filling out online surveys, for shopping, for playing games and much more! Redeem your rewards for a cheque or prizes, or donate to charity.

  • Oz Freebies - free offers, free products, giveaways and competitions

International Free Stuff

Specialty Free Sites

Groups That Click

18 March, 2004 9:05 AM

I thought I'd promote my mate Andy's comment in the last post to the main site because the resource that he has developed is excellent and I'd highly commend it to you. Here is what he wrote: is an online tool which I wrote initially to help youth leaders & youth groups easily develop and host their own web sites (without having to have any IT knowledge or html tools).

Users can then log in, enter details about their group, create pages, online polls, select a template, and that's it - they have their own web site! The site is dymanically generated, so pages or events can automatically add or remove themselves from the site at defined dates. And of course you can login from anywhere and update your site using just a browser!

I'm *hoping* to offer it for free (to church / youth groups / etc) for as long as I can afford to, but may introduce donations or get subsidises from businesses using it, etc.

Examples of some sites being run by it so far...
plus others!

Feel free to contact me if you're interested in (a) giving it a try, (b) can help me out by providing web site templates for others to use or (c) you're a php programmer who wants to use your gifts to help others in ministry :)

Get in touch with Andy at

andy at groupsthatclick dot com

Nude Living Room

14 March, 2004 1:34 PM

I couldn't resist posting this. Saw it over at Digital Art and Photography

Fishing Cam

11 March, 2004 9:23 PM

fishingcam.jpgHave you ever wondered what is going on under the water when you're fishing? Are there fish down there? What are they doing? This little camera sends the info back up to you in the boat.

'Highly water resistant and pressure resistant as Fishing-CAM camera(a product equipped with LED or infrared ray device to regular CCD/CMOS camera) goes through molding process during manufacture.

The encased Fishing-CAM camera is attached to the sinker part of fishing rod. With Fishing-CAM camera, you do not need to dive underwater to see the scenes below! '

Not only do you get to see what is going on under the surface live on the fishcam moniter (or on your mobile phone) but you can record on video what you see at that moment when the fish bites to be edited later into an amazing fishing video. What a fun gadget!

Mosquito Repellant Watch

10 March, 2004 12:39 AM

mosquito_repellent watch.jpgThe only down frustration of the weekend away that V and just had was that at night our room was attacked by Mosquitoes. I can't stand going to bed with the buzz of them in your ears or waking up at 2am covered in bites!

Luckily we had a mosquito netting over the bed which stopped most of them, but another approach is to get a MOSQUITO REPELLER WATCH! Here's how it works - taken from their site:

'Are you ready for mosquito season? Over the next few months these blood sucking rascals will begin hatching in untold numbers as they prepare for fresh victims. But there is a defense for these miniature would-be vampires. The Mosquito Repeller Travel Alarm Clock or Wrist Watch. While they seem innocent at first sight, you�ll find them to be your best ally against these blood sucking fiends. Whether used for camping, fishing, traveling or simply staying at home they�re the best way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Scientists discovered that most mosquitoes that feed on human blood are pregnant females. Well if there is one thing a pregnant mosquito doesn�t like, it�s a male. In fact they dislike males so much that they fly as far away as possible. The Mosquito Repeller Travel Alarm Clock and the Wrist Watch were designed with advanced harmonics circuitry to emulate and emit the ultra sonic high frequency of an approaching male. Just like that the blood suckers that haunt your sleep or infest your jogging path are vanquished. Alarm clock uses two AA batteries (not included). In today�s world of disease carrying mosquitoes this could be the best way to ensure a happy and healthy summer. It certainly beats eating garlic or slathering ourselves with stinky goop.'

Paint your St Patrick's Day Green

4 March, 2004 11:13 PM

Paint your day green is a blogging project that revolves around St Patrik's day. Its similar to Blogging Idol in some ways - check it out, spread the word and participate. its run by Amanda from Lypton Village and Shutterfly (a fantastic photoblog). Amanda is one of my favorite Blogger Idol participants. Here's how she describes the project:

'Make this St Patrick's Day one that you share with the rest of us by doing something fun, silly and green on Wednesday March 17, 2004.

