MYANMAR: FREEDOM OF RELIGION AMONG COUNTRY'S "BIGGEST CHALLENGES", SAYS CATHOLIC CARDINAL

 

Cardinal BoMyanmar’s first ever Catholic Cardinal has said protecting freedom of religion or belief for all is among the “biggest challenges” facing his country as it adapts to life after 50 years of “brutal” military rule.
“We desperately need to work to defend rights without discrimination, to establish equal rights for all people in Myanmar, of every ethnicity and religion,” said Cardinal Charles Maung Bo during an address at the UK Parliament in London on 25th May.

     “Freedom of religion or belief...is perhaps the most basic, most foundational human right of all,” he said. “True peace and real freedom hinge on an issue that has yet to be addressed: respect for Myanmar’s ethnic and religious diversity...Without the freedom to choose, practise, share and change your beliefs, there is no freedom.”

     Cardinal Bo said ongoing ethnic conflict was a “major” and “related” challenge.

     “The majority of the Kachin, Chin, Naga and Karenni peoples, and a significant proportion of the Karen, are Christians – and over the decades of armed conflict, the military has turned religion into a tool of oppression,” he said.

     World Watch Monitor reports...  |  more... |

 

 

 

NEWS REPORTS...

25th May, 2016

AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST HOMELESS SERVICE PROVIDERS CALL ON POLITICAL PARTIES TO COMMIT TO HALVING HOMELESSNESS BY 2025

Australia's largest providers of services for the homeless have joined in calling on all political parties to commit to halving homelessness by 2025.

Anglicare, Mission Australia, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, UnitingCare Australia and Wesley Mission made the plea in a joint letter to the four party leaders.

In the latter they point out that more than 100,000 Australians - including 44,000 children or young people - are homeless on any given night and each year more than 200,000 people seek assistance from homelessness services.

"It is heartbreaking that, increasingly, we must turn away people desperately needing help. In 2014-15, homelessness services had to turn away over 250 people each day without the support or accommodation they needed," the agency heads wrote.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

27th May, 2016

Proportion of Americans aged 18 to 34-years-old living with parents (the most common living arrangement among young adults in the US for the first time on record):

32.1 per cent

Source:  Pew Research Center

For more of The Statistic... |  more... |

NEWS...

• Australia: Almost 6,000 turn out for Will Graham evangelism events in Alice Springs... |  more... |

• Ukraine: Ministry aims to reach all 42 million population with Gospel in next five years... |  more... |

• Sudan: Rearrested pastor could face capital crime charges, sources say... |  more... |

• India: Christians attacked and driven out of homes in Chattisgarth State; police investigating... |  more... |

• China: Religious persecution - including of Christians - continued to escalate during 2015, claims report... |  more... |

• Australia: Almost 24,000 Queenslanders sign e-petition opposing loosening state's abortion laws... |  more... |

| MORE NEWS... |

MOMENTS

27th May, 2016

RESCUED: More than 550 migrants from a capsized boat in the Mediterranean Sea on 25th May, 2016 but dozens more are feared to have died.

26th May, 2016

SWALLOWED: A series of cars when a sinkhole opened near the Ponte Vecchio - a famous tourist attraction in Florence, Italy.

25th May, 2016

SOUGHT: The death penalty, by the US justice department, in the case of Dylann Roof, charged over the shooting deaths of nine people in a Charleston church last year.

FOR MORE OF MOMENTS... |  more... |

 

16th May, 2016

WORLDVIEW: ISLAMIST TENSIONS CONTINUE IN TANZANIA

The recent attack on a mosque in Mwanza, northern Tanzania, has highlighted the area as one under growing pressure from political Islam.

    More than three years have passed since the murder of a Tanzanian pastor, killed when rioting Muslims protested against Christians working as butchers. Tanzania is believed to have equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, although no official census figures are available. As Muslims are only permitted to eat meat that has been ritually slaughtered, while almost all Christians have no such restraints, it is typically considered acceptable for only Muslims to work in the trade, even though there is no official legislation to enforce this.

     On 11th February, 2013, after Christians in the north-western city of Buseresere had arranged for a non-Muslim butcher to prepare meat for a Christian funeral reception, Mathayo Kachila, the pastor of the local Assemblies of God church, was hacked to death by rioters.

