The Rosetta Stone

Rosetta_Stone.JPGToday’s featured article on Wikipedia is The Rosetta Stone.

“The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of an Ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele whose engraved text provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The inscription records a decree that was issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three texts: the upper one is in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle one in Egyptian demotic script, and the lower text in ancient Greek.”

This fascinated me when I was a child. What a remarkable find! Read the rest of the story at Wikipedia.


Beautiful Edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Banner of Truth Trust has republished a beautiful edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Reformation Heritage Books has this edition at a discounted price.


Many editions of Pilgrim’s Progress were considered before the publishers decided to re-issue the now rare edition put out by John C. Nimmo in 1895. This edition comes as near as possible to the ideal, containing both Parts 1 and 2, along with the marginal notes and Scripture references, together with fine etchings by William Strang. It is not a luxury to possess a de luxe edition of a work which, though we may not, like Spurgeon, read it a hundred times, ought to be the companion of a lifetime.

This deluxe edition of Bunyan’s great work comes as near as possible to the ‘ideal’- with the original marginal notes and references from Scripture, both parts of the Progress, and a series of magnificent and evocative etchings by William Strang. Although John Bunyan’s Pilgrim emerged in Puritan dress from the Town Prison on Bedford Bridge in 1676, he has remained to this day, in more than 120 languages, an influence which is almost as wide as Christianity itself. Many explanations are offered for the book’s enduring appeal – the masterly allegory which can charm both child and adult; the great humanness of the characters who, after a few rapid strokes, appear in flesh and blood likeness; the plain, vivid English – and yet all these things are secondary. Above all, Pilgrim’s Progress is a life story. It depicts the life which Bunyan himself lived and, at the same time, the life with which all Christians can substantially identify themselves. For, as Augustus M. Toplady wrote, the book describes ‘every stage of a Christian’s experience, from conversion to glorification.’ It does so with such abiding relevance because Bunyan’s world of thought is that of the Bible itself.


Project Management Software

I’m checking out project management software. Here are some interesting options.


  • OpenProj is a free and open source Microsoft Project clone, but it seems a little out of date. This appears to be a Java based application.

RationalPlan Multi Project


  • RationalPlan Multi Project offers some impressive multi-user options with a server component. This is a Java based application.



  • OmniPlan is a relatively new product from Omni and doesn’t have as many advanced features. This is a native Mac OS X application.

McManis 2008 Pinot Noir

McManis 2009 Pinot Noir

The McManis Family Vineyards produce some very delicious and accessible wines that are remarkably inexpensive. From their web site:

McManis Family Vineyards is a grower and vintner of premium varietal winegrapes located in the Northern Interior of California. The company was founded in 1990 by Ron and Jamie McManis – fourth generation family farmers. The McManis family has been growing grapes in this region since 1938.

McManis Family Vineyards currently operates over 2500 acres of winegrapes and after the 1997 harvest, a state-of-the-art winery was designed and built to maximize the resulting wine’s quality through small lot handling, whole cluster pressing and barrel storage and fermentation.

We enjoyed the 2008 Pinot Noir this evening with homemade “Chicken Bryan” (a copy of the Carrabba’s specialty that Jonathan has mastered). The description of the 2009 Pinot Noir from the McManis web site indicates a greater emphasis on a fruit forward character, but the 2008 had an excellent balance of the traditional earthiness of a Pinot Noir along with some spiciness. This paired deliciously well with the goat cheese and sun roasted tomatoes of the Chicken Bryan.


Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

By Tony Schwartz from the Harvard Business Review

Here, then, are the six keys to achieving excellence we’ve found are most effective for our clients:

  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
  3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
  5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
  6. Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to ritualize them — build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

Steelhead Double India Pale Ale


Produced by the Mad River Brewing Company and weighing in at 8.6% ABV, this ale appears to include a bottle aging. I observed settled sediment in the bottom of the bottle when putting it in the refrigerator to cool. The label doesn’t mention bottle aging and so many tasters poured the sediment into the glass and found that to be (not surprisingly) an unpleasant addition. I carefully poured this ale with the aim of avoiding the sediment and was successful in doing so. This yielded a beautiful light copper amber coloured ale with a creamy white head that lasted for quite a while but did not lace the glass as the beverage was being enjoyed.