Whether you go out and have a pub crawl across every Irish bar in town, dye your hair green, write an ode to Yeats, or eat an Irish breakfast, we'd love to hear about your day. Photograph, write or even paint your day green, then come back to Lypton Village and leave a link to your website showing us how you celebrated St Patrick's Day this year.

Tell your friends and spread the word about the project so we can get lots of different responses from all over the globe.

Happy St Patrick's Day to everyone!

Offbeat News

27 February, 2004 11:39 PM

I love a bit of quirky news - here is a selection of CNN's latest:

- Insect dealer makes ants trendy - 'German children are marching to pet shops to follow a pricey new trend for ant-breeding, German insect dealer Martin Sebesta said on Tuesday.'

- $187,500 tag for London car spot - 'A car parking space is for sale in central London for $187,500, fueling a favorite obsession of Britons -- talking about property prices.'

- Woman registers her cows as voters - 'Brenda Gould is in trouble again for registering her cows as voters.'

- Is Martha's Vineyard ready for giant inflatable rat? - 'he rodent control officer on Martha's Vineyard wants to make his services more visible. And he figures you can't miss a 12-foot rat.'

- Online girlfriends sell love to dateless - 'Need a girlfriend but want none of the hassle of actually spending time together? You better act fast if you want to find her on eBay.'

American Idol 3 Winner

24 February, 2004 9:26 AM

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 Winner will be 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 4 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

American Idol Results

William Hung - She Bangs

21 February, 2004 11:38 PM

willstage.jpgWho will be the American Idol Winner? Perhaps in a strange way the winner will be someone who didn't even get through the auditions! Anyone who has been watching American Idol will remember 'singer' William Hung. His rendition of 'She Bangs' is something I'll always remember. Unfortunately he didn't get through his initial American Idol audition - however that is not the end of the William Hung story.

William Hung A Real American Idol documents latest developments for William Hung, including a record deal, a petition for him to get William to run for president, and a variety of public appearances. They have video of William performing - remixes of his song, links to numerous articles written about him and photos of the man of the moment. The site has had over 8 million hits since going live - a star is born.

Also emerging are a whole heap of other William Hung Resources including an online petition to send Willam Hung to Hollywood to compete in the American Idol finals, numerous William Hung Fanclubs, a fundraising effort to send William to Hollywood, an online discussion forum on William , an online shrine to him (including a poll) and reports saying that William might return to American Idol in a special show. You can now even download a William Hong video clip of his audition to your mobile phone and get a William Hung ring tone! Perhaps he truely is the winner of American Idol this year.

Update: William Hung will be appearing on FOX's March 1 'Uncut, Uncensored And Untalented' Idol special.