     For six years before, tension had been building between Muslims and Christians in Buseresere over the issue of animal slaughter. The local government had forbidden non-Muslims from working as butchers, but Christians in the Geita district had begun to do so.

    World Watch Monitor reports that tensions remain between Christians and Muslims in Tanzania in the aftermath of the murder of a pastor more than three years ago...  |  more... |

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Join Sight's editor David Adams for two hour walk around Melbourne's CBD looking at some of the city's rich Christian heritage.

Next Melbourne walk is on 4th June, 2016

Next Geelong walk is on 18th June, 2016

 

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BIBLE: WORLD'S BIBLE SOCIETIES DISTRIBUTE MORE THAN 34 MILLION BIBLES IN 2015, HIGHEST EVER FIGURE

 

BiblesBible Societies around the world delivered more than 34 million Bibles in 2015, the highest number ever distributed over the course of a single year.

     The United Bible Societies' annual look at Bible distribution showed that 34,396,611 complete Bibles were distributed last year, a 1.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

     Taking into account, Testaments, Gospels, and other Scripture items, a total of 418.7 million Scripture-related texts were distributed, a figure which actually comes in at slightly under the previous year's total but still 14 per cent above the figure for 2010.

     The Americas topped the list of world regions for the total number of Bibles and Scriptures delivered, thanks particularly to the situation in Brazil where 7.6 million Bibles were distributed, the highest of any country and more than twice the number than in second place-getter China.

      But in the Middle East and Europe the number of Scriptures distributed - 8.4 million including 1.8 million Bibles - was almost 50 per cent up on the previous year.

     DAVID ADAMS reports...  |  more... |

 

 

THE INTERVIEW: KATE AND JONATHAN RODWELL, DALIT FREEDOM NETWORK AUSTRALIA FOUNDERS

 

Kate Rodwell and former joginiFirstly, who are the Dalits?
"For over 3,000 years, the 250 million people of India who fall below the caste system have been considered 'untouchable'. Although they gained equal status under the law 60 years ago, little has changed in their daily life and they face widespread discrimination. They suffer exploitation, oppression and segregation in healthcare, education and housing. Being a Dalit determines the work they can do: cleaning the sewage pipes below the cities (thousands drown, or die from infections each year), handling dead bodies and various forms of manual labour. They face degrading conditions, often trapped in various forms of bonded labour or slavery. Low literacy and high dropout rates are common for Dalits. The word ‘Dalit’ comes from a Sanskrit word that means ‘crushed, oppressed or broken’. They took this name upon themselves as they feel it epitomises their reality."
      What is the Dalit Freedom Network?
"The mission of Dalit Freedom Network is to end these atrocities and help the Dalit people achieve fundamental rights by providing education, healthcare, and economic empowerment working with our partner organisation in India: OMIF. Our team has been working with the Dalit people for decades. Dalit Freedom Network Australia raises awareness, funds, prayer, advocacy and resources for the OMIF projects."

     Long-time workers with mission organisation OM, Kate and Jonathan Rodwell recently founded the Australian arm of the Dalit Freedom Network. They talk to DAVID ADAMS about who the Dalits are, why they need help, and why they founded the organisation's Australian arm...  |  more... |

 

 

NIGERIA: SECOND CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRL RESCUED, SAYS ARMY

 

SchoolgirlNigeria’s army says that it has rescued a second Chibok schoolgirl, two days after rescuing Amina Ali Nkeki, 19, the first of the 219 kidnapped girls to be found alive.
     “We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14th April, 2014, by the Boko Haram terrorists,” said a statement issued by acting director of public relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman.

     Serah Luka is believed to be the daughter of a pastor, says the statement, and is currently receiving medical attention at the medical facility of Abogo Largema Cantonment in Biu, Borno state.

     But parents of the kidnapped Chibok girls and the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group have not been able to confirm the information.

     Some 97 women and children held captive by Boko Haram were also rescued during the operation, near Shettima Aboh in the Damboa local government area of Borno. Recent military operations by Nigerian forces have led to territorial gains and paved the way for reconstruction efforts.

     World Watch Monitor reports...  |  more... |

 

NIGERIA: RETURN OF ONE CHIBOK GIRL RAISES HOPES FOR THE 218 STILL MISSING

Chibok familiesThe first missing schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram militants two years ago has been rescued. Amina Ali Nkeki was found on Tuesday in the Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon.
     Her return has now raised the hope that the rest of 218 missing girls may yet be rescued alive.