The aroma is tart with the citrus smell of hops but includes a solid and pleasant malty foundation. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. This Double IPA begins with a mellow malt sweetness that is immediately checked by the aggressive hops. Lots of grapefruit and orange peel flavour almost overwhelms the maltiness all the way across the palate through to a dry finish. As the beverage warms, however, the malts are given more emphasis and the combination results in a sweeter fruitiness on the palate. Still, the deliciously strong hop backbone remains. There is an enjoyably long finish that initially emphasises the dry tartness in the back of the mouth but grows to give a full balanced expression to the malt in the middle of the palate as the beverage warms.

The Mad River Brewing Company of Blue Lake, California, has exhibited great craftsmanship in this ale. They describe it as follows.

Maltier, hoppier and stronger than regular IPAs, Double IPA is dry hopped with Amarillo hops for a fresh citrus flavor and aroma. Goes great with red meats and life in general. Does not go well with driving or machinery.

It is a worthy and enjoyable high gravity IPA — recommended.


Today in 1947 — the ENIAC computer


1947 – ENIAC (pictured), the world’s first general-purpose electronic digital computer, was turned on in its new home at the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, remaining in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.

The ENIAC’s design and construction were financed by the United States Army during World War II. The construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943, and work on the computer was begun in secret by the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name “Project PX”.


Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

VictoryStormKingImperialStout.jpg This Imperial Stout is unusual in that it has been hopped more heavily than is typical for this style, but the brewers have maintained this addition with a great degree of balance that gives added complexity without detracting from the traditional elements of the style.

This delicious Imperial Stout pours up a rich amber black with a full frothy head that remains and moderately laces the glass. The nose presents full coffee, molasses, and cocoa aromas, with a distinct and enjoyable tart hoppy fruit overlay and quiet alcohol background.

The taste continues this balanced interplay of the Imperial Stout style with the clear hop notes that makes this beverage very distinctive. It begins with a caramel malty sweetness that is quickly overtaken by powerful roasted coffee and and bitter chocolate flavours. The hoppiness is present throughout without ever distracting or overwhelming. This hop flavour becomes more pronounced just prior to the complex dry finish.

This somewhat smooth, medium to full bodied Imperial Stout has a deliciously complex aftertaste that lingers long. It is well-crafted and manages to offer both balance and complexity without that becoming a distraction from its enjoyment.


Charity suffereth long

1 Corinthians 13.4:

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up…

Charles Hodge:

Love suffereth long, i.e. is long-minded, or slow to be roused to resentment. It patiently bears with provocation, and is not quick to assert its rights or resent an injury.

It is kind, i.e. is inclined to perform good offices; is good-natured. The root of the verb means useful, and hence its primary sense is, disposed to be useful. The excellence here indicated is the positive side of that already mentioned. Love is not quick to resent evil, but is disposed to do good.

It envieth not. The word here used may express any wrong feeling excited in view of the good of others; not only envy, but hatred, emulation, and the like.

It vaunteth not itself, this includes all forms of the desire to gain the applause of others. Love does not seek to win admiration and applause.

Is not puffed up, i.e. conceited. This is the root of the preceeding. The man who has a high conceit of himself is apt to be boastful and desirous of praise. Love, on the other hand, is modest and humble; modest because humble.


1 Corinthians 10.17 in the ESV

I am convinced that Charles Hodge is correct in his careful treatment of 1 Corinthians 10.17. Most older translations get this wrong, and while I am not advocating for the use of the ESV or other modern translations, the contrast is noteworthy.

Notice the difference in translation and meaning between the AV and the ESV on 1 Corinthians 10.17.

AV: For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

ESV: Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

Hodge in his commentary explains,

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