Other William Hung American Idol related sites and articles include:
Radio's Worst Nightmare: American Idol's William Hung
- He believes he can fly, but can Hung sing?
- Registers Rung by Young William Hung
- William Hung's Sales Figures Are Nothing To Laugh At
- Kathie Lee Disses William Hung
- 'Idol' reject William Hung's CD 'Inspiration' debuts at #34 in U.S. sales charts
- HUNGry for Will - William at a Chilli Cookoff
- William Hung Serious About Singing Career
- What It Iz: William Hung, American Sambo
- Top 118 Songs that William Hung Should Cover
- William Hung Bootleg Demo Songs
- William Hung's rendition of 'She Bangs' is SingTel's number one call tone hit
- William Hung in San Diego and and another
- Buy 'The True Idol' - William Hung's Album
- William Hung Up On iTunes
- American Idol Videos - they have a growing collection of William Hung Videos
- William Hung offered a new set of teeth
-Save William Hung - a site dedicated to raising money for the psychological treatment of William Hung once his fame subsides.
- William Hung Cursors - spend all day looking at William by installing this William Hung Cursor
- The William Hung Dance - Send a friend the William Hung dance via email!
- William Hung Desktop Theme - William Hung Screen saver, wallpaper etc
- Rolling Stone - William Hung Bangs Out Debut
- Daffy Record Exec Calls Hung 'The New Elvis'
- 'Idol' Reject Hung Has Recording Deal
- William Hung Stuff
- William Hung Album Slated for April 6 Release
- William Hung, 'American Idol' Hopeful Signs Recording and Video Contract With KOCH Records and Fuse Music Network
- 'American Idol' cast-off cashing in on his celebrity
- Paris Hilton's Night with William Hung
- The William Hung Internet Doll - Make William Dance
- William Hung is being Exploited - A discussion Forum
- William Hung mania sweeps the nation
- William Hung - American Idol - Tribute Page
- Hung up on Hung
- Pop Psychology: Hung jury
- William Hung - The Lovable Loser
- William Hung and Paris Hilton - the similarities
- The Legend of William Hung
- Awfully surprising voices can become terribly popular
- William Hung on Dateline Intro - Video
- William Hung on Dateline - Actual Story - Video
- He Bangs: William Hung May Return for 'Idol' Special
- American Idol fans still hanging onto Hung
- American Idol reject William Hung idolized by fans on Internet
23/2 (and earlier)
- William Hung - Real American Idol
- Berkeley Junior Shot Down in American Idol Tryout
- He's a loser, baby: But William Hung, �American Idol� reject, found fame anyway
- William Hung still an 'American Idol' for online fans
- Video footage of William
- William Hung memorabilia on Ebay
- American Idol 'Idol' loser has last laugh
- Oh baby, when he moves, he moves
- William Hung Hits a High Note!
- Jackson: Hung's popularity is 'crazy'

In semi related news - NZ Idol has just announced the single for their winner Ben Lummis. The single is They Can't Take That Away

Where's Darren?

21 February, 2004 3:38 PM

Did you ever have a 'Where's Wally' book? Its a childrens book where the character 'Wally' is hidden in every page of the book and the challenge is to find him.

In today's edition of the New York Times I'm holding a 'Where's Darren' competition.

See if you can spot me....

Here is a good starting place.

Frodo's Quest Inspires a Search for Allegory (free registration required)

Oh dear - after all those hours of responding to questions for the reporter. :-)

By the way - if anyone does end up here because of it the 'space' referred to in the article is here. Enjoy.

Professor Retires after Student Strips for an A

21 February, 2004 12:58 PM

This story is of a Mars Hill professor who resigned after a student stripped in class. It was a sociology class and the professor was talking about social norms and used public nudity as an example, saying that none of the students would strip in class even if he guaranteed them an A for the class.

Of course one of the students took the challenge and stripped. Class was dismissed, the professor submitted his resignation and the student....didn't get the A!

I wonder if this was the class Janet Jackson was taking a couple of weeks ago?

New Digital Cameras Showcase

13 February, 2004 1:35 PM

Remember I told you a few weeks ago not to buy a new digital camera if you wanted the latest release models because there was about to be some new cameras released?

This morning I logged on to find my inbox full of press releases from Digital Camera Manufacturers announcing their new cameras. So far today 15 new digicams have been announced bringing the total of new digital cameras announced so far in the last few week to 51!

I've been adding them to the New Digital Cameras Showcase as they come in. Hope it is helpful to those of you in the market for a new digital camera.

World Championship Penguin Hitting

12 February, 2004 2:30 PM

Lets Rumble

What's your highest score?

In Flight Evangelism

10 February, 2004 4:03 PM

BBC reports that a Christian American Airlines Pilot used the inflight PA system to challenge his passengers to examine their faith.

'An American Airlines pilot terrified passengers when he asked Christians to identify themselves and allegedly went on to call non-Christians "crazy"....