     Hosea Abana Tsambido, the chairman of the Chibok community in the capital, Abuja, told the BBC that Amina was found during a routine daily patrol by the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), a vigilante group set up to help fight Boko Haram.

     "She was saying...all the Chibok girls are still there in the Sambisa except six of them that have already died."

     An uncle, Yakubu Nkeki, told Associated Press news agency that Amina was later reunited with her mother in Chibok. She was 17 when abducted and is now 19, he said. A neighbor in Mbalala told the BBC that Amina was found with a baby.

     Vigilante leader Aboku Gaji told the BBC: "The moment this girl was discovered by our vigilantes, she was brought to my house. I instantly recognised her, and insisted we should take her to her parents.

     World Watch Monitor reports...  |  more... |

FOR PREVIOUS:

NIGERIA: SOME CHIBOK GIRLS ALIVE, BUT FAMILIES' AGONY GOES ON

World Watch Monitor reports...  |  more... |

ABDUCTION OF CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRLS NOT A "ONE-OFF" WITH UP TO 7,000 WOMEN AND CHILDREN TAKEN

DAVID ADAMS reports...  |  more... |

 

 

REFORMATION ANNIVERSARY: CELEBRATIONS WILL BE ECUMENICAL AND INTERNATIONAL, SAYS GERMAN PROTESTANT LEADER

 

ReformationThe 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 should be a profoundly ecumenical, as well as European and international celebration, according to Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

     “With this clear distinction from all other commemorations of past centuries, we are sending a signal of reconciliation and a new beginning,” Bedford-Strohm said at a 9th May press conference in Berlin announcing events leading up to the anniversary on 31st October, 2017.

     The commemoration marks the day in 1517 on which Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 theses denouncing church abuses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

     Luther’s actions set in motion events that led to the Reformation and the division of western Christianity into Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

     In recent years, however, Roman Catholics and Lutherans have reached agreement on the doctrine of justification, a key dividing issue between the papacy and Luther and his followers, and many doctrinal differences should no longer have a church-dividing character, said Bedford-Strohm.

     In an article first published on the World Council of Churches' website, STEPHEN BROWN reports on plans to commemorate the start of the Reformation next year...  |  more... |

FOR MORE FEATURES... | more...| 

 



SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE

 

Church steepleWe've created a page where you'll find a range of resources tailored specifically to help churches in their mission of sharing the Gospel with their communities whether that's in Australia or anywhere around the world.

It's a one-stop shop for church leaders!

SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE... | more...|

 

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Compassion AustraliaCompassion is an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry committed to working in partnership with local churches around the world to foster the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in poverty in over 26 developing countries, in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Compassion’s child development programs are unique in that they are Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based. To discover how you can get involved visit www.compassion.com.au.

 

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REGULAR COLUMNS

 

OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED TO THE GENTILES

CrowdPeter said that Cornelius knew about Jesus. It seems that Cornelius already had an accurate understanding of both John the Baptist and Jesus. (My hunch is that if Cornelius is not the Roman centurion of Luke 7:1-10, this man had heard of his fellow soldier's experience of Jesus of Nazareth). Peter did not have to tell Cornelius things he didn't know already. Peter's sermon, however, confirmed to Cornelius what he needed to hear (and what we still need to hear). He needed to hear of God's forgiveness so that he could be baptised.

     The address gives us a good idea of Peter's understanding of the work Jesus had given Him to do. This work is about God's openness to all people, the fulfilment of the message God specially gave to Israel. This message of God's mercy has now been fully revealed in God's Son, and our response can only be that our lives are opened up to each other. It is acceptable, right and proper, that faith in God's mercy lead the way as God's people relate to people of every nation who fear Him and do what is right. God's law enables His people to be generous.

      BRUCE C WEARNE looks at what Peter says to the Roman centurion Cornelius as God reaches out to the Gentiles in the Book of Acts...  | more... |

 

CONVERSATIONS: SIMON IVES, MISSION FOUNDER AND FILM-MAKER

Simon IvesCongratulations on your recent win any the Christian Film Festival in the US. What does winning such an award mean to you?
"It's humbling, and completely unexpected, as this was my first film, but for me it means greater exposure for the film, for our work in Cambodia, and also more people being inspired and educated about cross-cultural ministry."

     What is the film about?
"It's a one hour documentary about our organisation in Cambodia called Milk and Honey. It tells the inspiring story of Dan and Renuka Brooker, a young Australian couple who are now running our English school and community centre in Cambodia."

     Why did you decide to make it?
"It was a spontaneous 'God Idea', at a time when we were really struggling to keep the ministry going. My wife and I were exhausted, we had run our of funds and ideas, and had very little support. Despite feeling this way, we knew it was a God idea, and two weeks later we were on a plane to Cambodia to shoot for two weeks."

     Australian Simon Ives, along with his wife Kamini, is the founder of charity Milk and Honey which works to empower Cambodians to tackle social issues through community projects, using English classes as a point of connection. He's also made his first film, Missions in the Wilderness: Milk and Honey Cambodia, which recently won the 'most inspirational documentary' award at the International Christian Film Festival in the US. The 35-year-old, based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, speaks with DAVID ADAMS... | more... |

 

THE WORD: GOD'S WILL

God's willThe Greek word thelaymah is translated 'will'. It carries the seed of desire and delight and a positive disposition towards a person, idea or whatever. God’s will germinates in this soil, a humus of desire for, of delight in, and positive disposition towards, Him.

     When we think of God’s will ideas like decrees, commands and general direction most likely come into the frame.

     Our understanding of God’s will, particularly in our early days of faith, can focus a little too heavily on the decrees and commands element of an omnipotent God. As we get to know our heavenly Father, we learn His will is not as rigid as we may have first thought.

     The ‘biggies’ remain in place. Love God and love your neighbour are not suggestions. We cannot drop them nor fudge them at the edges.

     But often God says 'You choose'.

     His will has scope.

     The breadth we have to work in is: seeking God to know Him and knowing who He has made us to be. Both dimensions are given breath and a foundation through the Bible.

     I am God. Know me. I made you to be a man/woman of God. Know who you are. Now...choose.      

      How do we know God's will for our lives? LLOYD HARKNESS takes a look... | more... |

 

THIS LIFE: OUR PRAYER REVEALS OUR HEARTS

Heart candle"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” - Luke 6:45 (NKJV)

     We can tell much about the spiritual condition of our heart by our prayers. Whatever captivates our heart will show up in what we pray – or don’t pray.

     If our prayers are limited mostly to calling on God in emergencies or to help us out of fixes, this is an indicator that God is not central in our lives but is off somewhere on the fringe. If this is the case we will miss out big time on experiencing the joy of daily communion with our heavenly Father and being used by Him in prayer.

     If our prayers are centered mainly on ourselves and our needs, this indicates a self-centered and carnal heart. There is certainly a place for bringing our needs before the Lord. In fact He wants us to do so. But if that is all there is to our prayers, then we are missing out on our high calling as God’s royal priesthood.

    COLIN STOTT, in an article first published by ASSIST News Service, reflects on what our prayer life reveals about us...  | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: RUNNING UP THE WHITE FLAG

Running up the White Flag‘Surrender’ has been a dirty word since time immemorial. Ever since Adam defied God by refusing to continue to submit his life to the One who created him, we have a natural tendency to baulk at the idea of giving up control. The irony is, though, that giving up means gaining. We surrender to live.

     Surrender is about pleasing God above all else. It is about having an attitude of not being rebellious at all, of not running life our own way, for that is defiance. Surrender comes out of a deep realisation that our own way of doing things has not been working. Countries surrender in war when they are forced to, and they realise the game is up. God never forces us into surrender; we only do so when we realise the game is up with our lives and we choose to give up control and surrender our will to the Higher will.

     The way of surrender is completely counter-cultural. In our individualistic society where we are told that we are the most important person in the world and we have to be in control of our lives, submission is weak; control means power.

     In an excerpt from his new ebook, Running Up The White Flag: Surrender As The Way To Follow Jesus, NILS VON KALM looks at what a life of surrender to Christ really looks like... | more... |

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BOOKS: TAPPING INTO GOD'S CREATIVITY

Creativity for this generationFinding space to be creative in busy lives can be a challenge - but for the Christian who wants to step into what God's calling them to be, taking time out to allow God to spark up your creative side is essential.