The pilot, whose name was not released, asked Christians on Friday's flight to raise their hands.

He then suggested non-Christians talk to the Christians about their faith.

He went on to say that "everyone who doesn't have their hand raised is crazy", passenger Amanda Nelligan told CBS news.'

Pope John Paul II Dies

3 February, 2004 4:00 PM

For all the latest news about Pope John Paul II see this Pope John Paul II News blog.

Catholics everywhere are praying for Pope John Paul II's health as he battles another bout with the flu. Media are reporting that his death may be imminent but what happens when a pope dies?

When a Pope dies is a good explanation of this occourance.

'When the pope dies, the cardinal chamberlain (Camerlengo) of the holy Roman Church (currently Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo) ascertains the pope�s death, traditionally by calling the pope three times by his baptismal name without response. The ritual of striking the head with a silver hammer (which would later be used to break the Fisherman�s Ring and the papal seal) may be replaced by covering the face with a cloth. He then authorizes the secretary-chancellor to issue a death certificate and seals the pope's private apartments. After notifying the cardinal vicar for the diocese of Rome, the chamberlain secures the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See and attends to the details of the pope�s burial.'...

What Happens when a pope dies is another good article with similar information.

'When a pope dies, a formal process begins that certifies his death, carries out his funeral, and ensures that the selection of his successor takes place according to the prescribed procedures. The busiest person during this period is the camerlengo, or papal chamberlain, who functions something like a chief of staff.

The camerlengo's first task is to certify that the pope is dead. Traditionally, this has included tapping the pope's forehead, perhaps with a little silver hammer, and calling him three times by his first name. No response means that the pope is dead, but more precise medical equipment may be used today....'

Also see When a Pope Dies

'Regardless of the circumstances, when a Pope dies certain procedures specified in Church law, specifically the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, must be followed. First among these is the certification that he is truly dead. This task falls to the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.

In the presence of the Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera, and the Secretary and the Chancellor of the Apostolic Camera, the Camerlengo ascertains that the Pope is dead. Naturally, this could require the assistance of medical personnel. Having made this determination, the Chancellor of the Apostolic Camera draws up the official death certificate. The Camerlengo then seals the Pope�s bedroom and study. Its unsealing and the� disposition of its contents must wait the election of his successor. If the deceased Pope has left a will naming an executor for his personnel belongings, the executor is responsible for faithfully carrying out the will, and for giving an account of his service to the new Pope....'

About Pope John Paul II - Pope John Paul II (often referred to as His Holiness by Catholics), n� Karol J�zef Wojty?a (born May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, Poland), is the current Pope � the Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on October 16, 1978, becoming the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first pope of Slavic origin in the history of the Church.

Pope John Paul II crusades against political oppression have been praised, but his conservative social positions have been more controversial. His more than 100 trips abroad have attracted enormous crowds (some of the largest ever assembled). With these trips, John Paul has covered a distance far greater than that traveled by all other popes combined. They have been seen as an outward sign of the efforts at global bridge-building between nations and between religions that have been central to his pontificate.

Pope John Paul II has beatified and canonized far more persons than any other previous pope in history. It is reported that as of October 2004, he has beatified 1,340 people. Whether he has canonized more saints than all his predecessors put together, as is sometimes claimed, is difficult to prove, as the records of many early canonizations are incomplete or missing.

On March 14, 2004, his pontificate overtook Leo XIII's as the third-longest pontificate in the history of the Papacy (after Pius IX and St. Peter). In February 2010, if still reigning, he will overtake Pius IX as having the longest proven papal reign ever. The length of his term is in extreme contrast with that of his predecessor John Paul I, who died suddenly after only 33 days in office (and in whose memory John Paul II named himself).

Pope John Paul II has been increasingly ill of late and many expect his death is imminent.

Read more atWikipedia: Pope John Paul II

His Holiness John Paul II Short Biography

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