     In Creativity For This Generation, Darren Abel, a New Zealand-based lay minister, unfolds the important role creativity plays in our Christian walk, looking at how the Bible narrative - and in particular stories involving some of the well-known (think Joseph) and, in some cases, much less well-known (think Bezaleel and Aholiab) characters of the Word - illustrates how God can use our creativeness to change not only ourselves but the world around us.

     "The ability for creativity lives within us. God gave you rich imagination. You may not have invented or originated YouTube. That ground-breaking creativity does not happen every day. Still, keep pursuing your passions and dreams, and one day you will make a big improvement to your world, and the world of others."

    DAVID ADAMS looks at a guide to getting creative...  | more... |

 

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CASTING THE NET: IDEALIST

IdealistLooking for a way to put those good intentions to practical work helping others somewhere in the world? Idealist - with its aim of connecting people who want to do good with tangible opportunities to take action - may the perfect place for you to spend some time. The site, which was founded back in 1995 (initially as ideaLIST - a list of ideas for idealists), initially began as a place for people to connect with job and volunteer opportunities in the non-profit sector in the US alone; it's since expanded to a global site in three different languages - English, Spanish and French - and when we looked there were more than 115,000 organisations using the site around the world (including 247 Australian organisations).

      DAVID ADAMS on a site that's bursting with opportunities to do good everywhere... | more... |

 

WATCH

SCREEN SHORT: HAVEN'T WE SEEN THIS SOMEWHERE BEFORE? SUPER-HEROES BATTLE IT OUT IN CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Captain America Civil WarIn line with the latest DC outing, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is something of a navel-gazing exercise as the Avengers turn upon each other. Except here's not Batman and Superman duking it out, it's Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and his crew battling it out with Captain America (Chris Evans) and his gang in a dispute over whether or not to hand Captain America's childhood friend Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier played by Sebastian Stan) over to the authorities after he's implicated in a terrorist attack. There's plenty of angst as the various characters - including now familiar favorites like the all-powerful-yet often-holding-back Vision (Paul Bettany) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) as well as some newcomers like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and, in a highlight, a very young Peter Parker/Spiderman (Tom Holland) - choose sides.

    Beaten to the screen by Batman and Superman, DAVID ADAMS nevertheless finds Captain America: Civil War an entertaining film...  | more... |

 

LISTEN

MUSIC: GYMEA BAPTIST'S NEW HORIZON'S A "GENUINE DELIGHT"

New HorizonsIf I was to present to you a worship EP from a large church in the Sydney area, you would think Hillsong right? Ah, but there is more than one church in Sydney that has the gift of music to offer the world. May I introduce you to Gymea Baptist Church and their worship EP New Horizons.    

     New Horizons - the church's first recording project since 1984 - offers five new contemporary home-grown congregational worship songs of genuine quality that have been created to bless, encourage and inspire worship leaders around the world. Yes, it’s an ambitious goal considering our leviathan brothers at Hillsong, yet it is already coming to pass with churches around the world downloading the free lyrics and chord charts from their web site.

     The EP starts strongly with Whatever It Takes, a catchy, rocky, pulsating song of praise offerings our services to God - wherever He takes us. From here, New Horizons really takes off into the stratosphere with You Won’t Let Go, Waterfalls, and Count As Loss. These songs are deeply stirring with each song better than the last. They form a worship progression that is equal to any in the world in terms of lyrical content, song writing and, most importantly, spiritual engagement.  The anthem-like title track New Horizons closes out the EP perfectly.

      ROBBIE TOWNSEND finds Gymea Baptist Church's new EP...well..."delightful"...  | more... |

United paintedSoundbite27th May, 2016

THE TCM UPDATE: HILLSONG SCORES AT BILLBOARD; PLANETSHAKERS RELEASES MOMENTUM EP; AND, IN OTHER NEWS...

To hear CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update, simply click on the link... | more... |

 

DOWNLOAD

APPS: ENRICHING YOUR PRAYER LIFE, AND, AN APP TO HELP MEN STEP OUT OF THE ORDINARY
AbideDo you sometimes find yourself lost for words when you pray? Or know you should pray but circumstances have pulled your spirit down and you feel you can't? If so, there's no need to feel alone: the Abide team says that 75 per cent of Christians are unsatisfied with their prayer life. And the Abide Prayer app may be just what you need. There's a daily prayer to listen to and pray along with or there are topics you can choose from according to your situation. This app may be just the thing to start you praying regularly. Available for Apple and Android devices.

      ALAN TAYLOR looks at apps Abide Prayer and Uncommen... | more... |

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LIFESTYLE

 

SEE YOU THERE!

Daydream Island11th March, 2016

Stay four nights but only pay for two at the Daydream Island Resort and Spa in Queensland's Whitsundays.

     FOR DETAILS OF OUR LATEST DEAL, HEAD TO OUR SEE YOU THERE PAGE... | more...|

 

HELPDESK: MICROSOFT'S NOTE-TAKING ALTERNATIVE TO EVERNOTE

laptopWhen most people think of digital notetaking, they generally think of Evernote. In fact, a Sight article I wrote included Evernote and some of the things it can do. See my previous article here.
      Founded in 2007, Evernote grew fast. Investors were throwing money at it and it made moves into hardware, teaming up with other companies to make products designed for their software. They started an online store for customers to purchase their products.

     But recently, Evernote has been scaling back its operations, shedding staff, backing out of hardware, closing down its store and various other apps like Evernote Food (see here). This has created a bit of unrest in regards to its future. After all, they hold an enormous amount of their customers' notes on their system.
      However, If you have notes in Evernote and are concerned, there's an alternative. Microsoft's OneNote is free, in some cases can do more than Evernote. It's designed intuitively and upon opening, has a familiar interface based on notebooks.
      You can create different notebooks for different topics. In those notebooks, you have tabs and in those tabs you have your pages.

      Searching for an alternative to Evernote, ALAN TAYLOR finds Microsoft's free OneNote a good option... | more...|

 

ORIGINS: CELEBRATING 90 YEARS OF TELEVISION

Logie Baird plaqueIt was 90 years ago this year that Scottish inventor John Logie Baird publicly demonstrated his "televisor", the forerunner of the modern television.

     The demonstration on 26th January, 1926, involved the transmission of a small moving image - measuring just 8.8 by five centimetres  - of the face of his business partner, Daisy Elizabeth Gandy, onto a screen in a different room.

     The device has been described as working rather like a radio but had an attached rotating mechanism that generated video as well as sound (modern televisions, in contrast, use electronic scanning).

     The demonstration, which took place in a laboratory in Soho, London, in front of members of the Royal Institution and a journalist from The Times newspaper, came two years after Baird first managed to transmit a flickering image over a distance of about three metres.

    DAVID ADAMS looks back at where it all began for television...  | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

• While the date of Shakespeare's death isn't conclusively known, scholars have traditionally put it on 23rd April, 1616 (based on the fact his body was recorded as being interred a couple of days later in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on 25th April).

• The date of his death is traditionally believed to also be that of his birth, although, again, it's not conclusively known but based on the fact he is known to have been was baptised on 26th April, 1564 (baptisms traditionally occurred three days after birth).

• Shakespeare was 52 when he died. He was survived by his wife Anne Hathaway (he had married her when he was 18-years-old and she was 26 in 1582 when she was three months pregnant with their first child) as well as two of his three children (Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith - Hamnet died before his father at the age of just 11).

   William Shakespeare, arguably the most famous and influential of all English writers, died 400 years ago this month. DAVID ADAMS looks at some facts you may not know about the man known as the 'Bard of Avon' and his work...  | more...|

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR LIFESTYLE PAGE here...

 

20/20

 

SNAPSHOT

Amphitheatre at Nimes

     In Sight's Snapshot, we'll endeavour to publish an image from somewhere around the globe every week. To see this image in a larger scale and for details of how you can submit images, follow the link...  | more... |

 

THE BIG PICTURE: "OH LORD, HOW MANY AND VARIOUS ARE YOUR WORKS" - PSALM 104:24

May poster

It was Wilson A Bentley who said he’d “never seen two snowflakes alike”. And people trusted the Vermont farmer because he was a pioneer in photographing snowflakes in the early 20th century. But Bentley only photographed a little more than 5,000. Then in 1988, while looking under a microscope at high altitude, Nancy Knight, a research scientist, saw what appeared to be two identical snowflakes. Bentley’s myth was melted.
     "But hang on" the scientists amongst you will shout, "At a molecular level nothing is identical". Which is true and an incredible fact to consider. But imagine if we needed a microscope to see the difference between other humans. Imagine if it was commonplace to meet doppelgangers (identical versions of yourself) in the street each day. But the truth is, even the pictures at online doppelganger websites aren’t always that impressive.

     To see Outreach Media's May poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |

 

WORDPLAY CHALLENGE #7. AND THE ANSWER IS...

Wordplay 7

This wordcloud represents the words contained in a oft-quoted passage from the Bible (with the more frequently used words shown in larger type). The challenge for you is to identify the passage - which book and chapter does it come from. To see the answer, simply follow the link... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR CREATIVE

ARTS PAGE - 20/20 here

 



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RELAUNCHED! SIGHT BOOKSHOP

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We've relaunched the Sight Bookshop - you can also buy our Christmas cards and other items we release there.

The bookshop is now open. Click HERE to go there...

 

THE SIGHT BOOKCLUB

The Five Times I Met Myself

For April-May, 2016, we're reading James L Rubart's novel, The Five Times I Met Myself (Thomas Nelson, 2015).

To register your group (and receive our discussion notes via email) and for more details about how the club works, head here...

 

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THEY SAID IT

 

 

"Well, for many people, they won't be literate or numerate in their own language, let alone English. And this is a difficulty...Now these people would be taking Australian jobs, there's no question about that. And for many of them that would be unemployed, they would languish in unemployment queues and on Medicare and the rest of it. So there would be a huge cost and there's no sense in sugar-coating that..."

- Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton in an interview with Sky News on 17th May, 2016, in comments concerning Australia's refugee intake which drew a sharp response from the Federal Opposition and  pro-refugee advocates.

"Mr Dutton's comments are not only incoherent, they contravene the evidence substantiated by the contributions of hundreds of thousands of refugees who have contributed to our country."

- Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia, responding to Mr Dutton's comments on 18th May, 2016.

 

"The possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure."

- Egypt's aviation minister, Sherif Fathi, speaking after EgyptAir Flight MS804 went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea enroute from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard on 18th May, 2016 (as quoted on The Guardian on 20th May, 2016)

For more of They Said It, follow the link...  more...

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

20th May, 2016

It was 22 years ago this year that Captain Mbaye Diagne, a military observer at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda, was killed when a mortar fell near his vehicle. Though unarmed, Captain Diagne had risked his life repeatedly to save hundreds of people during the genocide, hiding them in the Hotel des Mille Collines (the story of the hotel's role has been immortalised in the film Hotel Rwanda). This month, the UN have honoured Captain Diagne with the inaugural 'Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage' which was awarded to his family. To read more of his story and hear some family reflections, follow this link...


For previous 'This week on the web'... | more... |

Sight now has a Pinterest page where you can see some of our images. To see it, head here...

 

 

MUSINGS   

 

 

PERFECTION...

24th May, 2016

PAUL CLARK

PerfectionPerfection. We have strange ideas, in the West, of what perfection is. Ideas that actually tie us into knots.

In English, perfection is a static state of flawlessness. For a flower it would be perfect at that moment it was in full bloom - stuck in that state forever. Under this understanding the only perfect people are photoshopped supermodels.

Musings is a regularly updated, column featuring short snippets reflecting on daily life from a Christian perspective...  | more... |

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Hymnal

Canticle

Hymn


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


PRINT YOUR OWN OFFICE BUILDING; A SAUNA WITH YOUR BURGER?; BLIND-FOLDED MOWING; AND THE 'CHICKEN CHURCH'...

We've all seen the excitement over 3D printing and the opportunity it presents to print all manner of objects. But what about an entire building? Dubai has opened what it's called the first fully functioning 3D-printed office building, created by printers both large and small. The one-storey prototype cement building was reportedly built in just 17 days and cost about $US140,000.

DAVID ADAMS writes about the odder side of life... | more... |


CHRISTIAN SYMBOL DISCOVERED ON ROMAN-ERA POTTERY SHARD FOUND IN LONDON...
A 4th century piece of pottery discovered in London almost 50 years ago has recently been found to bear a Christian symbol in what experts say is a rare example of such a find from the city's Roman period.

The symbol, etched into the pottery, depicts the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, Christos. The monogram, known as the chi-rho (chi being the Greek X and rho being the Greek P), was reportedly recently discovered on the pottery piece by volunteers at the Museum of London's Archaeological Archive.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more... |

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